Saturday, November 29, 2008

I think I'll stay home next year~~~

I've shopped on Black Friday only three times in the past 25 years. I don't brave the crowds on that particular day because usually I am one of those folks who has completed all my shopping before Thanksgiving and have gifts under the fully decorated tree by sundown on Black Friday.

But yesterday, there I was in the JC Pennys store at 4 a.m. - I could have done all my shopping on line - I was there because of an in store coupon that would supposedly save me some money in addition to the door busters and big sale dollars saved. The crowd in Pennys wasn't too bad - most folks were polite and smiled apologetically as they knocked you out of the way to reach their goals; my only real complaint was that that $15.00 off coupon the company sent to my inbox on Thanksgiving didn't didn't work because in its very, very fine print it said that it only worked on items that weren't on sale already. Irritated that the reason I had actually gotten out of bed at 3 a.m. was now voided, I looked around and then asked the cashier just where the items that were not on sale were located. She couldn't tell me. I wished her a happy holiday. As we left the store, we heard others complaining about the coupons that had arrived in their inboxes that weren't any good.......I grumbled just under my breath about how this bordered on false advertising.........

Nikki and I next headed to Walmart. Once again, I could have bought the items I went in for online...but since I was already wide awake and in town, we braved the very crowded store. Having gotten the bounty, we headed over to the grocery section to pick up a few things there. That was when the nightmare began. I had gone in for clothing...I think every other soul there was hoping for one of the TV's or BlueRays that were available for ridiculously low prices and in very short supply.

As Nikki and I desparately hung on to our smiles and our cheerfulness we asked folks to let us through - one woman looked at me and smiled as she said "go ahead, but please don't beat me up.....I've already been hurt this morning". Thinking she was joking, Nikki and I paused to reassure her that we would be careful...only to see that her arm was scratched, bleeding and already bruising. That stopped us in our tracks.....she explained that folks had gotten into a brawl over one of the 50 inch flat screen TVs and that she had been battered in the process.

We headed over to the self checkout and completed our Walmart errands. As we walked out the doors we heard sirens and saw an ambulance, fire truck, and police cars coming in. I looked at my daughter and said "we'll not do this again...its taking your life in your own hands".

Our last stop before heading home was the Walgreens where folks were a lot more cheerful and patient. But as we all waited for 7 a.m. and the cashiers to begin to ring us up with the doorbuster prices, the conversation led to Walmart. Most of us had already been there earlier and all had heard of the brawl over electronics. One particular lady shared with us that she had not gone to Walmart and wouldn't ever again on a Black Friday. She said that last year two women had followed her out to her car and beaten on her doors and windows because they thought she had taken the last certificate for a sold out electronics item. She hadn't, she had simply crossed through the line in front of them, just as Nikki and I had done with the injured lady that morning.

By now, I'm sure you've all heard about the temporary Walmart employee who was trampled to death in New York yesterday morning.

Christmas isn't about the gifts that we buy. Christmas isn't about Black Friday. Christmas is about a spirit of love and forgiveness and the hoped for peace on earth. Although most of the folks I saw yesterday were trying their best to find joy in the beginning of this most special season, although most were sharing their smiles with other shoppers, there were still too many who forgot the reason we celebrate this season....all because of flat screen tvs.

I think I'll stay home next year.

1 comment:

  1. I've long been concerned about the crassness of Black Friday. I'm so sad and disgusted about that poor employee. I hope this brings some change for next year. We all need to re-think the meaning of the season.


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