Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deck the Malls

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Here in Kansas City, the holiday season kicks off on Thanksgiving evening with the lighting ceremony at Country Club Plaza.

There is just something magical about Christmas lights.

Thought Number One:
Over the past few years, it seems that a new holiday topic is making the headlines. 

The avalanche of sales and deals, 
the "never-been-cheaper",  the "must-haves",  and steals. 
Yikes....now thousands of lights are losing their luster, 
as our attention is fixated on which stores have "Door Busters". 

I, personally, didn't go shopping on Black Friday this year.  I'm becoming more and more annoyed by the sport of "extreme shopping.  Is is just me or are others thinking this craziness is...well...crazy?

Now we have a number of choices, regarding specific shopping  days that are designed to encourage us to spend.

This year we have Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and  Cyber Monday.  BUT surely we should add Trash-Your-Cash Tuesday and maybe Wreck-Your-Budget Wednesday just to round out the week.

 The numbers are in according to the news:
  • Black  Friday brought in more than $1 BILLION for the first time.
  • U.S. Retailers sales over the 4 day weekend increased 12.8 percent according to the National Retail Federation.
  • More than 35 million Americans went shopping on Thursday....Thanksgiving Day.
  • An estimated 89 million people shopped on Black Friday.
  • 139.4 million people shopped in stores and online from Thursday through Sunday.
  • Total spending for the weekend was 59.1 BILLION  
While these numbers might be good for the economy, I question how good they are for the spenders.

As I look at the crowds pushing and shoving for the sake of buying more stuff, I worry...about the direction we have taken....about the lines between want, need and greed...about our priorities.

Thought Number Two: The Season of Malling or Mauling

Today is the day, I launched into the fray, 
and make my way to the mall.
Clearly, I'm nuts and having no guts,
I'll jump into the midst of it all.

The mall is chaotic, I'm just idiotic

to venture forth into a store.
Not certain, if prices, that were meant to entice us,
are worth fighting the crowds, I abhor.

Upon my arrival, there's just no denial,

I am already in over-my-head.
Even parking my car is much harder...by far,
than hauling my ass out of bed.

The stars now align, found a space that is mine.

I venture into midst of the throng.
The music and lights, all seem cheery and right
but the size of the crowds seem so wrong.

The people are vying to get all the buying

they came to accomplish and more.
Their zeal's apparent, their rushing inherent
as the mob shoves their way through the door.

Rudeness abounds amid the holiday sounds

as festive music plays overhead.
Oh, what was I thinking, I must have been drinking,
when I decided to get out of  bed.

The shoppers are avid, maybe they're rabid,
Can you visualize a dog with a bone?
It's all about buying, the very least, they'll die trying.
Damn it, why didn't I just stay at home?

But, hey..now that I'm here, it's exceedingly clear,

That there's gifts that need to be bought.
There's just no denying that there's shit that needs buying
or is that an irrational thought?

So, I dive into the mass, push-through and haul-ass.

I do what I came here to do.
I jab and I shove, neither done with much love,
and acquire some gifts for a few.

The point of my rhyme is that with the passage of time,

we now look for our joy at a store.
We measure success, by  our spending excess.
Our mantra is now "more is more".

You'll think me a skeptic but it's all turned quite septic,

the way we've sunken so low.
 No longer "it's the thought", it's about "what you bought".
But then..not every thing's wrapped with a bow.

Let's remember the reason, that beckons the season

Not everything needs paper and string.
Let peace and joy be abounding, with loved ones surrounding,
sharing the joys that the Season should bring.

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Luvbeingagrampa said...

Loved the poem, very timely....might get some shopping done soon, but no hurry here

Chubby Chatterbox said...

No Black Friday shopping for me. I'm not into contact sports. But I really liked the poem. Take care.

Wendy said...

I whole heartedly agree with you. and look, no shopping meant that you had time to create this stunning poem. Truly a more wonderful way to spend the day!

Cheryl P. said...

Remember the stores will stay open 24/7 EVERY day, around the clock until Christmas...heck, maybe Christmas Day...you have all the time in the world.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks...I agree about shopping being a contact sport. I am increasingly an Internet shopper. You take care as well.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Wendy. I really appreciate your comment. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Of course, now I am thinking all my thoughts in rhyme.

momto8blog said...

I LOVE your poem!!

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

That was an incredibly awesome set of thoughts! Every time I read your post I admire your writing.

I am astounded by the amount of money that we can spend in such a short amount of time on things that will be easily forgotten after Christmas has passed.



Trina said...

What a staggering set of figures! I can't believe people spent that much money!

Your poem was awesome! You are so gifted!

Clicks for you!

Brenda Zur said...

Your poem was great! I read something the other day: "If you buy things you don't need, you are stealing from yourself." Now, to remember that while out shopping.!!!

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you! That's very sweet of you!

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Wolf! I appreciate your kind words.

You make a really interesting point. How superficial a lot of our gifts are. We can't even remember from year to year what we bought.

Cheryl P. said...

Incredible isn't it. As a nation we are spending billions of dollars on consumer goods in just a long weekend. Crazy...really.

Thank you, Trina, for the kind words.

Cheryl P. said...

That is a good quote. I have gotten to the point, I don't enjoy shopping. I feel like we have more than we need for the most part. There just seems to be too much focus on "having things".

Thank you for your continued reading of my blog, Brenda. I really appreciate all of you that have been following for so long.

meleahrebeccah said...

Meleah + Shopping = PANIC ATTACKS. And that's even on a good day, when the stores are basically empty. I know a few people [some in my family] that LOVE Black Friday. But you couldn't PAY me to deal with that nonsense.

"Trash-Your-Cash Tuesday and maybe Wreck-Your-Budget Wednesday just to round out the week. "



Cheryl P. said...

AGAIN...we share a brain..(you'd be at a disadvantage of you have to endure any part of my brain) I, too, hate shopping. Anyday...not just holidays...I only shop when I need something.

I am so glad you found some humor...Thanks.

meleahrebeccah said...


Nicky said...

I think this was the first year that stores here attempted a "Black Friday" sale. The crowds were nowhere near as crazy as they were in the US but that's because the sales weren't as extreme either. I must admit, as much as I love shopping, I don't think I'd ever go shopping in your country on Black Friday. With stories of people being trampled to death, maced, beaten and bitten all for the sake of a $3 waffle iron or something equally inane, I just can't imagine myself risking life and limb for a bargain!

Cheryl P. said...

Nicky, I have missed you. I know you and Mike are super busy.

As for Black Friday, I hope that it doesn't catch on in Canada. CRAZY...I haven't gone out for the last two years. It is getting ridiculous. For the great deals you would be taking your life in your hands. I have noticed that any of the "door buster" deals show up on the Internet again right before Christmas.

I totally agree, how much is it worth to save $10.00,...even a $100.00 if you have to trample people to get to it.

lisleman said...

I also find the shopping game/challenge disgusting. The door busting people are mostly buying stuff for themselves. I don't believe flat screen TV's are the number one gift. No, those TVs are already plugged in and the couch potatoes are recovering from their fight. Merry Christmas and if you grab that last item, I'll pepper spray you into New Years.

Cheryl P. said...

You bring up a really interesting point. The selfish aspect of this. When people are scooping up 3 flat screen TVs...it doesn't necessarily mean these are gifts. It would be less objectionable if people were clamoring to get things to "give rather than to receive." I am amazed when I watch the videos of people actually walking over people that have been pushed to the floor. Disgusting is a good word for it.