The original meanings of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations were quite different from the values reflected by shoppers during the holiday shopping season in this day and age. Thanksgiving originally was mainly about giving thanks for our blessings and helping those who are less fortunate. The original meaning of Christmas was the celebration of love.The holiday shopping season today, however, involves group and individual conflicts brought on by the competition for items on sale. In addition, this year, such surly competition will begin on Thanksgiving Day itself. As comedian Dave Barry put it, “Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”
The competition for items on sale can lead to death, lawsuits, hospitalizations, looting, and police intervention. It is important for holiday shoppers to understand and avoid triggers that set off aggression. It also is important that they understand how to safely participate in activities that involve crowds. In addition, it is important for such shoppers to know how to manage their stress and remain mentally flexible.
If violence is unavoidable, it is important to know how to prepare for it and to minimize it. One of the best ways to avoid such problems is minimize the importance of shopping and to shop at another time. An unknown author once said, “Shopping: The fine art of acquiring things you don’t need with the money you don’t have.” Credit card buying inspired another unknown author to remark, “Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.” Joyce Brothers also commented, “Credit card buying is like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift….The hangover comes the day after.”
This year, we should focus on the real meanings of the holidays.