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From the Sunny Side: Black Friday

Today is the day many folks call “Black Friday.” You probably didn't need me to tell you that, but I did. I'm not sure from where the term originated; perhaps it came from the many retail workers who probably look forward to the day with a certain amount of dread. None of my brief work encounters involving retail directly dealt with Black Friday, so I can't fully empathize with those retail workers in the shopping malls. Those nice people do have my respect.

I think most people are nice and generally pleasant. Call me “Pollyanna,” but that's the way I feel. It helps get me through the day. For some strange reason, a lot of otherwise nice people turn into something not as nice this time of year. I've seen people drive through parking lots as if they were on the last lap at Talladega, trying to beat another person into that one empty parking space closest to the shopping center entrance. People have been known to get into a near WWE type “battle royal” over that one “Get Tickled Elmo” doll remaining on the shelf at the toy store. So, whatever happened to “peace on earth and goodwill toward men?” Stuck in the middle of all this are those long suffering retail store workers.

I don't do much shopping this time of year. I decided a few years ago rather than stress myself out over getting more “stuff” for the people in my family who have more “stuff” than they already need, I would take the money I would normally spend on that “stuff” and donate it to a worthwhile charity in my family member's name. This one act alone has made the holiday season so much more fun for me. On those occasions when I do find the need to get something from the mall or shopping center, I try to make an extra effort to smile and say “thank you” to the person behind the counter or cash register. That's just my own little contribution to “peace on earth.” I hope you all have a wonderfully pleasant holiday season, here on the sunny side.

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