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Shopping mania foils holiday spirit

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(U-WIRE) FORT WORTH, Texas — I get paid to wake up at 2:30 a.m. three times a week.

The news never sleeps and, as a TV news production assistant, I don’t get to either.

What I cannot understand is why anyone who isn’t making a buck would get up that early just to save one?

Known to savvy shoppers as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is rumored to be the busiest shopping day of the year.

Let the madness begin.

At some stores across the country, throngs of people waited patiently outside in 40-degree weather — some as early as 1 a.m. — gearing up for open signs to flicker on and doors to be unlocked.

Outside many stores Friday morning, eager shoppers had set up camp — literally.

Campers outside the Parks Mall in Arlington were entertained throughout the night and into the early morning by concerts, among other things. The celebration of the holiday shopping season was like a New Year’s Eve party.

Fun, maybe, but champagne and sparklers should be used to ring in the new year — not to ring up purchases.

This strong emphasis on holiday shopping is the reason the true value of the Christmas season is overshadowed. Black Friday sets the tone for the 32 days preceding Christmas. How much can I buy, and how much can I save?

The true holiday spirit should be reflected in buying more time with family and saving early mornings for work, hospital visits or something other than standing in line to buy anything but a cup of coffee.

Instead of stores providing incentives for the earliest riser, why can’t they give discounted prices for those who volunteer or who adopt an “angel” to take care of this season? With the focus on shopping and the best deals, people miss out on the most important aspect — giving of oneself.

Thoughtful gifts are those remembered and are often cherished more than impulse discount purchases with little regard for the receiver.

I can’t think of much around 4 a.m., let alone make an informed and thoughtful decision on a gift for a loved one.

I may get paid to work at ungodly hours, but I’ll never be offered enough money to leave my bed in the middle of the night to go shopping.

By Sonya Cisneros
Daily Skiff (Texas Christian U.)