How on earth did the day after Thanksgiving ever get that name?
“Black” Friday? Good grief. It sounds as solemn as Good Friday. It sounds like one of the Wall Street massacre days in 1929 during the great crash that ushered in the Depression.
The day after Thanksgiving is a day off school for all students and a vacation day for probably half the work force. It should be a day of sleeping in, eating leftover turkey, and cleaning the house, and well, OK, maybe a little shopping.
The chattering classes have turned it into a national referendum on whether or not the entire retail industry in America will survive. The day will be thought of as black indeed if the entire population is not whipped into a shopping frenzy. You are made to feel as though you are responsible for America’s economic decline if you don’t go crazy and spend yourself into even deeper credit card debt.
I refuse to believe that the solution to America’s economic malaise rests on stoking up even greater consumer spending. Sooner or later default on overheated credit card debt will blow up just like subprime mortgage default. Here’s my counsel and I’m sticking to it: Live within your means. Spend only what you can afford. Choose expenditures on a rational, not emotional basis. Save.
And above all, resist any notion that links Christmas with pressure or guilt to spend more money.
Straight talk. Real hope.