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Oh, the Holidays…

You know it’s the Christmas season when you notice in your spam mail that they are giving you a “holiday discount” on Viagra. I’m not sure whether it’s for me to use in my holiday celebrating, or if it’s a gift for one of my mail relatives who are having secret troubles “getting it up” (in which case, how would I know?).

It all boils down to this being purchasing season. We just passed Black Friday with a number of reports on fighting in stores (one shooting that was on the news) and crowds lining up before midnight on Thanksgiving to give thanks for early openings.

Stores, of course, make a large percent of their annual revenue this month, sales or none, and folks everywhere lower their bank totals or pay out most of their Social Security checks on things that the receivers will often never use. We hear that sales will be lower this year than last do to the Recession which “ended” last summer. People have less income and are counting on the 1% to keep up the Christmas shopping totals.

Perhaps they won’t let us down this time.

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday.

It has only been in the last couple of years that stores gave actually referred to “Black Friday” in their post-Thanksgiving-sale ads… There was a time that they didn’t really want you to know that it was the point on the fiscal calendar when they went into the Black…or started to earn a profit, as opposed to being in the Red, or losing money. Once upon a time the retailers did not want you to know how tenuous their existence was… it would be more like begging than selling.

This year’s Black Friday is supposed to have an increased number of shoppers from last year, but it is not likely that they will actually make an increase in sales… and it is possible that they won’t go into the Black today, but may continue to be in the Red right through the year’s end.

Speaking for myself, unemployed and very low on funds, this is not a shopping Black Friday for me. I believe that there are a vast number of folks like me as well… folks who are thinking of MAKING holiday gifts for Friends and family, or buying less expensive and more practical things… grocery store coupons, perhaps… for giftgiving. I won’t be helping retailers get into the Black this year… not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t afford to.

I have been watching the commercials on TV pushing the Black Friday Specials from store to store. There is a sense of desperation here, hiding under an advertising agency mask of granting special favors to beloved customers (something which happens rarely in economically profitable years) from a powerful friend who just knows you need a new blender or washing machine. I feel for them… I really do.

But today, Black Friday, I’ll be staying home.