11.17.11

No Black Friday

Posted in Around the Pot-Belly Stove at 4:55 pm by Story-Teller

No Black Friday
When I was a child no one ever heard of Black Friday and we certainly didn’t know what the word ‘cyber’ meant as in ‘Cyber Monday”. My parents did all the Christmas shopping for their 11 children in one trip. This mega shopping spree usually occurred on the last Friday before Christmas. Daddy would come home from the factory and announce that he and Mom were going out to see Santa . The older children knew that this was code for ‘I got my Christmas bonus today and we’re going Christmas shopping.’ It was a night of anticipation and guessing. We knew that Santa was good and we’d get at least one item we asked for and probably some practical things too; like a new dress, some socks and maybe new hats and gloves. This was also one of the few times when our parents went somewhere with no children tagging along. We were on our own, supervised by the older siblings for the duration.

It did us no good to stay up until they got home, as Daddy would lock all the packages, bags, boxes and other items inside the 1947 brown DeSoto that served as the family bus. Then late at night he’d carry the booty up the stairs past our beds, where we were all supposed to be sleeping, and put the gifts in the attic, securing the door with an old Master combination lock before leaving.
I am very grateful for these delightful memories from my childhood and know that the treasures we received those many years ago cannot be assigned a monetary value. It saddens me to see how many children are cheated of life’s greatest gift, the gift NOT getting everything you ask for.

Now so many people are obsessed with buying so much, spending more than they should on gifts that have no lasting value. Men and women, who are sensible and sane all year long, seem to be possessed as they camp out at Wal-Mart to get the best deals on Black Friday. This year many stores will not make them wait for Friday as they will be opened late on Thanksgiving Day to help their customers spend more money sooner.

And for those who do not venture out to the malls and department stores, but prefer to shop online, we now have the mega online shopping day dubbed ‘Cyber Monday’. What is this supposed to do for us? Is it just another gimmick to get us to spend more money in a different way? I think we all crave simpler times, a time when we didn’t know we needed so much stuff to be happy. When children were ecstatic to get a doll baby who cried and wet her diaper, and every little boy wanted a BB gun or cowboy outfit.

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