In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

I went shopping yesterday. Ugh!

The day after Thanksgiving is now commonly known as Black Friday. It's a day that retailers rely on shoppers to go out and spend money like crazy. There are some good deals, but they hope that you will spend on more than just the deals.

The last few times that we've been in Seattle for Thanksgiving, we have gotten up at the early morning hours to go to the mall and laugh at the shoppers who are fighting over a $500 flat-screen TV. We don't usually have the intention of buying anything our selves, but we sometimes get tempted. Of course, by the time you get to the line to the check-out THAT WRAPS AROUND THE WHOLE STORE, you suddenly decide that you don't need whatever it is that you are tempted to buy.

This year, we had resolution that we were not doing it. However, we did go out later in the morning to get some stuff. We missed the initial crush of crowds, but the places were still pretty busy. We got the stuff that we needed, and I don't think we need to go shopping again.

My problem is that I don't like Black Friday. I don't like buying crap for Christmas, just because it's on sale. I don't want to get someone something they don't really want, but that I wanted to get them. I think that there is massive pressure to buy just to buy. Christmas has gotten out of control. We don't need to celebrate the birth of Jesus by propping up a culture of consumption. I was hoping that the recession would have taught us to act differently. I have yet to see evidence that it has.

There is a good book out this year called Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays by Joel Waldfogel. It presents a good case of why we shouldn't be spending our money like crazy. Maybe I should put that book on my Christmas list!


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