Scribbles

“Holidays,” Family, Black Friday and Food Lines.

photo credit: ewan traveler via photopin cc

I’ve always been one to celebrate in the occasion with family or friends and I feel quite blessed in the fact that I am loved.  I am fortunate to have a job, although the dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it has in the past.  I have my health albeit crappy at best – Go Lupus.  I don’t have too much to complain about really.  I don’t suffer.  I have to be honest though.  I’ve taken a break from the Holiday season.  I am not in a Turkey mood nor do I have the Ho-Ho-Ho’s this year.  I can tell my readers that part of this is maturity.  I am a parent to a grown 22 year old man, who is no longer living with me and can make decisions by himself if he wants to visit his Mother or not.   I am just fine with hanging out with friends this year and or staying home to discuss this subject with my readers.  He is my son 365 days a year so I will survive.  No big deal.

The other part of this is my realization of what the holiday season has become.  It is a commercial money machine.  During Halloween, retailers start to put up Thanksgiving crap.  A week before Thanksgiving or even sooner, we begin to see the endless Christmas commercials, trees made up at the mall, Christmas crap made in China that starts to fill the shelves.  It’s not about family, it’s not about love, and I honestly believe it has NOTHING to do with Christ’s birth really.  Buy, Buy, Buy!  Having to feel “obligated” to buy someone something because their your blood relative is no longer a part of my life.  Plus some people are forced to hang out with family (not my situation) because they have too.  It’s the “Holidays!”  No wonder the liquor shelves are bare around this time of year or that people visit bars.  It’s just to cope with the bullshit.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/freeparking/2128545230 By deflam
David Flam

I don’t mean to be a Scrooge but it’s hard not to be.  The two things that bother me the most, especially in Sacramento (Nationwide) is Black Friday situation vs. food lines.  What bothers me even worst are peoples attitudes about each subject.  On Tuesday in the Sacramento Bee, there was a report that over 6,000 people stood in line for blocks for a free turkey.  Not 500 or a 1,000, but 6,000 people.  Somehow to me this seems wrong to me.  It’s not okay that we have people in this country who are hungry.  It’s not okay that people are made to feel like because it’s a “Holiday” that people are made to think that they have to have this turkey in order to go on with their lives.  Now, I am glad that people donated this food because people need to eat.  However, shouldn’t we all have to donate food all year instead of Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Isn’t hunger a 365 day a year situation?  Last time I checked, it was.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/3950973346 By Alex E. Proimos

After reading the article in the Sacramento Bee, I began to read the commentary by local residents.  This is when yours truly was disgusted and embarrassed to be born here.  On person quoted, “Maybe if these people had to do 1,000 hours of community service work, then the line would be much shorter.”  Another quote which was from a FIREMAN, “Looks like some of those people could skip a meal (based on their weight in the photo) and don’t need a turkey.”  Or “How about that kid in line with a cell phone.”  Anonymity makes those strong and brave on the internet by making comments like that.  I don’t have to hide, I use my real name.  Those people are douche bags and heartless for the comments.  100% not necessary.  Of course, this discussion can go into some many other areas as to why people are hungry.  Dollar isn’t stretching and people have a job.  People who have been looking for a job for a year or two.  Holidays bring out the best in people doesn’t?  “Truly a time for giving?”  Hmmmm.  So it makes me wonder, what is the Holiday season really about?  To make fun of people who are suffering in food lines?  Is that it?  I certainly hope not.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/2630767242 By Brett Jordan

However, it brings me to the subject which is on the other side of the holiday spectrum but irritates me just as much.  BLACK FRIDAY.  It’s a real commentary on how low our society has become in the past few years.  It was reported on a Sacramento news station that people were already camped in line on November, 18th.  That was last Sunday.  I am not kidding folks. So, a person is going to stand in line for 4 days to buy a TV, XBOX, cell phone or whatever else it is.  It’s spending money on crap that you really don’t need.  I am absolutely sure that Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft is NOT going bankrupt.  However, we need to fuel the consumerism to feed the machine.  We’ve all seen the reports of people being trampled at Walmart to get a $3.00 waffle maker.  My God, that machine is going to cure the economy!  Really?  People should be able to visit their families and GET A BREAK.  It’s taking people away from spending time with their families.  Sears is opening at 8PM on Thanksgiving.  To those who are making fun of individuals who made a petition on Change.org to stop the un-Godly opening hours so people can spend just a little time with their families – they have a RIGHT to complain.  It’s called the First Amendment, read it.  Corporations get away with WAY too much these days and if people want to say enough, then fine by me.  I support them wholeheartedly.  I won’t be participating in this debacle of Black Friday.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelholden/5221628368 By Michael Holden

My final take on the holidays I guess it’s this:  Be grateful for the things you do have.  If you have something to give, give it all year long.  Whether it’s canned food, donating time, etc.  Not just because you’re “obligated” because it’s a Holiday.  If you are a person who truly believes in family, give people a break.  Don’t participate in Black Friday.  Better yet, donate your money to a worthwhile charity that helps those in need instead of Samsung, Walmart, and Microsoft.  Do something to make your family, community and planet a better place to live.

Image credit:  By NASA Goddard Photo and VideoNASA Goddard Space Flight Center+ Add Contact http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4392965590/

 

 

 

 

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