The race has begun! Actually it started earlier this year than ever. One retail store, no name mentioned, but it starts with a ‘K’ and ends with ‘mart,’ aired Christmas ads before Halloween. They were urging parents to lay-away every toy their little darlings’ hearts’ desired.
Last week, the week before Thanksgiving, was quickly named “Pre-Black Friday Week.” And of course, last Friday, the 22nd, was “Pre-Black Friday.” This week the hype has built–“Black Friday Week,” and major retailers announced they would have “Pre-Black Friday” sales by opening Thanksgiving night–Thanksgiving night!! at 8:00 PM. How kind of them to allow their employees time to have dinner with their families. Most stores closed at 11:00 PM only to reopen at midnight, or maybe 4 or 5:00 AM.Then there is that major retailer, whose name I won’t mention, but it starts with a ‘K,’ ends with ‘mart’ and is mentioned in the first paragraph of this rant, er, post, who opened at 6:00 AM on Thanksgiving morning.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good sale. Almost everything I buy is on sale. If it’s not on sale, I don’t buy it. Once, I waited almost a full year to buy a sweater vest that I had seen in a catalog.As soon as the catalog arrived I would rip through the pages to see if the vest had gone on sale. So I’m all about the sale.
I’ve done my share of shopping before the rooster gets up. This was when the day was known as the”Day After Thanksgiving.” On several occasions my daughter and I have been in line when stores opened at 5:00 AM or 4:00 AM to get those bargains. One year, we flew to New York City the day after Thanksgiving just to shop. (She works for an airline, so it didn’t take all my Christmas money just to get there and back.) That day was quite an adventure and loads of fun! The straw that broke that poor camel’s back, was the year I went by myself to the major retail store that begins with a ‘W,’ ends with ‘mart,’ but is in no way related to the other retail store that ends with ‘mart.’ My first mistake was not realizing that this particular store had opened at midnight , so when I arrived at 5:45 am for the doors to open at 6:00 am, the doors were already open. My second mistake was getting out of my car and going into the store. Never in my life have I seen such a sight and I hope I never see such a sight ever again. Hundreds of people moving like a herd of turtles from one spot to another only inches away. If a person had a shopping cart, they weren’t moving at all thanks to those people who had abandoned their shopping cart in the hope of moving a little faster. And for what? That toy their precious little one absolutely must have or else? The 66″ screen TV that they can’t live without? I made it into the store to about the second aisle, decided that nothing was worth fighting this crowd (where was the Fire Marshall?), and 20 minutes later, made it back outside. Never. Again.
I can hear you now. Why the rant, er, post? Because the commercialization of Christmas begins earlier every year, and every year there is less ‘Christ’ in Christmas. And He is, after all, the reason for the season.