Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Happiest Time of Year- the Holiday Shopping Season!

Okay, how cliche can I be? A Gay guy excited by sales?!

For the record, it isn't the sales that I get so excited about starting on Black Friday, it is the consumerism: Capitalism at its finest!

For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate the good fortune that we have. For others, it is simply a time to gather with loved ones and have a turkey dinner.

For me, it is a uniquely American invention to celebrate our industriousness and good productivity from the Pilgrim days of yore to the present. We spare a day each year to simply be thankful for all the things in our lives that we have been able to provide for ourselves. Not just the materal items but the security, liberty, and democracy that we Americans often overlook. But a more fitting traditional day of celebration will occur tomorrow as shoppers line up in the cold early morning to fight one another for the chance to buy a toy for 25% off its already marked down price. Tomorrow is the most American of all holidays- Black Friday!

According to a decree by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the day after Thanksgiving was named the official start to the holiday shopping season. As such, merchants have been all too happy to entice consumers to visit their shops with the promise of greater savings if they shop on that day, knowing shoppers will continue to purchase gifts until the last errant husband has bought a present for his wife on Christmas Eve.

This is the day that stores will be able to best predict their annual gains or losses based on holiday consumerism. More simply put, tomorrow many stores will see their books go from the red into the black. If they don't, they will likely not see enough sales in the remainder of the year to recoup their losses.

Although consumerism is often mistaken for simple greed, tomorrow is a fitting tribute to the Capitalism that makes our nation so great. All year long, the American people are productive. Tomorrow, we will begin to spend some of our saved productivity (our earned wages) so that we may all revel in the pleasures of the earth during the winter Holiday Season.

Is this materialism? Certainly! Isn't materialism a horrible thing? No! In December, many of us will look to self sacrifice as we give away these material items that we spent our earned wages on.

Tomorrow, though, when you look out at your local mall and see droves of middle-aged women rushing to grab the limited supply of Elmo dolls before store is sold out and hear the crying children singing their "gimme-gimmes," try to enjoy the cause of all the exciting madness. Americans are able to perform such feats because we have a free-market, generally strong economy, and relatively low unemployment.

Yes, we do this because we can, but the really remarkable thing is, WE CAN!


J Koo said...

Look, I like capitalism as much as the next guy, but when I'm on the service end of the customer service spectrum, getting up at 4:45 for the 6am early bird sale, it's a little...yuck.

Good night, *zzzzzzzzz*

patr said...

It's quite a spectacle. I'm more of an online shopper (Amazon is the pinnacle of commerce), so long lines and huge crowds aren't my thing. But I can see the merit in Black Friday and the holiday rush. These people are there willingly to purchase more luxury goods. Compare this with controlled economies, where the people lined up weekly just to subsist. We should give thanks that America didn't choose the latter route.

Credit Card Company said...


Especially when everything gets put on my credit cards. This is truly the sign of true American Capitalism: DEBT!

How much credit card debt do you have CA Grown?