Spend Less – Spending Less Doesn’t Mean Getting a Better Deal

Thanks to Jenny Lee for writing this post about the Advent Conspiracy’s theme of Spend Less.

ac_ppt_16x9_spend_less_title2Black Friday is simultaneously the most thrilling and most horrific day of American consumer culture. You can get some amazing deals. It just may cost you a little bit of skin and a lot of dignity.

I’m conflicted, to be honest. I thoroughly enjoy a shopping adventure and dirt-cheap bargains are an irresistible dangling carrot. But then I remember people being trampled to death in a Wal-Mart and my survival instincts take over. Either way, going or not, shopping or not, I am still thinking about me. And if history is any indicator, at some point on Black Friday I am going to find my way into Target.

When I think about the Advent Conspiracy reminder to “Spend Less,” it challenges me. At some point, I started believing that the best way to show my love was to find the exact right (and somewhat expensive) gift. So on Black Friday I’m trying to justify spending less by getting better deals by shopping the sales. And that, friends, is a fine example of missing the point.

Black Friday is typically an excruciating day for the overworked and underpaid employees of the retail world. They are losing precious vacation time with their families because their store has to be open for the hordes of people who are trying to get a good enough deal to buy a few more gifts for their kids. I understand, you need the good deals to make your Christmas budget work. But at what cost?

black friday 2

Maybe it sounds dramatic. Maybe it sounds like I’m clutching my pearls worrying about people who are getting an opportunity to earn extra money. But now, when I think of Black Friday, what I see is oppression. Oppression of the lower class employees. Oppression of the low-to-middle class shoppers. An entire class war created by the machine of consumerism.

And I don’t want to Spend Less by contributing to the problem. This year, I’m going to Give More by being one less person huffing in a check-out line.

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About Father Tom

Tommy Bratton is the Minister of Christian Formation at First Baptist Church of Asheville. He has been married to Laura, the greatest wife in the world, since March 27, 1993. They have three sons: Ryan, Jake and Ben. Tommy is a big fan of sad country music, dystopian books, and great movies. View all posts by Father Tom

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