I am in shock. I’ve been watching a few videos online of Black Friday footage shot by people right in the middle of the chaos, and I am in complete shock. I know this isn’t the first year this has happened, but I just can’t get over the lengths people will go to and the depths to which people will stoop just to acquire more STUFF.
I don’t mind the people who camp out ahead of time. If you don’t have kids or if you have someone to watch your kids, and you want to make a day out of it, have a good time hanging out in your camping chairs with friends, & score a great deal then go for it! If they’d let you bring a grill it wouldn’t be much different from tailgating, and I think it could be a lot of fun.
Or maybe you are a night owl (or early bird) and you want to enjoy a day of shopping with your siblings, friends or spouse – then by all means, have a great time! If you can enter the store calmly, get what you want, and get out without accosting anyone or putting your own life in harm’s way – why not?
However, those are not the people I’m referring to!
The 80s song Material Girl by Madonna comes to mind, and 25 years later things are so much worse!
In one Wal-mart, a lady PEPPER SPRAYED her fellow shoppers in an effort to get an edge on the competition in the electronics department.
Seriously? She came to the sale armed with pepper spray!
In another report, I read that impatient shoppers “the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.” because they couldn’t stand to wait another 5 minutes.
At one Toys-R-Us location, “Employees attempted to hold back the scrum of shoppers and pick up merchandise even as customers trampled the video games and DVDs strewn on the floor.”
TRAMPLED? They just walked all over the very items they were there to purchase. I wonder how much money the store loses in damaged items on this day every year. Whatever happened to having respect for other people and their property? Common decency seems to be a thing of the past, and it’s terribly disheartening.
And here in our own city of Fayetteville, shots were fired at the local mall.
One of the videos I watched shows a crowd of Wal-mart shoppers tearing into a stack of waffle irons like they were starving people who had just received a shipment of food.
WAFFLE IRONS, people! These are NOT a necessity of life. They were on sale for $2.84, and were regularly $17. A savings of $14 that I would have gladly paid to AVOID that chaos even if I wanted the contraption, which by the way actually has awful ratings & reviews online. All that effort for a waffle iron that probably won’t even work right.
I just can’t imagine.
I would much rather my friends and family give me a dozen homemade cookies on a plate from the dollar store as a gift. I’ll take a gift from the heart & made with love any day over a gift that was gained by pushing, shoving, and clawing over other people.
Here is another video showing some of the chaos. I have no idea what these people are so desperately trying to get their hands on, but I can think of NOTHING materialistic that I would act like that for, even if it was FREE.
Then, let’s assume that you get in the store and manage to get what you want without causing physical harm to yourself or anyone else. Then what? Then, my friend, you get to wait in line to check out. At this point, you better hope you brought a battle buddy with you because you WILL need to use the restroom at some point before you are done. With all that coffee you had to drink before heading out, I guarantee it, and if you think these people are going to save your place in line then I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.
And this is the line you will be waiting in:
I just don’t think there is an amount of money that would make entering Wal-mart on Black Friday worth it to me. Some of the smaller stores, sure. If we were planning to buy a flat screen TV anyway and we could get one for $199 instead of $800, then ok, I can see leaving the kids with friends or family and giving it a shot. In the end though, if I don’t get it – so what? Nothing except saving the lives of my husband or daughter are worth losing life or limb over.
For the record, I stayed home and shopped online in my jammies! I ordered a few small gifts and bought an outdoor trampoline online for not a whole lot more than Walmart’s “in store” price. I even paid $9 extra to have it shipped to me so I didn’t have to go to the store and pick up the 2 heavy boxes! It’s not even a Christmas gift, but just a family gift we’ve been planning to purchase for when Daddy gets home – something for us to all enjoy together, and I was able to get it on sale! The rest of my in-store shopping will take place next week while most people are back at work and the crowds are smaller – I hope.
Let’s don’t forget, as we are out shopping, what this season is truly about. It’s not a time of year to collect more belongings. It’s not a race to see who can get more toys. It’s a time for celebrating the birth of our Savior & King by showing love to others and bringing peace to a world that so desperately needs it.
As you watch those videos, is that how you would want people to celebrate your birthday?
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Tim 6:10-11
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against wanting to have more and more things. Life is not made up of how much a person has.” Luke 12:15
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32
“Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3