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I went Black Friday Shopping this morning. I hate it and everything it stands for. The only thing good about it is learning to band together with friends and family in the face of crazed people with highly discounted TVs in their sights.

It is my greatest pleasure to announce that I am still alive. Not only that, but I have also not become a slave to the state as a result of improperly handing a fellow citizen.

Black Friday points out some glaring problems with American society, and these problems do not sit well with me. Is it nice to go out and get deals on things that you need? Of course! I adore finding something I need for cheaper than I thought I would. But this up all night, mowing people down, fighting with others, being rude, knocking into each other…. really? Are we that shallow?

I wonder what would happen if we Americans put down our attitudes, let go of our “success at all costs” mentality, and clearly evaluated our lives. We are materialistic gluttons hell bent on blind consumption. Harsh? I don’t think so.

How many Americans stop to think about the people in this world that don’t have clean drinking water? What about the ones who can’t feed their families? The people that have one pair of clothes because that is all they can afford? Does anything even cross their minds as they vault over a display to snatch that pair of designed leather boots in a  size 6? I don’t think so. I actually got physically sick standing in a store watching children demand their parents buy them things because the items were on sale. These kids were 8,9… old enough to know better. Old enough to have a realistic depiction of the world… old enough to know that human suffering exists and is ever present at this very moment.  What if we spent Black Friday as a day of service to our community?

And don’t even get me started on how Christmas has become completely commercialized. I despair the message that we send as a society. Religion is something that is powerful and sacred, and by this I mean all religions.  I don’t believe any of them should be disrespected and dishonored. The fact that Christmas has become a commercialized travesty breaks my heart.

Side note: A few of you know by now that I am Catholic by baptism, communion, and confirmation. I am also a progressive Christian meaning that I see value in every religion (including Atheism and Agnosticism), and I consider spirituality a unique experience that should be decided on an individual basis.  

This is a significant event in my religion. It means something to me. It means everything to me. And to see Christmas become as it is today, it breaks my heart.

It might not matter much in the grand scheme of things, but I will never participate in the madness. I do not go all out for Christmas and I never will. This morning, I waiting in the sitting room of the mall. I watched the people go apeshit and I just shook my head. After the rushes had passed, I decided to look for a coat because I need a long sleeved jacket for my trip to Spain this January. I found one for 60% off! Mission accomplished. Best thing? I didn’t have to punch a single person in the face and I wasn’t filled with self loathing and bitter regret.