Today’s topic is avarice – the Latin word for greed – and I imagine we were assigned this topic today because it is “Black Friday” – the biggest shopping day of the year.  The fashion, from what I have discerned from reading Facebook posts, is to decry Black Friday shopping and the commercialization of our holidays.  I tend to take a contrarian stance. Some thoughts:

-If you don’t like Black Friday, don’t participate.  Lord knows there are plenty of other things to do.  An understandable dissent to this is that Black Friday madness induces people to work on Thanksgiving evening.  This is unfortunate, but…

-…Black Friday does put many stores in the black.  The economy is important and helps us pay our bills.  Is there room for improvement or remaking the economy?  Absolutely. I am a true Jeffersonian – unleash the inner yeoman farmer within all of us!  But for now…

-There are plenty (or maybe really just a few, from certain high-crime areas?) stories of problems at stores, but I get the sense that most people shopping on Black Friday are really out to make the most of their dollar and are not actually greedy Scrooge McDuck types who frolic in piles of hoarded money. What is wrong with finding the best price for a laptop or TV and waiting in line for it?

-People who get into Black Friday genuinely enjoy it.  My friend Deepali is out there every year at 3am and she loves it.  What is wrong with that?

-I have noticed a trend of people talking smack about how bad Black Friday is, and then bragging about ordering stuff online.  Really?

I don’t participate in Black Friday shopping.  I actually need to get something from the local music store but held off going on principal.  But I have no problem with the idea in general.  My main dissent is really in the drive to buy Christmas gifts.  I am a huge advocate of degiftifying – not focusing on giving gifts for Christmas.  This becomes the be-all and end-all of the holiday.  Take a step back and enjoy it for the spiritual triumph that it is.

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