The holidays can be nice and warm with family gatherings and friendly fellowship. They can also be a bit stressful, what with all the gifts we like to get for those we love. Personally, I’d be very happy to receive nothing more than the basics for Christmas, or any other day of the year for that matter. By “the basics,” I mean clean air and water, good food, a place to stay warm and dry, and the love of friends and family. What more can a person really ask from life? Oh maybe some clothing… I forgot to mention clothes. I’d probably need some of those; don’t want to frighten anyone with my wrinkly old body running around naked or anything.
After filling our American bellies with Thanksgiving dinners, this weird phenomenon called Black Friday arrives. Believe it or not there was a time when the term “Black Friday” was not necessarily known as a retailer’s most profitable time. According to Wikipedia, the term originated in Philadelphia some time in the 1960s, and was a negative reference to the large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the day after the US Thanksgiving. The term soon spread outward from Philly and has since gained recognition throughout the US as one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
However, the negative reference to Black Friday didn’t completely disappear. You see, Black Friday was the pet name we lowly employees gave what apparently was our company’s favorite day to lay people off. Our company was restructuring back in those very early 1990s, which of course meant layoffs. For whatever reason, Friday was always the day of choice to deliver the news to often unsuspecting layoff recipients. So on November 20, 1992, my Lovely Girlfriend saw me off to work, gave me a smooch and said, “Have a nice day!” I replied, “Well we’ll see, today is Black Friday.”
I was home by 11 AM with no job.
Being unemployed, at the very least, gives one pause to reflect about life, the universe and everything. And yeah, also about money. As it turned out, the layoff was actually a wonderful thing, because it helped me understand what’s really important in life. Also, my next career path turned out to pay better; and my skill set became much more marketable than it was prior to my layoff. So although I lost a job, I acquired a new appreciation for the simple things in life. You know, weird stuff like family, friends, and Mother Nature. Retirement has brought even more appreciation for those, and I’ve gained a great amount of appreciation of the saying, “one day at a time.”
Gears have shifted more toward Holy Remarkable Cheap Shopping Wow type of Black Fridays. I shake my head at the craziness that ensues each year. And hey, is it just me or have a few dozen Black Fridays sprung up over the years?? My e-mail inbox is always full of Black Friday deals for weeks on end. TV commercials saturate the airwaves with what seems to be an infinite amount of Black Friday deals. At least we don’t hear about shoppers camping out in front of store entrances or literally fighting over merchandise anymore. Hey, in years past, people were actually hurting each other in a race to get their favorite items that went on sale. Not so much these days. I did have to chuckle out loud, though, when I pulled in to the local Meijer to pick up a prescription and get a few grocery items. “Oh Holy Crap!! It’s Black Friday,” I uttered as I spied the nearly full parking lot. I found myself grateful I could get the prescription at the drive up window, and the grocery aisles were pretty much empty of shoppers.
Well I hope all of you had a very nice Thanksgiving. We had a great time with our Family Of Choice. No drama, just some laughs, lots of love, and plenty of delicious food. Oh, and the Lions lost.
Well kids, the video for this week has absolutely nothing to do with Black Friday, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.