Friday, November 25, 2005

Braving the Shopping Mauls

Today is called Black Friday, by those in the retail profession. Why is it called this? Because, this is the single busiest shopping day of the year. Let me repeat that, in case you missed it; The. Single. Busiest. Shopping. Day. Of. The. Year.

Now, speaking as almost nine year veteran of retail, I can certainly sympathize with the people that have had to wake up before their Thanksgiving dinner has fully digested, in order to man the registers and aisles of stores, in preparation for the onslaught of shoppers that will be advancing today. Many of these folks will deal with shoppers who have been waiting for the doors to open, with the same looks on their faces as lions in the Roman Coliseum waiting for the Christians to be brought in.

So, if you are one of the shoppers descending upon these folks today, please be patient. You are (Statistically speaking.) not the first person they are dealing with today. You have the opportunity to be the most understanding, though. Look around you at the masses of people carrying off their packages, overloaded like ants returning to the hill.

I will be sitting home on my couch, relaxing and watching movies, with my feet up. Unless I decide to go to my favorite coffee shop and watch the SUVs circling the parking lot of the mall across the street, looking for places to go and practice their rampant consumerism.

I might not have such a bleak view of these Christmas happenings if I hadn’t been hammered with the holiday spirit for last few months on end. Hallmark releases their Christmas ornaments in July fer christsakes! Some of the stores I went shopping for Halloween goodies had more Christmas items than Halloween of Thanksgiving supplies. And it seems that the push for the Christmas shopping season starts earlier every year. Soon it won’t just be trailer parks that have year round Christmas lights!

Even worse, the push is more for the commercial side of the season than the actual purpose of it. Target stores last year wouldn’t let the Salvation Army have their bell ringers in front of the stores. Why? My thought is because that bell sounds to the greedy parts of the people passing it by, and makes them feel guilty that they are ignoring the true season of giving, by going shopping, instead of helping the less fortunate.

To me, Christmas has always been about family. I have a rather large extended family and we, for the most part, gather together every year, to celebrate together. It isn’t about who gets the most gifts, it is about spending time with the ones you love. (Or at least tolerate because they are family.) It is about renewing relationships and drinking a lot of Johnnie Walker catching up.

Okay, enough out of me for the time being. Remember, only 28 more shopping days until the holiday that the Christians used to supplant the Pagan Yule celebration!


Random fact: Today’s forecast for Phoenix, AZ is a high of 75. Enjoy your cold weather kids!


Blogger Zepplinlady said...

I feel your pain. I too am in retail but, I'm in the meat industry. (grocery store)

The holidays are very busy what with buying food for Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners; although the busiest shopping day of the year is normally the slowest day for major grocers.

11/26/2005 2:00 AM  

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