I know for some of you the idea that I might actually like to get out in the stores on “Black Friday” may seem crazy. And yet, it is one of those family traditions that we cultivated as I grew up. Just after the Thanksgiving meal was cleared away, we spread the newspaper ads across the floor on the hunt for the best buy of the day.
We mapped out our route each year according to the “doorbuster deals” and “early bird specials.” The potential holiday savings aren’t the only reason we brave the crowds. There is a fluttery excitement to be in the middle of such activity, to feel the collective energy of all the shoppers and be a part of the “hustle and bustle.” We start early, and I put on my hopeful grin and head out wondering just who will be that first person to whom I say “Merry Christmas” this year.
Many people tell me they hate Black Friday. They either avoid getting out all together or they reluctantly venture out to get the one deal they can’t pass up, but go home as soon as possible.
I have not said that all my Black Fridays have been a delight. The trick is to embrace the good parts and try to smooth over the rough spots. What other events in our lives could be made better by doing just this? How might we influence the lives of others if we adopted this practice?
So, give it a try as we move into this holiday season. Even the grumpiest Grinch can be soothed by a little kindness and a smile. Saving 50 percent on a great pair of shoes doesn’t hurt either!
Jenny Michael, former churchwide president for WELCA (2011-2014), is now in her third year of seminary at Wartburg Theological Seminary serving an internship in Laramie, Wyoming.
Photo by Abby Chicken, used with permission