Yesterday was Black Friday. Interesting name, Black Friday. I understand that it came to be since the first shopping day of the Christmas season was traditionally the first day that a lot of stores saw their books go into the "black", that is, to show a profit for the year. After that first day, the rest of the year was gravy.
I am amused that the only other day that I can think of that is referred to as "black" anything is Black Tuesday. You remember - the day in 1929 when the stock market crashed, when men leapt to their deaths from Wall Street offices, when the Great Depression began.
I think that the current Black Friday more resembles Black Tuesday than it should. It was the day in 2012 when mob mentality ruled the stores, when men physically fought over who got to buy the trampoline at WalMart, when the Great Depression began.
I remember Christmas shopping. I loved Christmas shopping. When I was growing up, everyone in my family got a gift from every other member of my family. When I was very small, Mom bought the presents we gave my Dad and Dad gave us the money to buy presents for Mom. Some things were tradition, year after year. Dad always got red handkerchiefs for work, JC Penney white pima cotton T shirts, boxer shorts, Old Spice, and a carton of cigarettes (they came in already decorated boxes). Mom got a new nightgown, a new robe, new slippers, Desert Flower hand lotion, white "go to Church" embroidered handkerchiefs from the 5 & 10, and, after my oldest sister bought them the first time, Bromley lemon soaps that came from England in a little wooden crate.
Christmas shopping was an event. You dressed for it, you went to town, you bought your gifts, and then, if you were very lucky, you got to have lunch in the mezzanine of the department store. Ladies wore holiday corsages on their coats and everyone seemed a bit more patient, a bit kinder.
The only time I go to a mall now is when my grandson and I do the Salvation Army Angel Tree. We make it an event. We go to town, we buy our gifts, always starting with a book, and then, when we are done, we have lunch together and I get a new picture of him with Santa. He humors me now by allowing this and it is one of the things that I most appreciate in him - his kindness.
So, I hope you all survived Black Friday. I hope those of you who attended saved enough money to make it worth your time. I wish you all a kinder, gentler, more civil Christmas shopping season.