Friday, November 26, 2010
OMIGOD!! IT'S ....BLACK FRIDAY
We have skipped directly from Halloween to slide by Thanksgiving and hit home with Christmas and let the buying and mayhem begin.
A Holiday, that began with an ancient observance of the Winter Solstice, was co-opted by the early Christian church as a "holy day" (if Jesus existed, he was born in the Spring it seems) and evolved into an international phenomenon, is a playground for the American Capitalist.
I admit to loving the lights, the message of love and hope, the beautiful music and the pretty presents. I can even suspend my agnostic scepticism for one night, Christmas Eve, and pretend to believe in angelic messengers and three kings and all that jazz. It hurts no one and is a good reason for good food and family gatherings. My husband and I will be taking our little pooch and heading for the mountains of WV to spend our holiday appreciating the natural beauty of Winter. Hey, a wood-burning fireplace and a hot tub are not bad ways to spend the holiday.
But, as I have evolved past the materialism of youth and realized that there can be such a thing as too much "stuff," I have to pause and reflect on how I became a factory and my two oldest children became commodities. Let there be a demand for ANYTHING in this society and someone will market it and find a way to profit from it. It took me six decades of living to get to the point where I questioned the American Dream and the "ideals" behind it.
I have horrible visions of stores and catalogs offering newborns as Christmas gifts on Black Friday. Picture a Swiss Colony catalog with babies offered as part of a deluxe assortment. Maybe that's reaching a bit, but the reality is no less harsh and hateful. WE WILL SELL AND BUY ANYTHING, INCLUDING CHILDREN.
Now, like I said, I have no investment in keeping a religious idea as "the reason for the season." But the gathering of family and loved ones, the enjoyment of celebration...hey, it's all good. It's the money thing that is the spoiler. Early Christmases such as the ones in Victorian England, did not call for gifts to everyone within one's circle of family and friends. The gifts and goodies were for the children. The adults partied. Hmmm, sounds cool to me. And FAMILY should be the reason for the season...close loved ones and messages of love and give the kids some toys and let's party! And keep that precious family intact. Each individual is vital and non-transferable.
They don't celebrate Christmas, for the most part, in India. Poverty precludes the kind of Santa-fest we put on. But they should be able to live without having to rent their bodies for the needs of strangers. They should be able to feed their children without having to give birth for the self-entitled.
It would be a pity to see Black Friday go world-wide. Jingle them bells.