Well I thought I would chime in after taking the poll about shopping on Black Friday. This is my take on the whole Christmas shopping thing: Bah Humbug. I know many of you secretly agree. Let me tell you a bit of my history. I was born in Brooklyn, and that says a lot about what my ethnicity is while not announcing it in public. But anyway...I always wanted to celebrate Christmas. The sparkling lights, the gifts, the gingerbread. I longingly thought that it would be the answer to everything! I was a kid of course. Now fast forward to the 80's. I became a born again Christian. And Christmas comes with the package I suppose. Many times you hear the "mantra" think for yourselves....I happened to think for myself and realized that I didnt want to be like everyone else. I was keeping with the tradition of my "hippiness" and was investigating what all the hustle and bustle was about Christmas. Oh I love the lights, the displays in the stores, the 100th viewing of "It's a wonderful life"...the playing in the snow if there is any....but overall, something was itching me about it like a cheap suit....there was something wrong about Black Friday. You have to agree with me, as the years go on, Black Friday gets well, blacker...you hear about people being trampled in Walmart. Well at least this year with the strike, it might be a bit mellow there. This year you hear about the Fiscal Cliff....so are shoppers like lemmings going over the fiscal cliff? No matter the economic woes, you see commercials spouting out all the sales and specials impervious to what people are dealing with. Yes, the sales are awesome...but if someone is having a hard time putting food on the table and gas in the car...do they even care if the latest Plasma TV is $100? Maybe yes, maybe no. But Christmas has become so materialistic. And well it should. After all, it really is NOT about Jesus, though He is included in the mix. And if it's His birthday, why are we buying $100 plasma tv's? I dont think He needs one! (LOL)...If you look into the roots of Christmas...its a hodgepodge of Pagan rituals, from the tree to the Yule Log, the giving of gifts and yes even the lights. Now, you can go ahead and do what you do, I'm not condemning anyone...but for me and my household...we will just enjoy Jesus 24/7 without the craziness.