Writer's Cramp - 545 Words
|The madness of Black Friday is to think it's a shopping trip. Whether or not we realize it, there is more going on than just buying presents. The stores order and place their merchandise strategically to get our money, but what opens our pocketbooks we bring with us - our emotions. Retailers, work hard to snare us, aware of how our feelings affect what we buy. Some stores begin their Black Friday Sales on Thanksgiving night. Publicity is plentiful, I noticed a lady wearing a Black Friday T-shirt with the acronym SOS - "Shopping On Steroids." Some shoppers are pros, they map out the store, use cell phones and family members to get the best buys. If you visit Wal-mart on Thanksgiving Day, pallets line the store, rows of shrink-wrapped merchandise, enticing the most hurried shopper. They label pallets, "Not Until 6 PM" convincing us we are missing out on some good deals. Whether we shop early, stand in line Friday morning or stay home, Black Friday is more than buying sale items, it's about our feelings and nostalgia, the desire to recapture the past or the hope to create the perfect Christmas.
Searching online for information on Black Friday, I found an article that mentioned Macy's and the 1950s. Earlier, Black Friday dealt with economics but by the 50s it had become associated with shopping.
Far away from Macy's, my grandparent's celebrated Christmas with intentional simplicity. Behind the times, they lived without plumbing, television and phones. Their woodstove and the smell of smoke brought them pleasure. On Christmas Eve, my grandfather cut the cedar tree, hauled it to the house and tried to balance it in a five- gallon bucket. To solve the dilemma of the too small container, he cornered the tree, braced it with cotton binder twine and tacked it to the door frames. After adding the lights we placed presents under the tree. My grandmother liked "Blue Waltz" perfume and my grandfather red bandana handkerchiefs. One present, my grandmother received, she kept until her death, my cousin painted a jelly jar with fingernail polish and it became the "button glass." While Macy's celebrated with Black Friday, we celebrated with simple gifts.
While our shopping cart wheels turn our memories travel along with us. Our hopes and dreams for the best holiday ever is what is pushing those carts. From young lovers, to the older generation, our emotions and memories are playing right along with the holiday music. For some, this will be the year of their dream Christmas, for others the search will continue . Whatever group we're in we may use Black Friday shopping to fulfill our emotional need.
The madness of Black Friday is to think it's a shopping trip. Now that I'm older, I can see how my emotions and dreams for the perfect Christmas influenced my shopping. It's easy to equate love with buying presents and thinking the more expensive the gift the more love. When we pay attention to our emotions, tame our expectations of the season, we can restore our sanity. While shoppers push and shove we can join the mob and know that we entered the store with our emotions unwrapped, revealing what is hidden and ready to guide us, to the best Christmas ever.