Fernie free press Editorial
Purely out of curiosity, and also because I just happened to be driving through at that time, I decided to go and see what the Black Friday fuss was all about.. I had spent “American Thanksgiving” with friends who live in Montana, so on the way home I drove past the line of big stores in Kalispell at midnight, hoping I could check Black Friday off the list of experiences I have had in North America.
I couldn’t believe it. I saw hundreds of people lining up in the cold outside Target. When I looked closer, I couldn’t see where the end of the line was. It trailed around the building. Realising I didn’t need a half price LCD TV that badly, I moved on to the other stores and saw just the same. I left, wondering what it must be like in bigger cities, if it was that crazy in little old Kalispell, Montana.
For me, shopping is a rare experience. I see it as a treat, rather than a chore. I love to wander around, and to consider my purchases before handing over my hard-earned cash. I love chatting to the salespeople and getting people’s opinions on whether I am making a good choice or not.
I wonder if those people lining up outside the big box stores had really thought about what they wanted to buy, or were just enticed by the bargains to be had, so they could feel a sense of accomplishment from being one of those lucky enough to get their hands on one of those cut price TVs.
Personally, I’d rather wait, think carefully about what I want to buy my friends for Christmas, do some research and enjoy shopping for something I know will put a smile on someone’s face.
I also want to spend my money in Fernie, supporting those local businesses who support me. It feels much better knowing my money is staying here in the community rather than it going towards lining the pockets of some billionaire in Texas.
I didn’t exactly participate in Black Friday, I observed from a distance, and that was enough for me. Instead of seeing Christmas shopping as a chore, and something I have to do, I’m going to wander through downtown Fernie, browse, chat to people, meet friends for coffee, and make it a fun experience. I might not be able to watch Christmas movies on a bargain high definition TV, but I can live without that.