Black Friday Dr. Michael L. Ford 26 November 2005 If I understand the concept of Black Friday correctly, the Friday following Thanksgiving is the day retailers expect their business operations to move from the red into the black for the year. Not only that, this is the day consumers hit the stores expecting to get tremendous savings by shopping these retailers who are expecting to make their years’ profit. Is it just me, or is there some contradiction in the concept of tremendous savings for consumers and tremendous profits for retailers at the same time? For Black Friday many people arrive the day before, getting in cold lines outside stores, waiting for store doors to open. Then they charge like some mad mob into the stores. This year there was video footage of people being knocked down and walked over by shoppers in their eagerness to give retailers their money. In previous years women were photographed in tug of war over garments at a sales table. After they got through fighting over the garment I do not believe I would have wanted it. Two of my wife’s sisters do something I have been told a number of people practice. They either travel to where a lot of outlet stores are located or they go to Atlanta, staying overnight in a motel with their husbands. Somehow it is difficult for me to imagine how they are going to save enough shopping to pay the expenses of the trip. There must be some other benefit than saving money. So we celebrate a day of thanks, followed with a day of materialism, before we begin the season observing the advent of God with us. The more I think about it, the less Black Friday seems to fit into what I want on my mind this time of year. Of all the days of the year this is the one day I do not want to go to any store. For all that I will spend on any future Black Friday, the stores can stay in the red and my checkbook in the black. Christians involved in pushing, tugging, and snarling at one another for a few percent discount on overpriced items just does not seem to me Christ honoring activity. I fail to see the joy in shoving myself into a store full of struggling people to finally arrive before a sales clerk who cannot smile and say Merry Christmas. Black Friday may really be named for its mood..
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