Black-Eyed Friday

“It’s mine…No, it’s mine…Get away!…No, you get away!”


by Glenn Starkey (@GStarkeyBooks)

Prior to Halloween I walked through a major store and observed Christmas products already intermingled with Thanksgiving items on the shelves. Goblins, pilgrims, and elves are a confusing menagerie of images when you are supposed to only be buying a bag of candy for “Trick or Treaters.”

By Thanksgiving though, Christmas ornamentations were fully hung in the stores along side of “Black Friday” shopping countdowns. Now cardboard elves were staring across the isles at cardboard pilgrims standing beside native American Indians holding turkeys. And Black Friday advertisements loomed on the horizon as if announcing the coming of the end of the world!

Somewhere along the line in America we leaped from Halloween to Christmas, leaving Thanksgiving a blip on the calendar, its significance almost buried beneath the avalanche of oncoming sales the following day.

When we awakened from our naps brought on by the usual Thanksgiving over-indulgence, and the annual televised football game ended, something magical occurred. Within the snap of a finger we were catapulted into a Christmas mindset, the season of “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men.” We had just been shot through a time-warp from witches to pilgrims to elves, yet realized the transition would not be complete until we are past the infamous gladiatorial shopping day—Black Friday. Yes, it is the single day of the entire holiday season in which we cast out all good will toward our fellow man (or woman as seen in the news) and take no prisoners at the mall!

While some people chose to forego the meaning and celebration of Thanksgiving all together and literally camped outside the doors of major retail stores, others chose to leave directly from their Thanksgiving dinners to be in line at midnight when the doors opened.

(Now play the soundtrack from THE TERMINATOR) And at the tolling of the bells, the doors swung open, the stampedes began, and the brotherly love of Christmas transformed into a gladiatorial battle…Insanity fueled the masses… By that evening, television news stations were reporting a woman pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers that had closed in about her; a shopper Tasered another shopper during an argument over a toy; a woman accidentally struck another woman’s two years-old child while in a fight over a video game, leading to further fighting between the women; police were forced to wrestle a violent shopper to the ground because he had ripped something from another person’s hands, and a 61 year old man fell dead in a store and customers stepped over his body to continue their shopping …. The news reports kept coming, growing stranger by the moment.

And by late that night, the wild-eyed, wounded combatants and weary campers returned home (or were awaiting release from jail) with precious bargains in hand, ready now to celebrate the true essence of the season and spread “Peace, Love, and Joy” among their fellow man for a few weeks. But to honor this special day and those with such Christmas spirit who found it necessary to kick, bite, punch, pepper-spray, and Taser their fellow shoppers, I believe we should now call it “BLACK-EYED FRIDAY.” Hopefully, their handcuff marks, bruises, and black-eyes will have healed in time to sing Christmas carols and rejoice with “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men.”

Having swept through the holidays like a fast-forwarded movie and the whirlwind of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black-Eyed Friday, and Christmas activities drawing to an abrupt halt, on Christmas Day there will be people who sit in their chairs wondering why they are so mentally exhausted, glad it’s all over for another year.

What a pity. What a sad commentary it is in many ways. But as I have learned through the years, there are still good people in this world and the true essence of Christmas will not be lost.


Photo Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

4 Replies to “Black-Eyed Friday”

  1. love this blog. So true! I cannot bring myself to shop on days like Black Friday due to some of the behavior that we witness. You nailed it Mr. Starkey. We have either gone way too commercial for the holidays or just completely slid through them like WD-40 in a key hole. Thank you, and by the way, Merry Christmas to all and to all a little peace and goodwill.

    1. Thank you, Micheal. Your comments are truly appreciated. The Black Friday newscast of people fighting over toys and video games was bad enough, but the next day brought a pathetic news report of a man falling dead and everyone stepping over him to continue their shopping. Pretty bad when a mob mentality takes over during a season that we are supposed to be celebrating “Peace on Earth.” All my best to you and yours. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may there be peace in your heart for years to come.

  2. Black-eyed Friday – good one. I often think about these overzealous, offensive shoppers and wonder if they give a second thought about their behavior on Christmas morning while they sit and watch children and loved ones open these gifts. It’s a sad situation. I do not shop, except for groceries and necessities, from Thanksgiving through the New Year because of this problem. Or if I must, I do it online so I can avoid being trampled or pepper-sprayed.

    1. Thank you, Karen. Your comments are truly appreciated. I’ve never been fully able to pinpoint what disappoints me about the overall holiday experience. Possibly it is the overlap of events from Halloween to Christmas, as if we are all in such a rush to complete them…Then the emphasis of Black Friday which overrides Thanksgiving Day whereby we should be relaxed and moving into a more peaceful mindset. I watch my neighbors put up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving, then rush to take them down on Christmas Day… But, again I thank you for your comments and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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