The Christmas Countdown

Nov 25, 2016 | 1 comment

holidaylegsIt’s “Black Friday” – a concept I have never really come to grips with.  I’m still stuck in the historical meaning of ‘black’ as applied to a day when a calamity occurred.  Each year I have to remind myself that, nowadays, and in reference to the day after Thanksgiving, the term has to do with consumerism.  Still a negative connotation to me, I’m afraid. I can’t really get behind a holiday devoted to spending money.

It’s a bit horrifying to me that twenty-four of our fifty states have official holidays for state government employees on “The Day after Thanksgiving.” Rather than a day for continuing the Thanksgiving holiday or giving a little travel time for those far from home, rushing out to shop has become the focus.  Stores that open at six ayem.  Stores that open at midnight.  Stores that are open on Thanksgiving Day.  To say nothing of cyber stores.

heres-a-complete-list-of-black-friday-store-hours

Today at Wallmart’s – AP Photo

In my earliest memory, we began thinking about Christmas in the summer.  We saved rose petals, carefully drying them for sachets and about the time school began each year, I began laboring over my embroidery hoop, working on tea towels for my female relatives.  In December we made peanut brittle, especially for my grandfathers and great uncles.  The terms “shopping days till Christmas” had little meaning.  Money was too scarce.  And we were imbued with the ideas of “the spirit of the day.”

I wonder what my grandparents would have thought about today’s scenes of shopping chaos on television.  I doubt that it would have computed at all.  (I remember my grandfather’s insistence on getting Dinah Shore a cup of coffee when she appeared on his first TV set in 1956.  Fortunately, by the time the coffee came, he was happy to drink it, himself, forgetting that he had requested it for “that little gal” who appeared to be in our living room.)  How confusing the scenes of today/s Black Friday would have been.

carolers

Norman Rockwell Carolers

And… assuming we survive today, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday are coming right up.  Maybe we should just put all our cash and credit cards in a big collective pile and have FreeForAll Consumer Day and be done with it.

But then, I’m not a shopper.  I have a hard time relating.  I much prefer to think in terms of Santa has thirty sleeps till Christmas!  I’m looking for my old embroidery hoop…

1 Comment

  1. Cindi

    Well written ! This brings me into a nostalgic mood, wishing for Norman Rockwell scenes of chubby cheeked children, remembering myself being all nervous to talk to Santa and rides into the woods with my Dad and brother to hunt for our Christmas tree. Oh the smell of the Douglas Fir once it was brought into the house! I have never had an artificial tree, and don’t believe I ever will. Then, there was always the ever-present hope for a white Christmas. Living in Western Oregon, the chances were slim-to-none. I had to wait until I was 31 to see my first white Christmas, and that was merely a half inch of freezing rain covered by a skiff of snow.

    I am not a consumerist giver either. I prefer to bake my presents for family and friends. It is always the right size and I have never had anything returned in disappointment. I long for simpler times, less-hectic schedules and actual focus on family, friends and the meaning of Christmas.

    I hope we all take the time to enjoy the holidays and show our love to those we care about.

    Reply

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