Eureka! Cure for Black Friday blues discovered
Cure is as ancient as it is wise...just stop.
If you have the Black Friday Blues, do not despair, there's a cure for that. Each year, the hustle and bustle of the shopping season consumes entire weekends and now, at least part of Thanksgiving Day itself, ruining the spiritual nature of the season for many. However, there is a cure for what ails you.
While inscribed nearly two millennia ago, the words resonate today as shoppers wrangle and are caught up in the drunken debauchery of consumerism. The cure then, is to simply disengage from the hassle altogether.
Nobody is saying you cannot exchange gifts, but reason should prevail. Few can agree that the Black Friday hoopla and the encroachment of Christmas marketing on the Thanksgiving season is desirable. Christmas is already being marketed as early as October in some cases.
In my household, Black Friday, and indeed the entire weekend is quite a relaxing time. By refusing to go out and participate in an orgy of conspicuous consumption, I ensure a quiet and relaxing occasion for my family. There is no television set large enough, thin enough, or discounted enough that it is worth contending with my neighbor for it. Nor has the gadget yet been invented that is, to me, worth robbing my fellow faithful brothers and sisters of time with their family on Thanksgiving itself.
When we spend our money, we are casting votes for the kind of world we'd like to see. The crush of Thanksgiving and Black Friday shoppers only encourages retailers to outdo one another the following year as they compete for your dollars. That means more encroachment, more commercialism, and more absurdity. And less reverence for the true meaning of the season.
None of this is healthy. Thankfully, the cure is much simpler than popping a pill or hiring a therapist. It's as easy as reading a single verse in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans and remembering that it's okay to relax. It's okay to unplug and avoid the wrangling and the jealousy.
I don't care how cheaply you bought your new iPad. I'm not jealous of you because I already have something far more precious to enjoy. I have my family and my Lord, and what gadget could replace even a moment of joy spent with them?
I challenge you to try the cure, and drop out of the madness, replacing the time you spend standing in line with time spent enjoying your family. Trust me, you'll feel better in no time!
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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