We are at the end of an annual financial wave that will begin to abate as we approach Christmas. Is this phenomenon so reliable that it has been ingrained in our language?
At various times of the morning, it began. Stores have begun jockeying for the earliest opening hours in order to draw in shoppers. Black Friday occurs before Thanksgiving in some places.
The first shopping day of the holiday season is called it. The Black Tuesday that marked the beginning of the Great Depression is an example of a catastrophe that is usually referred to as "black". That idea has changed recently. Retailers will be in the black for the year thanks to Friday's sales.
If your ledgers don't move from red to black in December, you might be out of business. The day became a hopeful one.
In the past, that wasn't the case. Black Friday used to be a cause for concern in Philadelphia. The Army-Navy game was held that day. As Christmas shopping began, the exodus of Thanksgiving family and friends collided with the huge influx of football fans. The city was overwhelmed by it.
The military academy game was rearranged. This year it is on December 10th.
Black Friday has become so fixed in the public mind with sales that you will find that tag affixed to bargains offered well before and after the day. It is just the beginning of retail inducements.
Realizing that most of the Black Friday action was focused on commercial establishments, chambers of commerce began promoting Small Business Saturday to assure that local retailers got a fair amount of attention.
Cyber Monday was promoted by online merchants not to be left out of the spotlight.
Ten years ago, non-profit organizations decided to give more attention to charity. They thought that making appeals in a time of fast money would be very productive.
The 92nd Street Y collaborated with the United Nations Foundation to form Giving Tuesday, using some of the same marketing techniques that had proven so effective in sales. It is now a global enterprise that is doing well.
A record 35 million people contributed to a broad array of charitable and non-profit organizations during the year of the swine flu.
There is a hole in this period from Friday to Tuesday. What about this weekend? The two sides of the season are at that time. How does a religious observation fit with the market?
People seem to like both. The Christian Church dropped Christmas into the most popular secular activity in Europe due to the fact that it was a religious event.
The first Sunday of Advent is today. Church attendance and a four-candle wreath are still used in some homes.
National Secondhand Sunday is a way to close the Sundaygap.
I don't know how to observe or practice the term. If it gains public support, we will see.
Even as sales figures dominate this weekend and the days following, it is money spent to give away. The impulse to spend arises from kindness and generosity, not charity. It isn't a bad thing.
You can give yourself a present as well. The year has been difficult.
Don is a regular columnist. He can email him at: donwooten4115
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