Dec. 1 WEEKENDER: Second Opinion – Black Friday on pace to overtake Christmas

Black Friday. What a Christmas tradition! Long lineups, crowded malls and belligerent shoppers. It's all too festive!

Black Friday. What a Christmas tradition!

Long lineups, crowded malls, throngs of belligerent shoppers pushing, shoving, elbowing each other out of the way in order to get their hands on the latest electronic device, or fashion fad whipped up in the sweat shops of Southeast Asia.  It’s all too festive!

When I think about how dull Christmas used to be, I am overjoyed that, like the latest video games, the holidays have become scenes of perpetual, frenetic activity and gratuitous mayhem.

The fabulous sales last right up until Christmas Eve and start again Boxing Day, providing more than enough opportunity for invigorating onslaughts.

When I was growing up, the days leading up to Christmas consisted of helping my father untangle the Christmas lights, practicing for the church Christmas pageant (I was always either a Wise Man or a shepherd) and spending one Saturday at Woolworth’s trying to stretch my $7 far enough to buy presents for everyone in the family.

Christmas Eve was always spent at my Aunt Phyllis’ house where I sat for an inordinately long period of time at the children’s dinner table, waiting for permission to go and play with my cousins’ toys.

My cousins, being no dummies, hid the good toys on these occasions so that the only things left to play with were a rocking horse, a couple of old stuffed animals and a Howdy Doody marionette with one string missing.

The cap pistols, model planes and Caterpillar bulldozer, with real moving treads, were always off limits, no doubt due to the fact that my older brother Jeff was notoriously hard on toys.

He once broke a bicycle, antique dollhouse and kiddie snow cone machine in less than 10 minutes.

Christmas Day started off great at about 5 a.m., with much excited squirming in our beds, while we waited for the 7 o’clock go-ahead to go downstairs to see what Santa had brought – the excitement didn’t last.

The hoped-for model plane with the real gas engine turned out to be a sweater, the sled, two shirts and a jigsaw puzzle. Dullsville!

How much better today when, instead of tedious family gatherings, boring church services, monotonous carol singing and plodding sleigh rides, we can take part in adrenaline surging assaults on the front doors of Wal-Mart or overwhelm the pathetic security guards at Target and emerge laden with enough booty to satisfy even Blackbeard’s lust for contraband.

The excitement brought to the hearts of all those stalwart shoppers represents a whole new take on the term “Christmas rush,” and I hope it will be seen as a welcome addition to traditional Yuletide joy, a sort of gift gifts give even before they’re given.

– Jim Holtz is WEEKENDER columnist and former reporter for the Grand Forks Gazette

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Former Grand Forks fire chief suing city for wrongful dismissal

Dale Heriot was fired in July 2019 after his department was investigated for safety, bullying issues

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary seeks online feedback on transit, housing

Surveys on the RDKB’s website are asking for input to help plan for the future

School District 51 staff iron out plan for return to classrooms

Teachers are looking for a comprehensive health and safety plan to be in place before June 1

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read