And now the rush …
I’m off to work today where I shall relish the quiet when most people are off. I’ll be able to get through the pile of tasks that always seems to make their way to the bottom, have the chance to catch up on correspondence and the little things like reorganizing file folders on the shared drive that always get in a tangle when I’m in a rush.
My day will be the opposite of the usual hustle of the work-a-day world where the mindset is to operate at a constant double-time pace and even meals are gulped down as afterthoughts to emails, drafting reports and in the minutes between meetings.
For those with four days off this holiday week, today, so-called “Black Friday,” will bring on a rush of a different kind. Armed with circulars, coupons and for the tech-savvy, Smartphone enabled electronic badges, folks fortified by turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie will elbow their way through crowds to grab whatever “doorbuster” prize they can snag with a “beat the clock” mindset as minutes wind down till the sales items switch on and off as if they were nothing more innocuous then the periods of a school day.
Yep it’s 6:00 AM Barbie followed by 7:00 AM Nintendo and so on and I suppose if one has 14 nieces between the ages of say 5 and 7, snagging Barbie at $2.99 a pop versus the usual $9.99 might be worth getting up at 3:30 in the morning to make one’s way to Toys-R-Us or Target or wherever to push through the crowds (yep, crowds of crowds) to grab just the right Barbie in that magic hour between 6:00 and 7:00.
I suppose when it comes to saving $1,000 on a washer/dryer unit that exactly matches the model one has been pining for a 5:00 AM quick run to Lowes makes sense, but otherwise, I’m not so sure.
And then there are the Black Friday shopping tips that one can read up on that give advise on what to avoid:
Among the most common occurs when a consumer is drawn in to the store by the possibility of an amazing door-buster deal. Usually, these deals are available in very short supply. When shoppers are shut out of such deals, sometimes they go ahead and buy a similar item—for a much more expensive price. (Time Magazine)
This year’s permutation has included earlier start times cutting into family Thanksgiving celebrations for shoppers—not to mention “no holiday” celebration for the many workers who need to show up hours earlier.
What it brings to mind is that all of this rush for the supposed start to the “holiday” season has an opposite effect if rather than thinking through finding the perfect gift for a loved one is reduced to a cage-fight reminiscent of an MMA bout.
And I guess that’s my point. This crazy rush to buy things has little or nothing to do with why we exchange gifts or of the notion that we honor those we love by putting thought and care and even a dose of mindfulness into how we go about that process.
Sure, I know that folks have monetary issues and that holiday gifts are often ways of delivering the things that folks need—especially when it comes to clothing for kids who by the New Year period have started to grow out of their Fall clothes. So yep, the arena that is 5:00 AM at Walmart may be a necessary evil for some people. What I would question is why those sales can’t happen anyway and whether our “buy-in” to this annual slugfest hasn’t compromised us to the point of throwing away the meaning behind our gift giving.
The question is, if we all said no to the frenzy, wouldn’t retailers find another way to sell us their wares? I think the answer is yes and for prices that are just as attractive. For my money, I’d rather fight in the ring.
Happy Friday …