When Savannah and surrounding areas went to the polls this November they voted on whether or not to repeal the no sale of alcohol on Sunday, a long standing blue law (religious law) that has remained on the books in many states, Georgia included.
Most states have long abolished blue laws stating they violate the separation of church and state, yet ironically, the liquor store owners were in favor of the laws which gave them a day off work without having to worry that their competition would make all the sales and leave them in the red, which brings us to another topic – Black Friday.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers hit the stores looking for pre-Christmas bargains.
Traditionally, stores would close on Thanksgiving to allow their workers to spend time with family and friends and open their doors early the next morning, but with the downward sloping economy, stores have been opening earlier and earlier, from midnight on Thanksgiving evening last year, to a rumored 4 and 9 p.m. this Thanksgiving.
In protest, many people, ironically many non Christian, are planning to opt out of shopping deals on Thursday and early into Friday.
Just as the blue laws felt that people should not be out getting drunk on Sunday, but should instead be in church or at home with family, relaxing and enjoying the day without focusing on getting a buzz for 24 hours, many feel that materialism has gone too far and people are so focused on buying things they really don’t need, that they fail to appreciate the things they already have.
One woman in Savannah said, “if people put some of that shopping frenzy into helping the poor, volunteering, giving food to food banks, etc, just imagine how much better the world would be. Instead they are out at 2 a.m. forcing employees to work those hours just so they can get fifty percent off a DVD player that is probably going to break in two years anyway and have to be replaced with a better model.”
While there is nothing wrong with thrifty shopping as long as you give a portion of your fortune to the less fortunate who through no fault or their own, may not be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner or presents for Christmas, you need to think about the price others are paying for your bargains.
There is nothing wrong with waiting to open the doors at 6 a.m. on Friday or even 8 a.m. for that matter.
Few Christians follow the fourth commandment to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. For many years, this included not doing any buying or selling or working or competitive sports games on Sunday so that families could go to church, relax and spend time with one another recharging their batteries, so to speak, to be able to face another hectic work and school week.
While we won’t tell you not to shop this Black Friday, we would encourage you not to buy into the “I must have it now” attitude.
This Thanksgiving, take time to enjoy friends and family and do something relaxing. Instead of fighting the crowds for bargains, think about hand making gifts for friends this year. A plate full of home made cookies, a hand knitted scarf, decorated cupcakes or hand painted ornament can mean a whole lot more than some on-sale gift that will probably end up being regifted or left in the corner of a closet.
I have three gifts from friends from last year that are still sitting in the original box unused.
Even though blue laws are considered religious laws and most people feel they do not make sense for today’s society, many people are realizing that these laws were meant to help us focus on what is really important in life.
Everyone needs a day off and Christmas has become way too commercial and stores are pushing to move the shopping date earlier and earlier.
This year, shoppers were dismayed to find Halloween objects cleared off the shelves and Christmas items in their place with Christmas music playing over the intercom the day after Halloween!
Send the stores a message, stay home, don’t buy into materialistic madness and take a break from the stress of shopping and stay home and create your own gifts to give this year. It may take a little more time and effort, but it will have so much more meaning and be so much more appreciated by people who feel you care enough to put your own time and talents into creating something special just for them!