The biggest shopping day of the year. Called “Black Friday” because it isn’t until late November that most retail businesses are profitable for the year – go “into the Black”.
Incessant chatter leads up to the big day – bargains here, bargains there! Don’t miss it! Even the “news media” pushes this – noting the hype, and how retailers are pulling out all the stops to garner our precious cash! But at the same time, they spew newsphlegm about how important it is for us consumers to get out there and spend money to save our decrepit economy.
Shopping is Patriotic!
Not to say that i don’t have my weaknesses* when it comes to “stuff”. Nor would i say that i go out of my way to spend more on things than i need to by waiting until they are not on sale…But the corporate-fueled feeding frenzy that is “Black Friday” is just a big steaming pile of rancid horseshit.
Spending money you don’t have on shit you don’t need. America – FUCK YEAH!
Christmas shopping? i used to do this. i spent an astonishing amount of time putting together happy little gift baskets for all of the admin folks at work. Curly ribbons to tie up sparkly cellophane wrapped baskets. Smelly lotions and potions, gift cards to their favorite stores. Homemade cookies and treats. Candles. Cutesy little gift items and whatnots.
Same for teachers. For friends. Family.
i enjoyed showing appreciation. Trying to find something that was ‘just right’ for so-and-so. Something to bring a smile. Something useful. Took some degree of pride in the selection of gifts, as well as wrapping them – pretty and frilly and sparkly.
Over the past few years, something in my brain snapped. i just stopped doing it. i still bought gifts for my kids. A gift for my mom. If i got a baking bug up my ass**, i’d spend some time in the kitchen making biscotti and sharing with friends. But i flat out quit partaking of the crass consumerist buffet of the holiday season.
And you know what happened?
No one fucking cares. No one misses it. No one has suffered because i didn’t buy that bacon-scented gnome candle and wrap it in a festive bag. i have lost exactly ZERO friends because i stopped giving Christmas presents. i have been abandoned by exactly ZERO members of my family*** since i gave this shit up.
Remarkably, my degree of stress during the holidays bottomed out. i have fuzzy memories of staying up late at night in Decembers past, trying to “get it all done”. Making list after list of things to do. Things to buy. Cookies to bake. Gifts to wrap.
i now spend that time sleeping. Farting around with friends. Hanging out with my kids. Drinking. Watching movies.
And wondering why the fuck someone would stand in line for two days to save $200 on a giant-assed TV?
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* Office supply stores and any place that sells camping or backpacking gear. This shit is like crack to me…
** Treatable with pesticides.
*** Damn it…