Anyone can stand in a line for hours on end and burst into Walmart trampling people underfoot on Black Friday. The scene has become so ordinary and scripted that most people don’t even notice anymore. Shoppers fighting over Barbie dolls are as predictable as hockey match brawls. The reports from news crews stalking box stores after Thanksgiving are as appealing as reheated turkey leftovers.
Let’s face it. Black Friday is boring.
There are only so many flat screens, cheap electronics and play stations that can be absorbed by an aging population. The black Friday narrative is exhausted and needs to be retired. It’s time to move on.
That is why this Black Friday you should do something different. Defy the practice. Be counter-cultural. Assert your individuality by refusing to join the frenzied mob.
Your Black Friday should not be dazzling and feverish. In fact, to be counter-cultural, it should be calm and subdued. The day of frenzy would be better spent reflecting upon those things that matter.
Here are four suggestions on how to defy the culture on Black Friday that might help.
Don’t Go Shopping
First, defy the culture by not going shopping. Don’t worry about the bargains that you might be missing. The retailers are so desperate to make sales this year that you will find other opportunities to save. Take advantage of everyone who is home to be at home with them.
After a busy Thanksgiving celebration full of preparations and conversations, spending another day together with family might seem unnecessary. However, that calm extra time with others after big events often facilitates relationships and strengthens bonds. Your insistence on not going shopping sends a message to those you love that you value their company more than saving money.
Time to Reflect
Second, defy the culture by doing nothing in particular. There are days in life in which it is helpful to do nothing specific. People used to have much more time to think, without interruption or worries. In these days of frenetic intemperance, such days of calm leisure are increasingly rare and therefore valuable.
The day after Thanksgiving often provides that free time away from work and responsibility that can serve as a restful time of reflection. You can use those empty moments to catch up and ponder on life. Put away the electronic devices. Spend the time you would be shopping thinking about how you can improve your life and that of those around you.
Think about good changes you can make in your life. They need not be huge ones but rather those small things that you put off and might never be done. It is in the silence of these moments when the grace of God often speaks. Black Friday is a good day to listen.
A Time to Pray
Third, defy the culture by praying. Many who thank God on this special Thursday, neglect to think of Him on Friday. This is an excellent day to spend some time in prayer. Take time to go to Mass or spend an hour or two at an adoration chapel. Use this precious opportunity to converse with God before the hectic end of the year.
There are always so many blessings to remember. There are so many problems that need Divine aid. Don’t forget to think of those outside your family. Consider the troops that did not enjoy Thanksgiving at home and say a prayer for them. There is nothing more counter-cultural than prayer.
A Nation in Need
Finally, defy the culture by thinking outside of self. Take yourself out of the center of things. Think about America and the Church in this time of great need, and what you can do to help.
Thanksgiving should not only be about yourself or your family. It should also be about those God-given institutions that unite everyone and today are in such trouble.
Thanksgiving gives us the time to ponder the best in our nation—family, community and Faith. Remember those in the military, police, medical world, business, industry and society who sacrifice themselves generously for the common good and to keep the nation strong. Black Friday can be a time to reflect upon the nation’s blessings. It can be a time to think of ways to show gratitude to the nation.
You can consider what sacrifices you can make for God and country. One such sacrifice is to defy the Black Friday culture.
Time to Retire Black Friday
These are suggestions on how to defy Black Friday. They are truly counter-cultural. Indeed, nothing terrifies the heart of Black Friday culture warriors more than the mention of the words, reflection, prayer and sacrifice. However, this is what is needed.
It is time to retire Black Friday. It is not helpful for a nation in crisis.
Instead, the day should be used to grieve and pray for the nation and turn to those things that matter.
Celebrate this Black Friday by defying the culture.