I did not go shopping today. It wasn't really by choice so much as we are broker than broke right now and will probably stay that way through the new year. Still, I haven't felt the need to go out & shop in the wee hours of the morning since my son was 8 months old and I thought he HAD TO HAVE a certain educational toy. I got there at 4am that year because 5am was the earliest Toys R Us opened at the time. (It was about 10 years ago.) I got into the store ok, but the checkout line was horrendous. We waited 2 and a half hours just to check out. After that I swore never again.
Over the years I would peruse the sale ads in the newspaper and online and the one thing I kept noticing was that these so called "Door Buster Deals" would claim to not be available after the Black Friday crush, but no sooner had the mayhem died down when from the bowels of the store rooms would come an entire PALLET FULL of the item in question ready to be displayed till empty. So, where is the incentive for me to get out of my warm bed at god forsaken hours of the morning just to be first to get that ridiculous item on my shopping list? No, I do not need that.
Also over the years, I read & watched the news stories trickle in about the violence that erupted on Black Friday. Pepper Spray, fist fights, people being trampled.... How can you justify getting a low price on a game system as an excuse for trampling another human to death? How can you live with yourself knowing little Jimmy's precious toy cost someone a visit to the ER because you tripped that someone and they got hurt running to the toy aisle? You can't. They are just things. Things will come, and things will go, trust me...I am an EXPERT on that kind of thing. You can always get more stuff, but a family having to go without their loved one because they died in a mass Black Friday stampede isn't cool.
I was glad to see that 2012 didn't have any BIG Black Friday meltdowns. Here in Florida we had a couple of people get shot at a local big box store, but police aren't sure if that had any connection to Black Friday. I'm hoping it didn't. Now don't get me wrong, I am not begrudging all Black Friday shoppers. I know of some good people who make a plan, know what they want, yet they are kind to others shopping with them. That's what Black Friday needs, some compassion from the shoppers. Don't scream at the clerks or cashiers. Don't power elbow your fellow consumers. Don't be a jerk. The world has enough ugly in it right now. If you don't believe me, just turn on CNN and watch it for a while. The world is a messed up place right now. Don't add to the monstrosity.
This year? I'll be lucky if HHH & I can even afford ONE gift per child. One really inexpensive gift. I know a lot of folks up in the northeast that got smacked by Hurricane Sandy are in that same boat. Just like the families in Indianapolis who's houses blew up.... just like the Hostess Bakers & workers who will be out looking for jobs instead of gifts... I could go on. I guess I'm saying one thing here and that's Please Please Please be kind. Don't be the black in Black Friday.
Show the color of love instead.