In my household, there has been a long-standing tradition of sleeping at an early hour on Thanksgiving, in order to rise before dawn, the next day. I am not fond of mall shopping, nor am I enthralled with the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. Yet, there is something to be said about snagging that “true bargain”, the day after Thanksgiving.
For years, I would spend the weeks leading up to this monumental shopping day, perusing the massive sales ads, which typically boast from 40-70 pages of “deals”. I would create a spreadsheet with a wish list of products that I would like to purchase for each of my family members. I’d note the price and location of each potential gift. Then, I would research the most desirable time to visit each store, even mapping out the order that I would visit each place.
Now that Black Friday has become so competitive among retailers, many stores has opted to start opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, as well. After a failed attempt to check out the sales, one Thanksgiving evening, I made the executive decision that my household would not participate in shopping on a day when I feel my family should be the focus of my attention. I would, however, take full advantage of the sales, starting with the wee hours of the next morning.
Fast forward to today. In recent weeks, I developed my spreadsheet, and even though I was a bit disappointed by the sales that have been published this year, I was prepared to be a part of the mass hysteria that has become such a tradition for me. Due to circumstances completely out of my control, but still so prevalent and personal in my life, I have made the decision to opt-out of shopping, this holiday weekend.
My heart aches due to the injustice that has recently been witnessed worldwide, as it goes on in my backyard. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. I spent eight years away from my hometown, but I returned, last year. While I definitely do not condone, nor do I support any type of aggressive behavior, there is no time like the present, for me to take a stand. I pay my taxes, I vote, I speak about what I believe. I know that I have the right, as a consumer, not to support anything that I have lost respect for. I can’t allow myself to enjoy partaking in a day (or weekend) that is truly about greed, gluttony, frivolous spending, and filling the pockets of those who don’t assist in or even support the development of our nation, our world, or humanity. It saddens me to think of the state that we are in, as a species, in 2014. I will most certainly celebrate Thanksgiving day with my family, enjoying the company of my loved ones, but no shopping will take place, this weekend, at least not by my household.
Lord, please have mercy on us and continually order our steps, guiding us toward a world where we can not simply co-exist, but love and respect each other as you intended. Amen.