Tis the season to be jolly and if you are one of the many shoppers in the Mid-Ohio Valley who got up early today, drove to a favorite retailer and stood in line in the cold for several hours waiting to get inside and find a Christmas bargain, congratulations. You are part of the tradition that has become known as Black Friday.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It is the busiest shopping day of the year, when sales for many retailers can mean the difference between staying afloat or going under. Hence the term Black Friday, when the books show a profit and you are in the black.
For obvious reasons, retailers open their doors hours earlier than normal and offer extremely low prices on many big-ticket items.
The bargains offered to lure shoppers into the stores are part of the high-stakes game that will be played out during the next few weeks. Shoppers trying to fill their gift list with the lowest prices possible, while retailers hope to use the season to help the year's bottom line reach the black side of the ledger.
Many may resent the commercial intrusion into the Christmas season, yet we all must recognize the importance this intrusion plays in our economy. Retailers employ local residents whose jobs are dependent upon the economy.
The holidays are a significant shot in the arm for the economy.
In addition to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is another special shopping day that is perhaps not as well known, but is equally important. Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, is when shoppers are urged to patronize the smaller locally owned stores in their community. Small businesses are the backbone of the community and our nation.
We in no way would think of telling people how to spend their hard-earned money. However, we hope when shopping for that special Christmas gift either today, or during the next few weeks, people will consider spending their holiday budget locally. They not only are helping a store, but also helping their friends and neighbors.
Christmas shopping can be both rewarding and maddening, yet trying on those of us of ordinary sensibilities trying to navigate crowded aisles amid shoppers some of whom are confused, rude and frustrated. Just remember that it tis the season to be jolly.