Sunday, December 6, 2015

Black Friday Is Not Christmas

Everyone loves a good deal.  Everyone loves the specials of Black Friday.  This year, it doesn't look like there are that great of specials because the retailers want you to spend money on full price items, not heavily discounted items.  They don't make as much money that way.

Everyone thinks that Black Friday is the start of the Christmas holiday shopping season.  In today's ways, it is.  However, at the time everyone claims there is a war on Christmas, they gladly go belly up to the bar of shopping and spending all they can.  They get caught up in the craziness of Black Friday.

Of course the retail organizations and others claim that people need to go out and spend money.  After all if they don't, none of these businesses in our country will make it.  Sure, everyone thinks it is about Christmas, but it isn't.  Where in the bible does Jesus command you to go out and buy, buy, buy on Black Friday?

I have no problem with people who want to go out and buy gifts.  I think that is wonderful.  It is just the craziness that the retailers are feeding the hungry ego of every human thinking that they are celebrating Jesus' birth, when it has nothing to do with his birth.  They feed themselves one line and do another, but yet there is a war on Christmas.

Gifts are a wonderful thing to give and receive, but do it for the right reasons.  Don't do it because you have to or you don't have to do it.  I know, everyone will claim they do it for the right reasons and I'm here to challenge you on that.  Try not giving store bought gifts this year and see what happens.

Many years ago I barely had much money.  I was putting myself through college and barely able to buy food to eat.  I slowly saved up every penny I could have.  By the time I got to Christmas, I had some money saved and I split that across several people in my family.  I then went and found the most useful gift I could find for them.

When it got to Christmas Day, I wrapped everything and took it to my parent's house.  As everyone began unwrapping their gifts, I could see the disappointment on their face.  The comments that followed were painful and stabbed me in my heart.

"This is all you got us?"
"Is there anything else?"
"We got you a nice gift and this is what we get in return?"

You see, none of them realized that I took every cent I had to find the most meaningful gift I could find.  Its all I had and it wasn't enough for them.  It was one of the most hurtful Christmas times I have had.  This is why I say, if you think that people don't give gifts because they have to, please reconsider.

Instead of going out and buying gifts at Christmas, we tend to spend the day enjoying something together.  Last year we wrapped up special things around the house and that was fun trying to figure out what was under the tree.  We aren't people that "need" or "want" a lot of material stuff anyway, so we find unique ways to give gifts.

Just don't get caught up in the craziness of seeing how much you can buy.  This is what the retailers want and they are very successful at it.  Find things that have meaning and are special, not mass produced in some country that practices child labor.

Too many are so quick to declare that there is a war on Christmas, but they are just as much a part of that problem as everyone else.  Christmas is more than buying gifts.  Christmas is more than having to be with family you don't want to be with on that day.

Rather than getting caught up in the hype and sales, try finding someway to make it a special day and to really practice what it means to give joy, love, and peace to others in this world.

Blog Post And Images (c) 11/27/15 by Don Shetterly

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