Saw a story on the news the other day and the expectation was that the stores were going to be packed again on “Black Friday”. Guess as we move further and further into the Post-Covid world, the old habits just come back. We’ll see how it all turns out but it just makes me want to rant a bit.
For one thing, the stores have been having “Black Friday” deals all month. Not even really sure what qualifies. Just slap some lower prices on some random things and call it a “deal” and the people come running. I feel like there is very little overlap between what someone actually needs and what is in these “Black Friday” sales.
I remember reading a news story a couple of years ago about all the work that some store put in to craft toasters for their big sale. As you might expect, they were pretty cheaply made in order to be profitable with the LOW door buster price. So that gift you stood in line and fought crowds for may not even make it to the next Christmas.
Leaving aside the question of how often a toaster is some kind of ideal gift. I suppose it happens but I seriously doubt it was on the top of many lists.
Plus I kind of wonder what it says to someone that you went out and bought the cheapest thing you could find. It is the thought that counts but how much thought went into elbowing people out of the way to grab one of the super cheap door busters??
And while we are at it, let’s talk about all the stupid car commercials. Same scene in each one – a person is lead out to the driveway on Christmas morning to see a bright, shiny new car with a big red bow on top of it. Then you get the surprised look and the look that says “oh you must really love me to buy this”. Bleah!
First of all, where do you get the stupid bows and how do they stay on the car?
Secondly, how do you bring a freaking car into the driveway without the recipient seeing it?
Third, did you have to trade in a car? If so, how did you make that one disappear? If not, then what are you going to do with it and why do you need a new one?
Lastly, did you pay cash or are you now on the hook for payments for the next several years?
In all seriousness, these commercials for “big ticket” things annoy me. How many people could reasonably afford to buy someone a new car for Christmas? So what expectations are you setting?
And if you watch the business news, they get all excited if the consumers are going to spend like crazy over Christmas. More money for the stores. More money for the companies who produce all the things. Stock prices go up. Everyone is happy. Well except for those who overloaded their credit cards to buy all the things they felt like they needed to. Running a economy on credit card debt doesn’t seem very stable or sustainable but what do I know.
Yeah, I’m kind of the grumpy old man on this. If you’ve got the means and feel like splurging on the people you care about, go right ahead. I just don’t like the obsession with buying things because how many things do we really need?
I guess I would make an exception for kids since Christmas is really for them. Wouldn’t max out the credit card, but buying a few extra things for them makes sense to me. Just stay away from the cars and toasters.