I went shopping on so-called “Black Friday.” Aren’t I brave? My daughter and I went to a Kohls store that’s two miles from home — where I frequently shop — and took advantage of a good price on winter coats for both of us.
Last week I shopped at the same Kohls and asked the salesclerk: Are you working the busy hours next week? She was about 17, I’d guess, and quite happy to chat as she rang up my purchase.
She said: Oh yes! I’m working Thanksgiving for 12 hours, and the day after. I don’t mind! I’m taking every hour I can. I’m making every dollar I can to help my family!
Tears sprang to my eyes as I walked out of the store. Should a high school kid have to work so many hours? Maybe not. But how great that she can if she wants to, and that she’s willing to help her family. God bless her.
On “Black Friday” I saw many families shopping together, circulars in hand, looking for particular deals. I did not see people acting crazy. I saw people trying to make a nice holiday for the people they love.
Yes, we waited in line for a ridiculously long time, but it was like waiting in line for a political rally or a concert. In other words, we knew we’d be waiting, we signed up to wait, and we settled down to wait. At least my feet didn’t get cold like they did last November while waiting to hear Joe Biden. And the sun didn’t beat down like it did last August while waiting in line at Wolftrap. We chatted with the people around us. Families were shopping together. Some people mentioned having infrequent days off, and how happy there were to take advantage of this day to get their shopping done.
I dropped an item and it broke. The people around me saved my place in line while I disposed of the trash and got a new one. They picked up my stuff and moved it for me. The woman behind me talked about the best kind of headgear to keep her husband warm in his outdoor job. Also, I learned about Duck Dynasty, which was entirely new to me. The woman ahead of us was buying a floor cleaning machine at deep discount for her home-cleaning business.
I’m really tired of people making pronouncements about the evils of day-after-Thanksgiving-shopping. They often speak from a place of incredible privilege. I appreciate Kohls for its good prices. I love the salesclerks who are making a buck. I love the customers who are saving a buck.
I think Jesus loves all of these people very much.