Thursday, December 01, 2011

"Black Friday" also becomes "Black Thursday"

 Are your children going to have a Christmas this year? I loved this article. Loved it!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Black Friday" also becomes "Black Thursday"

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- When I think about the word "black", I usually think about things being dark, gloomy, threatening, evil and even satanic. And yet most people want a black suit, black shoes or a black dress for the most formal and important events. Black is basic.

Several people have explained to me that "Black Friday" and now "Black Thursday" are good days for merchants. It means they are no longer in the red. Enough is being sold to pay for what has been bought and some extra for profit.

I have been told that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day when more things are purchased than any other day of the year. On Thanksgiving night, Greta Van Susteren was interviewing for television the chief executive of Macy's of New York and, if I understood correctly, they have an enormous amount of square feet for shopping, selling and buying space in that historic store.

About as close as I get to that store is watching the beautiful Macy's Parade on television. I have often done some of my shopping on Christmas Eve at the local drug store. My personal Christmas budget has never been very high.

I am saddened when I hear of good-hearted organizations and parents talking as though a child cannot have Christmas or celebrate without a lot of money. Christmas for many seems to be summed up in terms of how much is received and accumulated -- and for how much money you can get back on the day after Christmas for what you did not want.
Have you, like I, heard some parent say, "My children just won't have any Christmas this year"? I have heard pleas on radio and television and read them in newspapers and letters that basically say, "Unless you give generously many boys and girls will not have any Christmas this year."

That is simply not true. We have lied to children and adults for so long that Christmas is defined by what we receive that can be bought. Craig Wilson is credited with saying, "Santa Claus never died for anybody." Stan Freeberg was also on target with this, "Christmas has two Ss in it, and they're both $$ signs."

I am thankful on this Thanksgiving Day, as I sit in my study writing, that I was first taught the meaning of Christmas during a time of poverty. I did not know, however, that I grew up in poverty until I was told that in a university class in advanced sociology.

In those days, we heard the Christmas story read in classes in the public schools, sang the Christmas carols with their beauty and grace that clearly told the entire drama of Christmas. It was all enhanced in theatrical productions in both our schools and churches. Pastors also preached about Christmas from the Biblical perspective.

Popular theologian of a past era, Soren Kierkegaard, gave us food for serious thought with these words, "God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners." That greatest of all miracles was born one night in Bethlehem's manger and fully celebrated on the first Easter Sunday when set free from a borrowed tomb.

The heavens sang and the angel announced for all the world: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). If we miss that simple and powerful message on the meaning of Christmas, there is not enough money in the whole world, including the United States and China, both their black and red days, to buy even a hint of what Christmas really means. Think about it -- seriously.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.

For information on becoming a subscriber to the Ellis Column for your newspaper or magazine, you may contact him at: BILL ELLIS, P.O.Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560 or by calling: 304-757-6089.

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