by Kala Ambrose
Fifteen years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, which is now known as Black Friday, I woke up at 3am and went with some family members to stand in line at a store which opened at 4am, in order to shop the sales. The mood was festive, lighthearted and the people we chatted with in the line were full of the holiday spirit. Several people offered to go on a coffee and doughnut run for our large group and we all pitched in money and relaxed together savoring the warmth of the coffee and munching away on doughnuts that were hot and fresh from the bakery. It was a unique experience, the group of us there in line, looking to shop early and save some money along the way.
Most everyone there had children and were hoping to find good deals on the items their children wanted this year. Grandparents were staying at their homes to watch the grandchildren and it was an opportunity to sneak out of the house while the kids were sleeping and do some Santa shopping. We all chatted about what we hoped to find in the store and why we wanted the particular item. When the doors opened, we ambled in, some of the men in line were pulling carts out for all of us and we casually entered the store and began shopping. As we passed each other in an aisle, we’d call out to each other warmly, “Were you able to find that item you were looking for? think I saw some of them on aisle 7” and we’d smile, say thanks and continue our shopping.
Somewhere along the way, this early bird shopping has developed into something terribly wrong. Now on Black Friday, we watch store video clips on the news of long lines of people who are willing to fight to stay in line, and wiling to crush and stomp over other people in order to be first to grab whatever gadget or toy is on sale for an hour. The video captures the events as people fall to the ground and are stepped on and over, while others struggle to breathe after being crushed in a wave of people fighting to get through the door at the same time.
It’s horrifying to watch on the news and, difficult to imagine, actually being at one of these sales. I haven’t been in over a decade to one of these sales and it’s highly unlikely that given the state of the events as they occur today, that I will ever attend a sale again on Black Friday.
While watching this tidal wave of events on a concept that began so normally, it made me wonder about the state of the Christmas holiday. Have we finally reached a turning point, where mass consumerism will reach a breaking point? After all, what gadget, toy or outfit is worth trampling another human being for? Please someone tell me, where is the Christmas spirit in this action? What expectations does that person have, when they give that gift to their loved one and say, “I hope you really like this, because I trampled three people to get to it in time.”
My hope, my wish, for this holiday season is that people return to the concept of sentimental gifts from the heart. Gifts that create a connection to family, to memories, to heartfelt sentiments that mean something on a deeper level. It still can be a store-bought gift, not all of us are inclined or talented enough to begin crocheting afghans or preserving jellies as home spun gifts. The point is that the gift should be meaningful and say something special. Great thought should go into the gift and what it means to the recipient as well as to the giver. Great thought does not mean going into great debt!
Let’s all consider thought-provoking, emotion-filled, memorable gifts that can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages.
In the spirit of love, joy, abundance and grace,
Kala Ambrose is an award-winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala Ambrose is a highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire. She lectures on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Egypt and the Mystery Schools, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom. Learn more about Kala at Explore Your Spirit.