Black Friday knocks editor out of turkey coma too quickly


The front page of my hometown paper featured Black Friday shoppers, hunting season preparation and a political proposal Saturday, if that tells you anything about where I’m from.
Pope Francis is closing his visit to one of the most dangerous states in Africa and France has moved on from news of ISIS and proposing climate-saving policies, but Black Friday was the most important news in Franklin, Pa.
I’ve never been Black Friday shopping, but a good deal of my family participates. Our Thanksgiving dinners are usually followed with groans after the last bite of pumpkin pie until someone finds the local Black Friday ads.
My aunts passed around the Wal-Mart ad and my 18-year-old sister said she wanted a set of copper mixing bowls for her house in England when she can move in with her husband.
All I could think of was the Statue of Liberty. You know how it’s green? The Statue of Liberty is made from copper, and it has since oxidized and formed a patina, or the name of its now trademark jade color.
Of course, those bowls had stainless steel lining or something – I think. But I just kept picturing my sister mixing whole wheat muffins – she doesn’t believe in junk food – in a patina bowl.
So what does a ruined set of mixing bowls have to do with Franklin’s newspaper? The other tradition we have after Thanksgiving is drawing names for a Christmas gift exchange. I can remember the years each sibling of my mother’s bought a present for everybody.
Once my parents made it to five kids, her sisters and the economy pushed a more practical family Santa charade on us. The cousins who consider themselves “kids” draw from a hat so they buy for one other cousin, while the adults do a generic male and female gift exchange.
This is fine, except it makes it extremely hard to cater to an age range of 21 to 61. I almost wish we didn’t split up the genders so I could buy some mittens and a 12-pack of local beer and be done with it. I’d take that over frilly hand soap any day, but that’s just me refusing to commit to feminine stereotypes.
Anyway, this all ties in with the local paper because I’ve noticed even my family is falling victim to the same thing the retail and radio worlds have been doing for the past five years. Once the turkey roaster is clean, we go full-on Christmas.
There’s no time to recall what brought us together or who needs their casserole dish back. Oh, no, we want to figure out which Black Friday deals are worth driving out to and who’s buying for whom over Christmas.
Part of this is purely done out of convenience. My cousins are starting to go off to college and it’s hard to bring everyone together at the same time, even though we all live within a 15-mile radius. I know that.
It’s the hysteria of Christmas shopping that bothered me. Is it really necessary to switch hats so quickly? I suppose I can’t point any fingers because I’m admiring the twinkle lights in my apartment as I write this, but I think there should some breathing room between the Christmas crazies and the Thanksgiving food baby.
Maybe we only start shopping right after dinner to burn off all those potatoes. Regardless, the mall isn’t going anywhere between now and Christmas.

[email protected]