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Eureka! Cure for Black Friday blues discovered

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The cure can be found by anyone who reads their Bible, "Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy," (Romans 13:11-14).

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!

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