Monday, November 24, 2008

A Week of Two Great American Holidays

The season of giving and sharing is approaching rapidly. I will be travelling with my wife on Wednesday night up to the Albany area to spend a long weekend with my side of the family in the time honored tradition of stuffing ourselves with food, then sitting around, watching television, talking, and reflecting. Thanksgiving is a wholly American holiday. It is one of the few that we as Americans claim as out own. Lincoln established a precedence of having a national day of Thanksgiving in 1861 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt established it a national holiday by law on November 26th of 1941, after briefly confusing the American public by changing the week we celebrated it. Thanksgiving is one of the few events in which all Americans are truly united. On this day, Americans get together, eat together, drink together, and generally enjoy one another’s company. For one day, the American people put all else aside to relax and reflect. Isn’t it just a wonderful thought?

Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of preparations for the "Holiday Season." If they weren’t already out the day after Halloween, stores put out their Christmas d├ęcor alongside their ever shrinking section devoted to Chanukah. I find it harder yearly to find good cards for my Grandparents around any of the major Jewish holidays, but that's neither here nor there. Thanksgiving is the first of many days in the coming month when viewers will get the pleasure of watching "It’s a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story" over and over again. Oh, and of course as we have on of the most important capitalistic days in these United States, “Black Friday.” For one day stores across the country drop their prices drastically for half day/two hour/day long/gimmicky sales. One day out of the year where you can easily take advantage of “Corporate America’s” greed. Plan your shopping properly and parents can become an amazing Santa Claus for under $100, with additional gifts for nieces, nephews, and other relations.

What is wrong with Black Friday? It can be a little scary depending on the store you go to, but it as well is a wholly American “holiday.” Where else do you hear of a nation of people uniting for one day to all go out shopping? It's our equivalent to Boxing Day, only better. The way I see it, America has two national holidays one right after the other, where the general feeling is the same. Two days in a row where we the people are united under one banner; that of laziness/gluttony then that of the immortal buck. In fact, I propose we begin to call Black Friday what it truly is -- Capitalism Day. It's a day where the free market reigns supreme and the immortal dollar drives the economy with boosts in sales across the board. A few moments of rememberance to the greats of Capitalism such as Adam Smith and Calvin Colidge might be in order.

Where will I be this Black Friday? Out in the wilderness with my wife shopping in the Albany area. Should you shop on Black Friday? Of course. It’s a national holiday, after all. Celebrate it the best way you can and help stimulate the economy in the process.

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