There is a saying in German. “Stell dir vor es gibt Krieg und keiner geht hin.” Imagine there is war and nobody goes. That is something that I would deeply appreciate this time of year. The war I am referring to is the holy war of consumerism. Come November we are inundated with ads and commercials, telling us about ways to save, save, save with deals, deals, deals and more deals mostly for things we don’t need, need, need. We are supposed to stock up, to buy now, to get ahead of the rush, and to make sure we hit all the consumer highlights on the list. From stocking stuffers to major electronics, from vacations and cars to the perfect turkey. We’ve got to have it all.
Now our temples of spending have decided that we don’t get to blow our money early enough and they want to start black Friday, the holy grail of shopping, a day sooner. Thereby ruining any chances for their employees to have a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. Clearly business is more important than the wishes of those pesky underlings. Where did I see that last? Oh yes, in the beginning pages of Scrooge.
The employees have little recourse. They have to comply because they can’t afford to lose their jobs. So what I would wish for is that this whole idea of shopping on Thanksgiving day royally flops. I want the stores to be empty. I want us ordinary consumers to stay home. I sincerely wish this to happen.
It would make sense that in this season of goodwill to all we make an effort to value our fellow men and women more than our material goods. That we include other people’s well being into our need for a good time. That we understand that selfishly haggling to save a few bucks on an item we really don’t need will not turn us into better human beings and will also not put us into the holiday spirit. It would be a lovely signal to see the stores empty on Thanksgiving day. I doubt it will happen, but I still have a glimmer of hope.
So, if you can find it in your heart to wait with your shopping, please do so. You will help to shut down a dangerous precedent and you will also grant me a wish.