Black Friday Madness

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted December 2, 2010


With Christmas growing near, it’s that time year of again when some poor schlub invariably gets trampled at the gates of a big box store. In fact, you can practically set your watch by it.

Without fail, as Thanksgiving Thursday turns into Black Friday, the mobs begin to form preparing to storm the Bastille. Only it’s not their freedoms that they demand, but some discounted piece of junk that will make them the envy of their peers.

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be actually funny–as in some wild comedy skit gone awry.

After all, who are these people I often wonder watching them act like animals only hours later on youtube.

“We have met the enemy,” I say to myself, “and they are us.”

Yet the message we get never skips a note. In a steady drumbeat it is always the same: consume you people…consume.

Just like George Bush reminded us in the wake of 9/11, it’s always time to get your butts to the mall. Your country is depending on you.

So like cattle, folks camp out in tents so they can be the first ones through the door. Gotta have..gotta have…gotta have. Not long after, a few folks always get trampled in the process while no one bothers stop and help them up.

It is beyond pathetic.

Fortunately, some of those attitudes may be beginning to change….

From Reuters by Patricia Reaney entitled: Americans to buy fewer holiday gifts, spend less: poll

Nearly half of Americans will be buying fewer gifts this holiday season and many will be making home-made presents or donating money to charity, according to a new poll.

With the number of unemployed hovering over 9 percent and the economy still in the doldrums, Americans are reconsidering how much they will spend and on whom they will spend it.

Thirty five percent of people questioned in the survey said they were giving fewer gifts because they had less money this year and only 10 percent planned to spend more.

In addition to cutting back, 71 percent of Americans said it was important to set agreed spending limits for gifts between family and friends.

But 35 percent of the 1,000 people questioned in the nationwide survey for The Responsibility Project by Liberty Mutual insurance said they have paid more than they could afford on gifts.

“The most surprising finding was the emphasis on charity. People think that they would rather have people donate to charity than purchase a gift for them,” said Kelly Holland, vice president/research director at Ketchum, the public relations and marketing company that conducted the survey.

Eighty one percent of adults said they appreciate when someone makes a donation to charity instead of a giving a gift, and 74 percent said they would volunteer their time as a gift if others regarded it as responsible giving.

Instead of buying socks, ties, sweaters or other gifts, 33 percent of the people intended to give home-made gifts and 21 percent planned to volunteer their time.

“More than half of people will have some sort of alternative gift-giving,” Holland explained.

Most people also thought there was nothing wrong with re-gifting — giving presents they had received to others.”

I mean seriously, does anyone actually gain that much satisfaction from all of this stressed out gift giving or do we do it just because it’s what everybody else does?

You know, there is a reason why most adults secretly tend to dread it all. It does tend to be on the anticlimactic side.

I say that, because in my mind, Christmas gift giving is, was and will always be about making children smile. Unlike the rest of us they actually get so excited about it that they can barely sleep at night.

Big difference.

BTW, here’s a look some of the madness going on in the stores these days…’s downright scary.



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