Bob Tamasy: Black Friday, Charcoal Thursday?

Thursday, November 28, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Are you one of those people that can’t wait for the day after Thanksgiving to do your best to boost the American economy through your pursuit of great bargains on the so-called “Black Friday”?

Happily, this year you don’t have to wait. Many retail institutions have kindly agreed to open their doors early. Not even in the wee hours of Friday morning, but Thursday evening, while remnants of the turkey-basted holiday still lie scattered on tables and kitchen counters across the USA. Don’t you just love this country?

Doze-inducing tryptophan is still coursing through our veins; some of the Thanksgiving Day football games haven’t even kicked off yet; helium still holds some of the holiday parade balloons aloft, and we have an early opportunity to engage in that great American holiday – spending money we don’t have to buy gifts for people we don’t even like that much, to give them things they don’t really need.

But that’s what America, capitalism and conspicuous consumption are all about right? Especially at Christmas.

I’ll never forget President George W. Bush’s cautionary closing words when he spoke the day following the events of 9/11: “Don’t stop shopping.” He understood, of course, our national economy is based on our propensity for buying stuff, satisfying our wants as well as our needs. That holds true even in times of frivolity and celebration. If we all suddenly decided to take a spending sabbatical, even a week or two, it would usher in economic chaos.

So if you hear the siren song of the mall around 6 p.m. or so on Thanksgiving Day, don’t feel guilty if you feel compelled to rush right over and take out your credit cards – or cash, if you’re still into that kind of thing – and spend to save, save to spend. You’ll be a true patriot, giving the U.S. economy a much-needed shot in the arm. Don’t even think of it as Thanksgiving Day – rather, in deference to Black Friday, call it Charcoal Thursday. (Especially if you managed to overcook the turkey a bit.)

But while you’re doing that, consider the advice Jesus gave to followers and curiosity seekers while delivering His sermon on the mount:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, whether moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Don’t let me Scrooge all over your very early Christmas preparations. I’ll admit to enjoying the seasonal gift exchange tradition myself. But while we’re singing about having ourselves a merry little Christmas and roasting chestnuts over an open fire, it’s never too early to start remembering the real reason for the season.

It’s not about things concealed in pretty paper and bows that will break, fall apart or wear out before the next Christmas rolls around. They’re nice and fun and all that. But ultimately, the Christmas season is – or should be – about a much greater treasure.


Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs,, and He can be emailed at

Middle Valley COG Continues "Moving Towards Victory" Series Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, Once And For All, Always,  in the 10:30 a.m. service this Sunday.   This sermon is part of a sermon series titled Moving Towards Victory.  "This series focuses attention to the reality that God wants to provide victory in the life of each and every believer," officials said.  ... (click for more)

Kay Arthur Speaks At Precept Ministries Spring Women’s Conference

The Precept Ministries 2018 Spring Women's Conference is set for April 13-15. The weekend will uncover God's greatness through this year's theme: Moving Forward: The Joy, Peace and Power of Doing LIFE God's Way. Speakers will include Precept Ministries Co-Founder Kay Arthur, Precept Bible study leader Tommye Hammel, Gari Mitchell (author of Grace Behind Bars), and Jan Silvious ... (click for more)

Corker Slams Massive $1.4 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill; Fleischmann, Graves Support It

In remarks on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Thursday slammed the massive $1.4 trillion “omnibus” spending bill, calling it one of the most “grotesque” pieces of legislation he can remember during his two terms in the Senate. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Tom Graves were among those supporting it. H.R. 1625, the Consolidated ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Famed Freitas Speech

Several weeks ago a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (that’s what Virginia calls the state legislature) stood up and before that body responded to a claim by a Democratic lawmaker that Republicans were pro-Second Amendment and segregationists. Nick Freitas, who did two tours in Iraq with our Army’s Special Forces and has talked candidly about losing friends to terrorist ... (click for more)