I don’t get it.
In fact, I find it unsettling.
If you haven’t seen the clips of people acting like complete animals, tackling, punching, slapping, and literally wrestling boxes right out of little kids’ hands, Google “Black Friday Fights.”
You’ll see what I’m talking about.
How do you go from giving thanks and sitting around a table with the people that you love the most to beating the shit out of random strangers on the official first day of the holiday season? The season of love and hope and miracles?
What the fuck is wrong with people?
We have such limited opportunities to be with our families. To spend time with them.
I’ve never been a shopper. So I don’t really get the excitement over shopping to begin with.
But today, as I was reading Facebook posts from people who were going out at 4 a.m. this morning for round two of Black Friday shopping, I found myself thinking about what Number 4 asked me yesterday.
“Mom, what did you get for Christmas when you were a kid?”
And you know what?
I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember much of anything.
The only thing I remembered was the year my parents got us an Atari.
(For all you youngsters, this was back in the mid seventies to eighties and that was one of the first video game systems in existence).
We were the last of my friends to have gotten one.
And I remember my parents telling me a couple years later that on Christmas Eve, before they wrapped up the box, they opened it up and they played Space Invaders until two o’clock in the morning.
I thought that was funny.
And then for the whole vacation, my brother and I played Space Invaders and Combat until we both had blisters on our thumbs that hurt so bad we finally had to cut ourselves off.
But other than that, I couldn’t tell you anything I got for Christmas when I was a kid.
Like I said before, I love a good deal.
But buying stuff because it’s a really good deal is still just accumulating more stuff that in the end, isn’t going to make you any happier. Not even if it’s a big ass screen TV that you got for $300 off the regular price.
I have a friend who is spending the holidays without his wife and the mother of his son. She passed away a couple years ago from leukemia. I don’t think they were probably the Black Friday kind of shopping family back when she was healthy.
But I also bet the most meaningful gift he and his late wife gave to his son wasn’t anything that was purchased in a big box from Walmart at 3 a.m. on Black Friday.
I would wager money that it was memories of time they spent together.
I know Black Friday is pretty much over now.
I spent mine with my kids. I didn’t buy one single thing.
But I did go on a walk in the woods with my kids.
That’s something I’d love to do with them every year the day after Thanksgiving.
And I think that’s something they’ll look back on and actually remember when they are older.
If you are about to head out on round three of Black Friday, maybe you could reconsider.
Maybe instead of rushing back out into the madness, you could spend the night with your family.
The biggest gift you can give them is the gift of your time and attention.
Because I guarantee they’re going to remember that in the years to come.
But that Hatchimal you’d be willing to tackle someone for?
By next year it will be old news.
And in twenty years?
There’s a very good chance it won’t even be a distant memory.