Off the shores 13
Sharing the Joy of Thanks Giving and Black Friday
A Festival unique to appreciate
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
With some colours still remaining to be seen on the way to Philadelphia and the Fall taking over for the winter to follow soon, it was time to give thanks for all the bountiful nature gave us harvesting the year’s toil the best while hay rolled up at farms for use later with cattle and horses seen grazing in the meadow. Trees surrounding the community gone bare naked around here, there, everywhere gave the message of life laid bare and essential, very much like the advancing years with the age catching on little by little but for sure. Stark reality of life the lesson nature gives is to wither away yet standing tall facing the vagaries of time we have to pass through and experience in this world. Grateful for whatever received gracious enough and look forward for the days ahead whatever in store till we say good bye. We have to depart and bid adieu but bear with all and share whatever possible to make best out of the opportunity in hand, if not anything else just a smile. This makes even your worst enemies wonder what the person is up to unknowing how scarred is the heart hurt within over the years to turn everything silver on the head, if any hair is left atop head to crown the age. I’ve reached a point in life where it is no longer necessary to try to impress. If they like me the way I am, that’s good. If they don’t, that is too bad. Corazon Aquino said. For them, it is their luck not to know things well that have made me so over the years all along!
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Back to Chester Springs to be with Rachna-Vimal to enjoy the Thanks Giving weekend as we had returned to Sikkim just days before the season during our last sojourn in 2010 that saw us visiting Washington twice people seen on City Segway Tours. We were there to meet/join them with Shalu and kids that gave us opportunity to see part of the city with the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National Museums, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans Memorials, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, National Archives, Pentagon and other memorials all glowing glorious by night. I know that the tricolor is taken down on sunset but was wondering if flown all throughout is it kept aglow like the stars and stripes seen lighted even at night. The joy ahead was to catch the season with the Doorbuster deals else you will not get the things in your wish-list. Earlier, it used to be a crazy wait whole night in long line to catch Doorbuster offers early in the morning that Vidit and Ashik did this year too lined in the queue at 2am to catch 4’o-clock time. With similar deals offered by most of the stores online as well, some of them have advanced the Doorbuster timing to Thursday evening these days. Rachna-Vimal found my laptop five years old good enough to get rest and upgraded to something advance version that saw me rushing with Vimal to the Best Buy. He missed getting it online by the time he wanted to know which one of the two he saw was okay for me. Yes, some boxes were still left and an official handed over a green handout with handwritten number 36 encircled for the one booked for us showing the long line to get in to check out. Light weight laptop was there but with smaller screen that made us decide to get a new laptop bag light enough to compensate for the weight besides the wireless mouse little bigger this time that helped good fit, confident control, power packed to plug and forget. Above all, I wanted it cheaper but the one we got was Windows 10 supported to save some $ 129.99 out of the deal. It was a bright sleek Dell glossy black, later Vimal found too clean to touch even! Soon Ranjana and all joined us to meet at the Macy’s with Gatebuster signs hanging everywhere from kitchenware to crockeries and from garments to comforters rather the entire store was open like many others offering anything and everything from 25% to hopping 70% extra saving. You can get the size if not found readily by ordering at the store amount paid and Rachna did get her coat delivered home in just four days’ time when we were still not seen our purchases unpacked!
Before this also while in Lanham MD with Achyut, there was a unique offer – Buy one Get two Free! What a strategy they apply to lure in the customer often unrealized the trick of the trade that many believe price being jacked up to accommodate such cushioning well enough. Often not, could be but to dispose of the old stock before bringing in the fresh product for the festive season yet again knocking at the door. Some of the stores were found all decked up turned red fares aplenty to welcome the Christmas well ahead. It is this Thanks Giving Thursday people wait since long to get the best deal often postponing their purchase expecting the most out of it. Most people were seen taking television set while most of the shelves and boxes already emptied. The eve brought highest traffic people going home join the family having enjoyed at work lunch together with Potluck to share the best fare and take some leftover home as well. It was not surprising when checking out that the coat Achyut selected was not of the brand offered but at regular price and not in one’s ego to leave it behind once taken, rather own it feeling satisfied for the what he could get paying less everything else!
Further search said, “Historically, black has been associated with days of economic stress as opposed to days of booming commercial success. The first Black Friday occurred in 1869 after financier Jay Guild and railway businessman James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market, which ultimately, resulted in financial panic and the collapse of the market. In turn, when the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, marking the onset of the Great Depression, the event was referred as Black Tuesday. Following suit with the earlier ‘black’ days, the true origin of the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday lies in the sense of black meaning ‘marked by disaster or misfortune.’ In the 1950s, factory managers first started referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday because so many of their workers decided to falsely call in sick, thus extending the holiday weekend. About ten years later, Black Friday was used by Philadelphia traffic cops to describe the day after Thanksgiving, when they had to work 12-hour shifts in terrible traffic. Soon the term caught on among shoppers and merchants in Philadelphia, and from there it took off nationwide. The 1980s brought the mythology of Black Friday so often heard today. While the phrases in the black and in the red are used in the business world to describe profits and losses, this explanation for one of the busiest shopping days of the year come about in the 1980s, about 20 years after the phrase Black Friday was in regular use.” Comments thereafter make equally interesting revealing reading but for the space here and time of the readers stop me sharing anymore for them to venture out in the cyber world of their own.
Vimal wanted to wait till Cyber Monday to open the packaged laptop and found an offer online saving fifty dollars but not that worth for the storage space. These terms looked marketing gimmicks and interested to know more my search led to an article What is the Origin of the word Cyber that said “For many, Cyber Monday provides the perfect shopping solution: all the holiday deals with none of the holiday crowds. But where did this term come from? The term Cyber Monday was first used in 2005 by Shop.org to encourage people to shop online; it refers to the Monday following Black Friday. The Black Friday is, of course, the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Until the advent of the internet, cyber was used in the formation of words relating to computers, computer networks, or virtual reality.”
My search led me knowing that Giving Tuesday is about giving as Vimal told me in the morning. But it doesn’t mean “that giving is imply pulling out your wallet, but is about spending your social capital to make the world a better place. Your social capital includes supporting your colleagues, community, contributing your time to volunteer, sharing you knowledge, modelling charitable behavior to your network, educating others about giving is important. Further, it was nice to read that a philanthropist is anyone who gives anything – time, $, experience, skills, networks – in any amount to create a better world.”
Now can we forget the lone day left out of the week so well-spent and I found someone mentioning ‘thank you Wednesday.’ So, to kick off thank you Wednesday, it said, “I’d like to say thank you for the many magic moments, including these Give local or where you live, Give where you visit, Local Media Attention, Making Personal Philanthropy Visible, Giving Time, Celebrating Community, Unselfies, Global Creativity.”
The joy of shopping here get the most of the offer and end up finding the decision made earlier was under some impulse. No problem, you can return the thing purchased. No question whatsoever would be asked and to give any explanation or the reason for doing so. Usually it is within 90 days but even thereafter if you wish to do so having enjoyed all the fun of shopping so great, so well.
Besides the joy of shopping and fun of returning to sum up and conclude sharing a line aptly said, “I could save the most by not shopping at all!”
This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life while in the US. Some names, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org