Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blessed Friday

I am a self-proclaimed hermit every year the day after Thanksgiving. I refuse to venture outside and lose myself in the frenzied mayhem of Christmas shopping. To be honest, I am a menace to society as I don't do crowds very well and lose my composure and temper quickly. My mind is unable to wrap around the chaos and melee that evidently occurs every year and I question why? Why do humans resort to this? And for what? The meaning of Christmas has been bastardized and lost. I have to remind myself that it isn't about the killer sale on a 42-inch 1080p television or the discounted Coach purse a coworker told me about. I don't watch t.v. and couldn't care less about designer purses. I'm not knocking those who have the balls and gumption to brave the elements of the Friday after Thanksgiving. (I refuse to acknowledge it as Black Friday.) To each his own. What I AM disturbed about is the absence of humanity during this time. As I recall, the story of Christmas is woven with the threads of humanity's altruistic nature. 


I happened to overhear a news report while my mom was watching t.v. A man in a Buffalo New York Target was trampled and seriously hurt. Again I ask, why and for what? Was it really worth it waiting in a long line only to be hurt and almost killed in the process? The same news report also dropped statistics on how many people were actually shopping for themselves. Most of them were. Like I've said before, to each his own. I have no problem with people triumphantly securing a good deal on something they've saved up and longed for. I'm always on the hunt for savings on the latest photography gear so I totally get it. But the money I save shouldn't be at the expense of my or someone else's sanity and well-being. 


In stark contrast to the news of the trampled man in the New York Target, I was captivated by the CNN Heroes 2010 tribute.  Finally! The t.v. was finally engaging me with stories of people personifying the Christmas spirit every day, impacting the world through their selfless commitment and dedicated service. From a 74-year-old grandmother providing health care in a dangerous Mexico city, to a Scottish man providing thousands of meals to hungry children, then to a Nepalese woman who has dedicated her life in rescuing girls from sexual slavery. These stories were gaily wrapped presents dropped at my feet! I wonder what the world beyond America thought when they viewed images on their t.v. screens of people lined up in front of a store waiting for hours, then pushing and shoving, to acquire the latest HD t.v., video game console, or 12 mega pixel camera? Conversely, I hoped that there were hundreds of Americans affected by the images of hungry children and orphans roaming the streets in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. 


On my Blessed Friday, I spent the entire day in contentment. I didn't have to push or shove or stand in a long line shivering from the cold to receive the best present in the world. What I received that day was more valuable and precious than anything I could have bought on sale at Target, Macy's, or Wal-Mart. I didn't have to argue over who was next in line or if someone cut in front of me. All day I was rich with the innocent, unadulterated glee of my 2-year-old granddaughter, Rylee, playing cars with my boyfriend, Ray. She showered us with slippery sweet kisses and  Kung-Fu death grip hugs. Rylee was so amazed by her peek-a-boo toe in her too small sock that we didn't have the heart to remove them. Money could buy her new socks but her concentrated wonderment was priceless. 


The toy that gave us an hour of good-natured competitive fun wasn't on sale at Best Buy or Target. It wasn't accompanied by a confusing controller and didn't require batteries or electricity. Our merriment came in the form of a simple 1972 game called Rebound that Ray dusted off and set up for us. Having no kids of his own he's kept it in pristine condition for over 38 years. It was girls versus big boy and although we lost pretty badly we gained invaluable time with little Rylee.


More power to all the brave souls who dared to roam the jungle of the Friday that shall not be named. I hope they all found what they were looking for.