Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Secret

"Ugh!"  Little Girl came into the kitchen as i was listening to a talk radio show i catch each day (The Dave Ramsey Show, i can highly recommend it), and they were playing the news.

Or what passes for news on our local station.  (The show is not responsible for the news the carrying stations play, by the way.)  It was about the upcoming Black Friday.

What's ugh? i asked her.

"Black Friday!  It's awful.  Do you know why the call it Black Friday?" she asked.

Because they claim it's the day they finally make a profit and go from being in the red to being in the black, i said, citing what so many of them say and which i'm not so sure i believe.

She leaned over next to me and whispered, as if we would be overheard, even though there was no one else in the room.  "No!  It's because it is evil!  Secretly, it is evil and they don't want you to know it!"

Then at a normal volume she added, "Besides, don't people realize they don't need all that stuff!  They really don't."

You're right, i told her, but that doesn't seem to stop a lot of people.  There was one guy in the nursery this past Sunday, talking about going to get a big screen TV on a Black Friday deal.

"I'm sure he already has a perfectly good Tv," she said.  "He doesn't need a new one, he just wants it. And there's nothing wrong with wanting nice stuff, or wanting something new when something old is not working right any more, but it's silly to be buying tons of stuff you don't need."

Well, i agree, i told her.  It's nice to be able to buy something for family and friends, but we go over the top.

"It's secretly evil, that's why it's Black Friday," she said again, with a grin.  She also had a look in her eyes that let me know that on some levels, she's not joking in that opinion.

Can you tell that not only will we not be shopping on Thanksgiving, but we will also not be battling crowds the day after?

It's not because we have all the stuff already, either.  We don't own a TV except the small one Sweetie sometimes watches DVDs on, the kids have one old game system that hooks up to a monitor and speakers, and a few older games.  We have old computers, no smartphones (or desire to get those), no dishwasher any more since it caught fire, a hot water heater that heats when it feels up to the task, a microwave that is probably about on its last legs (it's got the dial controls, if that tells you anything), and old cars.

Yet, we have enough.  We don't need the newest, the latest, the greatest.  We're glad for what we have, and my kids know that the holidays aren't about getting a bunch of stuff.

Maybe she's right.  Maybe it's not exactly evil, but unsettling.  It stresses the wrong things, i do believe that.  There's nothing wrong with having some nice stuff.  It's wrong when the stuff has you, has your heart, has your loyalty, takes you away from what your life should be about, your higher purpose.

Maybe that's the dark secret.

Today is:

Brotherhood of Goat Meat Eaters Festival -- Bellegarde-en-Marche, France (a festival that dates back, supposedly, to a battle with the English where the people of this town used sharpened goat horns to fight; goat meat is served to any and all and the whole town celebrates this outdoor occasion)

Constitution Day of the Republic of Abkhazia -- Abkhazia

Day of the Covenant -- Baha'i

Day of the Tan-Wallopers -- Fairy Calendar

Good Grief Day -- birth anniversary of Charles Schultz

Independence Day -- Mongolia(1924)

National Cake Day

Sojourner Truth Day -- died this day in 1883

St. John Berchmans' Day (Patron of alter servers, Oblate novices, young people)

Anniversaries Today:

Founding of Sigma Alpha Mu in the City College of New York, by 8 Jewish young men, 1909
The first official Thanksgiving in the US, by presidential proclamation, 1789
Founding of the University of Notre Dame, 1842
Founding of Kappa Alpha Society, the oldest surviving US college fraternity, 1825

Birthdays Today:

Natasha Bedingfield, 1981
Tina Turner, 1939
Rich Little, 1938
Robert Goulet, 1933
Charles Schultz, 1922
Eugene Ionesco, 1912
Eric Sevareid, 1912
John Harvard, 1607
Emperor Go-Daigo of Japan, 1288

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The Price is Right(TV), 1956
Twenty Questions(TV), 1949
Casablanca(Movie), 1942
Alice in Wonderland(Book), 1865

Today in History:

The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ("Octavian", later "Caesar Augustus"), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony is formed, BC43
Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time, 1476
The first lion exhibited in the US makes his debut in Boston, 1716
Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui, 1778
The Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the United States established, 1784
The first national US Thanksgiving is celebrated, 1789
The first streetcar railway in the US begins operation in NYC, fare 12 cents, 1832
The refrigerated railway car is patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan, 1867
The first photograph of a meteor is taken, 1885
The National Hockey League is formed, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams, 1917
King Tut's tomb is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter, 1922
Four young lads from Liverpool have their first recording session under the interesting name "The Beatles", 1962
Tony Blair becomes the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's parliament, 1998
Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England, 2003
A male Po'ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) dies of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct, 2004


  1. Glad you are teaching the kids to not be so materialistic...but the microwave has to be replaced...too dangerous.

  2. Yet this is one of the happiest places I visit everyday. You have happiness and love...not things. I love your family.

    Have a terrific day. ♥♥♥

  3. You're absolutely right! Way too much focus on things and stuff. Adults are more childlike than children sometimes. They buy new stuff and get bored with it in 5 minutes, then want more 'better'stuff. Never satisfied. I don't get it.

  4. I wish I was spending the holidays at your house since you know the secret of what the holidays are all about.

  5. Very well said by you and your clever daughter.


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