Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lighting up Black Friday


Thanksgiving is nearly here!  How I love this holiday devoted to the idea of giving thanks for all our blessings.  And how I need it!


Hard on the heels of Thanksgiving, though, comes a day that almost seems to be devoted to forgetting all our blessings and clamoring for more: Black Friday.

Of course, it's not so simple as that.  Retailers depend on pre-Christmas sales to push them from the red into the black.  Many people who need jobs are able to find employment in stores in anticipation of the rush of sales.  Lots of gift-givers depend on pre-Christmas sales to be able to afford the things they'd like to give away.  Some parents count on Black Friday in particular as the one day they're able to do their Christmas shopping.   So it's not all bad.

But when bargain-seekers trample one another in a race to grab the best deals?  That's bad.
When drivers are reckless in their rush to secure parking spaces?  That's bad.
When shoppers are rude, even abusive, to weary clerks and store managers?  That's bad.

Is the answer to boycott Black Friday?  Is the answer for all of us to stay home and buy nothing? Maybe.  But that approach ignores the good things about Black Friday, doesn't it?

Perhaps a better approach is for us all to consider how we might light up Black Friday.  I wonder how we could do that?

Some of us could stay home, for sure.  But perhaps instead of vilifying retailers and condemning shoppers, we could pray for their well-being.

Some of us will be working on Black Friday.  Instead of feeling resentful toward shoppers, we could be grateful for our jobs and thankful that our businesses can move from the red into the black.

Some of us will be shopping on Black Friday.  Instead of focusing solely on our own shopping agendas, we could look out for one another.  We could stop to help a fellow shopper in need.  We could express thanks to store personnel for their hard work.  We could wait patiently in long lines, smiling at one another rather than rolling our eyes.

Or here's a radical thought.  What if those of us who go out shopping took some treats in our pockets and purses?  What if went out with the intention of blessing those around us as well as finding the items on our lists?

Wouldn't it be cool if some of us, instead of giving a store clerk a grumpy frown, gave him or her a smile and a candy bar?

Wouldn't it be neat if some of us, instead of allowing ourselves to be frustrated by the shopper who is irritating us, gave him or her a smile and a piece of gum?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all tried to share our lights on Black Friday, and we thanked others for sharing theirs?



What do you think?  Could we light up Black Friday?  Do you have any ideas on how we could do it?



9 comments:

Kathy Olson said...

I love that idea of giving treats to the employees! Wouldn't you love to see their faces light up?

Meghan said...

Awesome idea!

Erin said...

I'd like to see the Christ put back in Christmas. That may mean teaching your children that they don't need another toy, or accepting that, if the Lord has not given you the means to purchase lots of gifts, you may not be able to give many material items to your loved ones. A great way to shine our light would be to let Black Friday be a day when, if you are so blessed, you purchase gifts for those in need - children who otherwise would not have a gift, toiletries for the homeless, canned goods for food pantries which are SO in need now, or the makings of a care package for our service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Or we could bring Thanksgiving goodies like pumpkin bread to our local police and fire stations to thank those men and women for what they do. Check with your church - the staff always knows of someone in need. Perhaps shining your light on Black Friday might mean sharing your faith with a shut-in. There are powerful ways we can shine our light everyday. Perhaps meditating on a particular Bible verse in the morning and then sharing that with a friend later in the day is one. Just some thoughts.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

YES! This little light of mine.....I'm gonna let it shine!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Great post, Richella! I don't usually go out on Black Friday; but, this would be a great idea to share the light with others!! Your points are all spot on! I will look at Black Friday differently now!

Joanne W said...

Paying it forward, shining our light, having concern for others...sounds amazing, sounds like someplace I'd want to spend Black Friday. Let's make it happen!

Debby Ray said...

I use Black Friday to start lighting up for the Christmas season...this works well for me since I am off on Fridays. It's something I have done for years and after Thanksgiving is over, I am finally ready to get in gear for the season. The shopping can wait...at least for me. If you are one who goes out shopping, your different ideas about how to bless those who are working, etc. are perfect ways to light up their day!

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

My comment disappeared :(
Beautifully written and great ideas. It would be wonderful if Thanksgiving and Christmas were all about spending time with family and celebrating Christ and all our blessings rather than the retail emphasis and frantic, slowing down to spend time on those things that really matter.
Blessings,
Cindy

kathie said...

Thanks, Richella, for sharing your heart, and helping us all to have an attitude of gratitude.

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