Holy Day: Black Friday

The holy day or holiday is upon us.  Say all you can about Christmas, Hanukah, Thanksgiving and the rest; the heavy weight American holiday is Black Friday.

To attract worshippers on this holiest of shopping days everyone rolls out the trimmings.  Walmart rolls stock around (you noticed it’s all on rollers, right?) to make lanes where you stand in line longer than for a ride at Six Flags over Botswana to pay for their must-have treasure.

In fact, just as with Christmas where we push the celebration into the day before and name it Christmas Eve, Black Friday deals start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.  Isn’t it great?  Otherwise those poor sales clerks would be stuck at home eating with family, being thankful, and watching this year’s football version of Everybody Hates Dallas!

And like other religious rites, Black Friday’s millions of devotees have a special designation conferred on them: consumers.  You know, like pigs and other species gobbling up everything without being sated.  “Consumers”.  Our economy would be kaput without them!  This holy day is for you!

Please enjoy places for you to commune with manufactured things in the aisles and end caps!  These cardboard worship spots spring up to enable our most sacred transaction: impulse buying!  Staying home?  Our online, private worship version begs your attention in the page margins you’re viewing, but wait!  Google puts what you looked at online in the past weeks in the margin: that last nudge you need to click “Put in Cart”!

It does not matter your creed, ethnicity, or gender!  We can all fight over that last toy, apparel item equally, all hoping to consume that most wonderful possibility: something new to me!

But wait there is more!  If your consuming can wait a few days, then you can be overcome with the chills of “Winter Clearance” that runs through the twelve days of Christmas!

Enough cynicism.  I have to go put what I want on Amazon for my family to get it right this year.

Happy New Wait A Minute

Happy Epiphany.  January 6.  Wise guys visit Jesus.  12th Day of Christmas.  All of that I get, but the convention of the date is my problem.

First of all, we may have gone “around” the sun in 365.25 days, but the sun moved.  We are nowhere near the same place as this time “last year”.  This spiral arm of the Galaxy moved.  Don’t you remember that crazy day in elementary school when someone delighted in telling you the eight or nine ways we are moving, leaving you queasy!?

I have welcomed the new year watching a ball drop in Times Square, the largest outdoor restroom for a night.  Really, the ball just drops and that means something?  Are you certain marijuana was not legal in New York decades ago?

I have welcomed it on my knees praying at that exact moment when the new year began. 

I have welcomed it asleep, driving, eating in some diner, playing games, with a few hundred screaming teens, and I have welcomed it with just Jill.  My favorite.  Not your business. 

And I have made resolutions, plans, goals with attendant tasks and been moderately successful in them.

But here is my point.  Why at this point in a calendar (don’t get me started on “calendar”) do we have hope for newness?  How did that come to be?  Why not Hannukah, Christmas, Ramadan, or Easter?  Going the other way, why not Halloween or Mardis Gras? 

It is just the first day of January.  Stay with me.

All the other months have a first day, Right?  Why THIS first day of THIS month?

Random.  If you want to compare my work check with the Jews and Chinese for their first days of their new year(s) dates. 

Don’t get depressed and sappy on me, just think about it.  Some very well meaning people chose this day after all their work on their “calendar” as a day to reset the months and days and begin again.  We attached all the rest of our hopes for weight loss, working out, saving, studying more, smoking less, quitting drinking, whatever to this Random Date.

SO, if you have already screwed up, fallen short, blown the resolution — pick another date and start again.  How about tomorrow?  If there is anything Christian in applying grace practically, that would be it.  Why don’t we start our relationship, business plan, forgiveness, kindness, savings again – first thing in the morning?  Any day is as good as some January 1!

There.  See Random can work for you occasionally.  And happy Epiphany.