Sunday, November 27, 2011

Focus: Of the Day and of the Season

The focus of that day following the wonderful day of thanks is to pick up all the Christmas gifts that you think is necessary for those ecstatic kids and family members. People have the reason to believe that the discounts are so worth it that they devise delicious schemes to stand on line as early as possible to be amongst the ones who get the early bird specials.
Merchants triumphantly display their stores for those filled with ambition to shop. Some people are calm on the lines, waiting patiently until it is time for the extravaganza to begin. They are there simply to buy what is on their list and leave. Their attitudes are not intimidating or berating. They are just ready to run at sprinter’s speed into the stores when the doors open so that they could enjoy the various pleasures of the early morning.  But some have perfect unconcern for others like them who decided to wait and so, the shopping experience becomes less than a pleasant one and instead, competitive shopping.
I have never stood on line in the early morning. I will admit that sometimes the deals seem pretty good, but for me, I am the type that could go around an entire store, pick up things and then see the line and put everything back. I am not a fan of the long lines or the large crowds.  Yet still, something led me to Roosevelt Field in Westbury, NY for this year’s Black Friday event. I purposely decided to reach there after the rush thinking it would be safe to enter into the mall at 10AM.
I was not the most accurate person. I thought the fuss would be somewhat diminished by the time I got there, but I was wrong. For one, I decided to bring my favorite little cousins to go shopping. Just being around them is like a shower of blessings and so, I felt this joy being able to bring them there.  As we walked into the doors of the mall, we walked into a strained alliance between two woman that caused a fist fight. That was not a comfortable or snug event that I wished for young kids to walk into. But we were already there and were not going to turn back over somebody else’s peevish attitude. I knew that there would be crowds but the heavy foot traffic was not something that made me happy at all. And the sales weren't that great to be rushing into the mall and standing on thirty minute long lines. I did everything I could to get out of there quick, but not without the few discounts that I do look forward to every year at Victorias Secrets and Bath & Body Works.
I have to admit, shopping on Black Friday has lost its luster.  There always seems to either be someone getting trampled over, hurt or some kind of madness within the stores. And then I think to myself, Black Friday is exactly one day after the day we give thanks and exactly one month before the day we celebrate known as Christmas.
So I have decided that for every day until Christmas, I am going to find something to be thankful for.  On Black Friday, it was the experience after the mall, when my babies and I went to Benihanas to eat Hibachi style.  Have you ever eaten there?  It is a restaurant that has some great food and just seeing them cook right before your eyes is exciting for the entire family. The combination of the food, the Hot Sake, and seeeing young faces light up calmed me down. It was great going there.
I was also thankful for deciding to stop with them at the movies to see, Tower Heist, the new movie featuring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. They are an incredible pair of actors and teamed up together, offered non-stop laughter and good times. If you have not seen it yet, go because it is a great movie.
Christmas will soon be here and how can we not acknowledge that in November we are having temperatures in the upper sixties; another thing to be thankful for. But today, I find myself being thankful for the gift of singing and the ability to hear music.  I was able to read my 300 plus pages, listen, sing along and also write parts of my paper and it made the experience even better.  

Though I have been a witness to stores playing Christmas carols since mid –October, I love the caroling and lights of the true holiday season, even when the true focus of the season gets lost in all the things you can buy. Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. 
 While Black Friday is only one day out of the next 30 that we have left to shop, Christmas is not about the gifts. Will we think about that now that we are in the first week of Advent when Cyber Monday comes, to remember to include someone who is less fortunate on our lists?  Will we remember that on Christmas Eve which falls on a Saturday this year when we go to Macys or Toys R Us to pick up our last gifts that God is patient and so we must also be while waiting on those hour long lines? Christmas is the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Is it possible that on Black Friday, the eager lady on the early morning line in California, forgot the reason for the season when she pepper sprayed the other people on the line so she could get a gaming console at Wal-Mart? Let’s not forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. 

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