The Shopping Spectacle . . .

I am an analytical, logical thinker. For my career with computers and math, this method of thought is a marvelous one to have. I can easily understand the many different views to situations and problems. My mind sorts through information and attempts to organize it automatically. When it comes to social problems and emotional issues, my analytical mind jumps in and attempts to figure it out in the same way even though many of those situations are far from logical. All the same, I feel fortunate to have the ability to comprehend all views (except when I can not shut it off in the wee hours of sleeping).

Logically, I understand how Black Friday has become such an extreme spectacle. The huge corporate stores need the sales at the end of the year. Consumers love a sale and Christmas has always been a “buying” season. My mind, however, does not stop there .. it keeps analyzing everything about it. It disturbs me that these two underlying factors (make money/save money) over the past few years have mushroomed into a huge nuclear type cloud that is engulfing our society in “stuff” and stealing more and more of our Thanksgiving holiday each year. This seemingly win-win consumerism mess is covertly destroying parts of our life that in my opinion should have more meaning.

Look what making a buck and saving a buck has done to our most thoughtful and uncommercialized holiday … Thanksgiving. The special day set aside once a year for us to take the time to enjoy friends and families by sharing our blessings and great food has been sped up, if not eliminated, by a shopping frenzy. In many homes it has become a rush to get the meal over with so that the shopping offense and defense can begin. How many of us have spent more time planning our midnight shopping rampage this year then we did our Thanksgiving dinner? Shouldn’t Thanksgiving Day be spent focused on friends and family and thankfulness … instead of Wanting? It seems to me, society is forcing us to choose … meaningful time with people vs being the first in line to get whatever big advertised discount caught our eye.

I totally understand why things are the way they are this year, I have looked at it from every angle … the problem is I just don’t get it. Could someone please tell me what I am missing? Last night, I thought that maybe if I went to a store as a spectator this year, watched the spectacle maybe I would get it … maybe I would feel what all these other people feel about the “big sale” … but, I really doubt it. I have no desire to participate. There is nothing material I want worth the price of crowds and my sanity.

I guess I can blame it on my country living or my logical brain and it’s continual questioning search to understand something it may never be able to rationalize for me. As I write, my mind is still pondering so many things . . .

To the Big Stores: Do you realize that you have now trained millions of people to only shop/buy things during a “sale”? I personally will never buy anything without a markdown sticker because you have shown me that your price tags are naturally inflated and the price will eventually come down. Except for a few emergency situations … guess what? … I am very patient. I can wait for you to lower your prices. And, sometimes while I am waiting, I realize I don’t really need whatever it was.

Consumers: The word “Sale” catches most of us. Black Friday super sales make some of us buying crazy. After we are successful in being the first in line to grab that tv that is basically being given away .. how many other “sale” items are going to end up in your cart were things you knew you wanted/needed before you got psychologically caught up in the buying frenzy? How many of your “deals” are going to end up in a box in the basement, a storage facility or a landfill within a few months?

I would love to start a campaign to boycott Black Friday sales (especially the ones that start on Thanksgiving) and encourage people to demand the return of our Thanksgiving holiday.

Just think what the big stores would do if no one showed up to the Black Friday sales this year? Consumers have power. Imagine the sales that would appear the following week to get you into the stores? OH NO, on second thought, scratch that entire thought … it will just fuel the craziness of the whole situation.

Instead, think logically … We all know that Black Friday prices are not going to be the cheapest of the year. We still have all the last minute Christmas eve sales and the bright and early day after Christmas clearance sales where most of the items you thought you got on sale will be even cheaper.

I am sorry for being a Black Friday Shopping party-pooper. If you enjoy it, I how you are out having fun in the craziness this year. But, in the back of your mind, will think about next year for me? Together, we could save Thanksgiving 2012 by doing our 2012 Christmas Shopping during the clearance sales this December and boycotting Black Friday 2012. My mathematical mind thinks the odds are totally against this happening … but my optimistic side hopes there is a chance things will change and “buying” will not take over the last few months of 2012 .. there are much more important things to do and experience at this time of year.

I hope you had a Happy Turkey Day!

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~ by bearyweather on November 25, 2011.

12 Responses to “The Shopping Spectacle . . .”

  1. I generally do not like to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This year my youngest will be out of state for Christmas, so after Thanksgiving dinner we put up the tree…first time ever we’ve put up the tree so early. I do not EVER venture out to the stores on Black Friday, however today in the comfort of my home and my laptop I’ve secured some great online deals which is how I do most of my shopping anyway! Hope your Thanksgiving Day was wonderful.

    • Like you, I do most of my shopping online. I like how easy it is to compare prices and specifications about what you are actually buying. Besides, towns large enough for real shopping are over an hour away.

      I have not had a tree for several years, I have two small live evergreen trees in my house all year long that get some decorations. I do go out and cut some boughs and decorate my windows, fireplace mantle and railings with fresh pine and bows.

  2. I boycott it every year. πŸ™‚

    • Yeah.
      My readers/commenters are so wise πŸ˜‰ … Or, we all think alike.
      So far, everyone who has commented boycotts it. We are off to a great start for saving Thanksgiving next year.

  3. One of the many things that I’m thankful for this time of year is that I live over 80 miles from the city and all of the Black Friday nonsense. Just reading about it makes me rather sad at the sad state of our species.

    • Montucky … I feel the same sadness. I am 65 miles away from the craziness of Black Friday and I am grateful every day to be where I am. Our society has some huge problems … living where I do takes me out of the daily issues, but does not isolate me from the effects.

  4. Hi Bearyweather, I don’t participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I am not fond of crowded stores or huge malls and love small-town living. I was raised in the greater Los Angeles area so I have had enough of big cities and urban shopping. Once in a while is fine but as a rule, I shop very locally. I also have been trying hard to simplify. Glad you wrote such a powerful post today! Have an excellent weekend!

    • Yeah, another boycotting Black Friday shopper. Since I do most of my shopping online, I do not boycott Cyber Monday. However, I do not go crazy and buy things just because they are on sale. I usually have several items in a shopping cart or on my list that I have looked at in the past … and if the price comes down this weekend, it is the time to buy it.

      Thanks for adding your comments to the conversation.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped on Black Friday–in fact basically have challenges with the whole shopping issue altogether. I can relate to so much of what you have shared here. Wouldn’t it be lovely if folks could get along with only what was necessary? It often feels like our whole capitalistic system is like a cancer of more, more, more… Thanks for this post reminding me once again of the joys of simplicity.

    • Walking around stores at any time is not my idea of fun, either … and the crowds on big sale days would make it even worse. So often during the last week or so I have heard stories on the radio about how “shopping” and “buying” are what runs our economy .. this sick consumer world we live in … I think that is sad and I like your analogy of it being like a cancer. When you have to pay rent on several storage facilities just to store your “stuff” … you have too much “stuff”.

  6. “The more you own, the more you are possessed Keep freeof material things.and enjoy life as it comes.” – Elsa Maxwell.

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