Bill Stancil: Shopping race begun, Black Fridays everywhere


Bill Stancil


By Bill Stancil
The Billboard

Friday, November 17, 2017

We haven’t quite made it to Thanksgiving, but forget the turkey, grab your pocketbooks and listen to the jingle bells, urging us on toward December.

Christmas will not come early, except to the retailers, and they certainly know the magic lure of early Christmas shopping, when the best price deals may be available to us.

On the other hand, I know many people who do most of their shopping on Christmas Eve, and have just as much fun and find just as many good deals as the early shoppers. And by Christmas Eve, many prices have been slashed again.

Maybe Christmas shopping habits are established and motivated by parents throughout the years. I don’t remember that my mother shopped on Christmas Eve, but I know she shopped up until Christmas Eve, anyhow. My shopping habits are motivated by whatever the price is and wherever I register on the cash-flow chart.

When I was a child, by Christmas Eve Santa Claus already knew what I was going to get. Christmas Eve was for children to listen for letters to Santa being read over the radio and dreamily stare at the Christmas tree and other decorations, comparing them with those of a few Christmases ago.

It was just something to keep us awake and occupied until it was time to go to bed so that Santa could sneak into the house with our gifts. Even though St. Nick was due at midnight, we wanted to go to bed at sundown, because we thought it might hurry him up.

Many people love the early Christmas shopping season and love the crowds and the Christmas feelings they invoke. And I would bet that some of the early shoppers have already selected their Christmas tree and trimmings.

Thanksgiving comes before Christmas and you have to get done with the turkey before you can harness up the reindeer for that long, all night ride.

Just this week, my wife and I were out doing a little shopping, not for Christmas but for some other items we needed. It did not matter that our minds were not focused on Christmas, because the minute we stepped into one store, we were head over heels into Christmas.

We were standing in the middle of lighted Christmas trees and elbow to elbow in line with Christmas shoppers taking advantage of early sale prices. Well known and favorite Christmas carols let us know that it would soon be time for that jolly old elf to make an appearance, and the colder weather outside sure felt like the middle of December, although without the snow.

We could tell that the Christmas spirit has already gotten into some of the shoppers, based on a long line at the checkout desk, and the exit speed of some shoppers who made their way out through the crowd, hurrying by us to get home because there was work to do:

“Wrap presents, put up a Christmas tree and decorate before it is too late,” were the words I heard as a lady suddenly rushed by me at the exit.

It is easy to slip right into the Christmas Season and forget Thanksgiving if you watch many of the Christmas movies that are already on television. And almost every year I watch the presentation of “A Christmas Story” and want to watch it this year because it is supposed to have a new “Ralphie” character. I guess it is because I am still a child at heart whenever Christmastime arrives.

I probably will not be shopping on Christmas Eve. I may be just sitting on the floor, enjoying the sights of the Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations, some of which I enjoyed when I sat on the floor as a child.

I will be remembering those bygone days of yore, when some of the decorations we use now, were on my mama’s Christmas tree.

But all of that will have to await its turn. Thanksgiving comes first.