“What deals are we going to score on Black Friday, Daddy?”
As many of you know, the term “Black Friday” has been around since the 1960’s. It refers to the fact that on this day of prodigious shopping many stores move from “red ink” to “black ink” in their accounting records—indicating a profit for the year.
It is something of a marketing miracle that we have come to view a bookkeeping milestone as “the best shopping day of the year.” Yet, this past Tuesday, I actually heard a person confess that she would “feel guilty” if she wasn’t part of the scrum. No wonder some have been stampeded trying to get the best deals!
This year, for the second year in a row, I am boycotting Black Friday.
I am not doing it as a protest against capitalism. I figure the stores deserve to profit, their hard-working employees deserve to be paid, and the economy needs the boost. I also figure the marketing people are just doing their jobs stimulating that part of our brains that says, “I must have one of those and I must have it now!”
Instead, I am avoiding shopping because I refuse to have my calendar taken over by one more made-up day. Historians tell us that John Calvin purged the calendar in Geneva, Switzerland of all holidays that were not specifically related to Christ. I suppose that’s a bit extreme, but I respect Calvin’s inner curmudgeon!
If we are going to add days to our crazy calendars, I would rather that the new day ask us to contemplate simple, sacred things and engage in activities that will strengthen our souls and our relationships.
Last year, our family invented “Biscuit Day.” Biscuit Day falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. In the morning, everyone gets floured up and makes biscuits. We eat the warm pastries with raspberry jam. Then we go out into Central Park, to a place where there are a lot of trees, and try to catch twirling, tumbling leaves—before they hit the ground! Even the dog joins in.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I also hope that you will consider adding Biscuit Day—or some other food-for-your-soul day—to your calendar. Oh yah, and speaking of calendars, this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. The greens are up. The sanctuary looks fabulous! Join us and bring a friend, as we begin the journey toward a holy Christmas.
See you in worship,