The boycotting of Black Friday has led to a plummet in retail sales within the last several years. More people have gained an awareness of how much time the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge attitude has taken away from spending valuable time with friends or family.
According to Kate Taylor’s online article in The Business Insider, more than 40 corporations, including Barnes & Noble and Costco, chose to stay closed for Black Friday this year. T.J.J. Maxx announced on Pandora that it would also bow out of the tradition. Yet at the same time, the retail stores have also extended their commercialization of Black Friday, from one day to lasting all week.
I have boycotted Black Friday shopping since 2010, when I first attended school in Tennessee and experienced nearly getting trampled in a Target in Chattanooga. This year, however, I am guilty of doing a bit of shopping of my own – and mostly for myself.
I spent a few hours with my boyfriend, Christopher, in the early afternoon browsing an antique store in Omaha called The Brass Armadillo. We both have an appreciation for older things, possessions once treasured by their owners and the quality of the older designs. Honestly, we both share smirks over the zombie-like battles over cheap and heavily mass-produced items that take mere seconds for their creation before it is forgotten.
But depending on their use, each piece in the antique store we visited has its time and purpose and has a story behind them.
For instance, we passed a shelf full of hand-held lanterns from a time when people used to carry them from room to room so they could read before bed or find their way around.
Christopher has a passion for collecting various pipes and is able to pick out where the mark is on each one based on how old it is. He also likes quality blankets, copper mugs, wooden boxes, and wood-working tools from what others may consider the Stone Age, while I enjoy amber fairy lights, princess depression glass dishes, random jewelry pieces ranging from the 1950s into the 1970s, and durable cooking ware. As I’ve lived on my own, I’ve appreciated using things that will last rather than singling out random plastic tubs or mixing bowls I could get anywhere.
I’ve also had my eye on a few typewriters, but I am waiting for the right time to buy one. (I feel as a journalist, you are obligated to have a sort of revered nostalgia from your profession’s origins).
Antique stores are also where and how we learn more about each other’s interests and what we like. Christopher got excited over an old brown, worn book of his favorite author, Alistair MacLean, back when the book sold for 35 cents. He also stumbled across an old icebox that was made in 1910, pointing out that the upper shelf was used to place ice so it would melt and trickle down to keep food cold.
We went back a day later. I finally bought my first Santa doll designed from roughly around the 1960s to start one as a new collection. After all, Christmas only springs up once a year, and who better to serve as a best reminder to maintain a cheery and generous spirit than Santa?
Remember, the holiday season does not have to be about buying gifts; it can be about touching others with your genuine soul as well.