Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

The day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year. And now, some of the big box stores are inching into Thanksgiving Day itself by opening on Thursday afternoon. A national day of giving thanks has become a national day of acquiring more. We call it Black Friday. At least we named it well.

I think football is to blame. When over-fed men won’t converse with their families, but pile into stuffed chairs and watch football into oblivion, women go shopping. It is payback for the scant thanks the women got for all their hard cooking. I know; this sounds very sexist. Men do cook and women do like football. I’m generalizing here.

But I’m still sad that stores are opening on Black Friday and Thankful Thursday. Because we don’t need more practice at buying stuff. We need more practice at conversing, playing, walking, and talking—at being a family who exits the rat race for a respite of gratitude. It’s hard to do that while you’re wrestling a bargain toy from a fellow human or snoozing to another NFL game.

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The Spirit of Christmas Present

The Spirit of Christmas Present

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough. But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after (I Timothy 6:6-10, The Message).

These were the words of Paul to a young man. Greed begins early, and seldom takes its foot off the pedal until we are in the grave.

The Commercialism of Christmas

Somewhere in the world right now, advertisers are in the middle of their Christmas assault. They no longer wait until the Thanksgiving table is cleared. Around Labor Day they begin telling us to get a jump on the Christmas shopping. I must confess some sarcasm about the commercialism of Christmas.

I believe in going to the mall once a year, for about 15 minutes. If I were the American prototype, the country would be in a serious recession. Merchants would be closing their stores in droves. I hate to shop. And walking the mall to look at what’s there is my idea of torture. My wife, on the other hand, is the patron saint of merchants. And I find the gift-giving scene on Christmas morning a joyous occasion, due largely to her shopping excursions on behalf of our whole family. If it’s April, she already has her eye on December 25.

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