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, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church To Host Clothing Giveaway On May 23

Senior Pastor Carlos D. Williams and the historic Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church will host a free clothing giveaway and fellowship luncheon for the community on  Saturday, May 23 . Items to be given away include, but are not limited to, new and gently used clothing for men, women, boys, and girls. The event will take place from  11 a.m.-2 p.m.  at ... (click for more)

Holy Temple Church of God Plans Adult Day Care/Nursing Home, Apartments

Holy Temple Church of God is proposing to build an adult daycare/nursing home and two apartment buildings on its two-acre property at 1103 Crutchfield St. The daycare/nursing home would have 6,000 square feet. There would be four units in each of the apartment buildings. The adult daycare/nursing home parking is to be located at the rear of the building and accessed from ... (click for more)

Ganns/Falling Water School Way Over Budget

The final figure for the new Ganns/Falling Water School is way over budget, county officials said Wednesday. However, the County Commission voted to proceed on the $29,414,000 project. Gary Waters of the county schools said his estimate had been $25 million and he was surprised at the amount of the school bid that was awarded to Rentenbach Constructors. He said in lean times ... (click for more)

Hutcherson Says Erlanger Board To Be More Transparent; Dinner Meetings To Be Open

Erlanger Board Finance Chairman Donnie Hutcherson said the board plans to be more transparent. He said Erlanger's legal staff will review topics that might be covered in a closed meeting. He stated, "This will be based on a very conservative interpretation of applicable statutes and other guidance; therefore, more items will be discussed in open session." Mr. Hutcherson also ... (click for more)

The Swat Heard 'Round The World

If one can reach Toya Graham, the lady who whipped her boy and brought  him home from a life of crime in Baltimore, I want to give her a  nomination for my Bill of Rights Award.  This was a beautiful move and one which I call The Swat Heard 'Round the World.  Mind you, if it had been a white lady whipping her child to save her child from crime, she would ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Anti-Semitism Is Now Here

To those of the Jewish faith, the celebration of Passover every year is one of freedom. The sacred holidays, held in early April, commemorate the Exodus out of Egypt when Moses led the tribe of Israel from slavery to freedom. I believe it is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. On the other hand, the Jewish people of today are hardly free. Globally, anti-Semitic attacks in ... (click for more)