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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Another short confession

Oh, I know, ho hum, ho hum. Boring when I promised interesting. The truth is, absolutely nothing the least bit interesting has passed my bloated mind in the past 48 hours. And now that I've seen college football has taken over the airwaves so I can't even watch mindless daytime TV, I'm feeling the need to get this ditty off my ample chest.

Today is Black Friday. That shopping day when the truely insane go outside at 4:00 am to line up outside electronics stores in order to snap up laptops at $300 each. Or get the XBox 360 for $199. Who brave Toys R Us in the middle of the night in order to save a few bucks on Monopoly and Clue. You know why it's called Black Friday? Because it's supposed to be the day when retail stores finally move into the black after 10 months of being in the red.

My confession: Black Friday means something very different to me. This is the day when I stop shopping until January. I do not enter stores unless it is a dire emergency from now till after New Years. I will go grocery shopping if I have to, but I try to find someone else to do it for me. I can't bear stores that are overcrowded, overdecorated, overly cheery, hot, and feel the need to replay Christmas music over and over again until I feel like I'm going to go into severe sensory overload.

Not surprisingly, we don't do Christmas in this house. We try as hard as we can to avoid it, in fact. It's not that hard in our community, which has a very large Jewish population and tries very hard to be sensitive to their clientele, most of whom couldn't care less about Christmas. So the local stores, the fancy boutiques and little shoppes, are pretty faithful about doing less offensive holiday decorations. Many only decorate for Hanukkah, in fact. Our town is good about working hard to respect all the residents, not just those that celebrate a 24 hour holiday for 3 months. I like that a lot about where we live.

However, once you venture beyond the little local businesses and branch out to the big box and chain stores, it's Christmas overload. This year most of the stores around here started their Christmas decorating and music before Halloween. It's too freaking much. The commercials started in AUGUST, for heavens sake, with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Show ticket commercial. By Halloween I was already sick of Christmas.

The onset of the holiday of overconsumption starts on Black Friday. That the shopping for Christmas is more important than the holiday itself is mind-boggling to me, and to many other people that do celebrate Christmas. It gets bigger and more invasive every year. There is no stopping it now. Soon it will start in June and be 6 months worth of red and green overload.

So I refuse to partake at all. Not for a second. Unless we have a severe underwear trauma, we just stop going to the store. What I can't order online waits until January. I just refuse to participate in this buying frenzy. I don't want any random purchase I make to be counted in the holiday sales figures. I know that seems radical and bizarre, but I don't support this kind of overconsumption at all, and I want to protest in my own little way against this shopping frenzy.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Teena said...

Hi! I'm here via Blog Fodder :)

Someone I work with made the 2 hour drive (she lives east of Toronto) to get to Niagara Falls, NY, to do some shopping. She was up at 3:00am! Insane!!!!

24/11/06 10:12 PM  
Blogger srp said...

If I do Christmas shopping I do it in the summer or after Christmas for the sales. It is unwise to buy computers and electronics before Christmas as the new operating systems and new computers usually come out in February. Tires are January. The other time I do gift shopping for the ladies is January 24, August 22nd.. the big gold rushes on QVC and their March and I believe September Silver all day sales. Best buys. Nyssa wanted to give all the girls on her basketball team something for the holidays... that's a dozen girls. QVC had a set of 13 sterling silver bracelets, all different links... for 15 bucks... They loved them and it didn't break the bank.

Here from Michele today.

25/11/06 4:40 PM  
Blogger David said...

undewear trauma?
here is hoping your undies hold together til New years! i am in a small town so when I shopp I do not deal w crowds. Yay.
Love Christmas, hate what greedy marketers have made it into.
michele bla bla bla

25/11/06 4:41 PM  

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