Let me be clear: I love Christmas, and I love presents. My love language is definitely gifts. When I discovered that book, it effectively removed all guilt I feel associated with the fact that I get a total kick out of towers of presents under the tree, wrapping paper, and saving all my presents for last so I can savor the opening of every last one. I left that book, open, highlighted, and in the middle of the dining room table, for my husband to read. I leave little hints all over and run Facebook campaigns for my annual birthday present. If you want to know how to make me feel special, give me a present.
As a radical, Jesus-loving Christian freak, I know that Christmas is about so much more than presents. Really, I get it. But I love them just the same.
Yesterday I was at the mall. Thanksgiving is still 2 weeks away, but Santa had already arrived. At the Sears end of the mall, I am positive that they piped in the smell of pine to make me want to buy more (although really all it did was make me remember to clean the toilet when I got home). I am definitely in the Christmas spirit. I am ready to shop and ready to wrap and I can’t even tell you how ready I am to eat — but that’s a whole different post.
I re-read the absolutely hysterical blog post by Jen over at People I Want To Punch in the Throat about the Elf on the Shelf and began the search for the Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas CD (it’s in my car buried somewhere under the spare mittens, the pile of discarded homework, and flyers from school).
But then I started seeing ads for Black Friday.
Now, back when I was young, I loved Black Friday. Kathy Grady and I would go shopping at Garden State Plaza and eat at Roy Rogers. I would spend money I didn’t really have on presents I couldn’t really afford, but I loved presents so I did it anyway. I got joy out of finding people the stuff that would appropriately communicate how much I loved them, since due to my family’s complete co-dependent dysfunction, none of us can just come out and say it.
But these days, Black Friday is a completely different ball game.
First of all, it starts at some ungodly hour of the morning, and people buy tents for the occassion. Tents! They camp out in front of stores like Best Buy and Walmart to get the best deals on electronics!
Then they trample people! I mean, literally trample. As in, kill. Dead. They bring guns with them. They punch security personnel and run over the elderly greeters that wear those smiley face pins.
When did this happen? Why have we become so incredibly controlled by super-store driven consumerism that we are willing to stomp all over other people — literally — for a tv or a Wii?
I hereby appeal to all holiday-shopping Americans. Consider this a change.org-like petition to humanity: Let us not trample or kill in the name of Christmas. Let us be willing to pay a little extra so that another family can enjoy their loved ones for another year. And maybe, just maybe, we send a message to the Tar-jays and the Large-Marts and the Best Purchases that they can let their employees have a good night’s sleep, just like we’re doing. Because we’re going to spend Thursday night in bed in a turkey coma and when we awake, sluggish, we’ll caffienate appropriately before we head out to the mall, so we can act like humans that we are.