Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Things have been pretty busy as of late. so, I haven't had much time to put together a post for a few weeks. The start of the Holiday Shopping Season has prompted a few observations that I have decided to pass along.
I found that Black Friday was a bit different this year. It was uncertain as to how well businesses would do but, I did notice a few things that seemed different than years past.
First, there weren't nearly as many real "door buster" deals as I expected. In our area (Omaha, Ne) and most of the chains I checked online had a couple of true door busters. However, a number of the advertised Black Friday sale items were less than 20% off and many were less than 15% off. In fact, some of the items were advertised at a price that was actually more than they were on sale for a week or two before. I am not going to mention any specifics but, I feel that a number of merchants tried to dupe the public and succeeded in many cases. They played well on the Black Friday hype.
Second, in talking with shoppers, family and friends I have found that most of them used Friday and Saturday to finish their shopping for Christmas. At most, there were a few that needed to pickup stocking stuffers and werer going to wait until Christmas was a little closer. Some of them decided to finish their gift lists since the crowds weren't too bad.
That brings me to my third observation. The merchants seemed to have a much better plan for crowd control this year. I didn't hear about anyone being trampled and the news seemed to be quiet on that point as well. Also, the shoppers I encountered were much friendlier, patient and helpful than I have encountered in past years. This has been reported to be the rule rather than the exception by co-workers and other contacts. Well done America!
Last, and far from least, there is the reason for the season. It doesn't matter what you call the Holiday that is approaching. It has been Christmas for centuries. Whether the celebration of the birth of Christ was moved to coincide with pagan holidays due to persecution in years past, December 25th has become associated with that event world wide. It is a shame that we can be inclusive of Kwanzaa, Pasch (Passover), and others but the Christian is all but excluded.
I believe that it is the fault of Christians, throughout the Western world, that they have been relegated to the status they have. Far too long Christians have remained silent about their faith. Aside from a relative few, there has been little outcry when Christians are represented in the media as fools or "wolves in sheep's clothing." Somewhere along the way, Christians have been taught to be "meek" since the "meek shall inherit the earth" (Psalm 37:11 and Matthew 5:5). However, the term meek has been misrepresented to mean quiet, mild mannered and so on. In truth, the term meek represents being humble before God. Humble means being cognizant that God, not us, is in power. That does not mean sitting on the side lines. If, as Christians, we are to emulate Jesus the Christ, then we need to be firm in voicing the call for repentance and a change of ways. Jesus was not a "milk-toast" in his message. The clearing of the Temple well exemplifies this point. The Apostles and early disciples (not the same thing as many think) did not just sit around bemoaning the condition of their world. Instead, they prayed to their heavenly father, God, for the wisdom and strength to speak out and stand up in the face of oppression.
Edmund Burke is attributed as saying, "It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph." Though not found in his writings and, often misquoted, the statement bears consideration as we go through life. Why does it seem that the world is falling more deeply into chaos and anarchy? Because the "good man" does nothing. All good things come from God. - bkc