I’m not sure who come up with this term “Black Friday” but I am deﬁnitely not for it. To me, Black Friday is rather devious and I know the only purpose is to get their teeth into my money, which is a sacred area to me.
When it comes to shopping, I certainly am not a fan. I really do not like shopping. I get nervous when I’m in the shopping mall, start sweating and have to leave and sit in my car for at least half an hour to regain composure.
I have many interests and passions in life, but trust me, shopping is not one of them. I can live my whole life without ever shopping.
On the other side of our residence, it is a different story.
I am not sure, but I suspect shopping is second nature to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She has it down to a science; she collects coupons and whatever else is associated with it all year long.
She is always boasting about how much money she has saved. Because I enjoy our life together and I enjoy living, I always go along with her. But, and it’s a big but, I’m not sure it’s legitimate.
For example, one time she came from a shopping spree and showed me on the receipt she had saved $79.43. I studied the receipt and realized that in order to save that much money she had to spend over $200. Now, my dilemma is, do I point this out to her and encourage a scalding look back at me? Or, do I smile and keep on enjoying living?
Here is the difference between my wife and me. All year long, she saves coupons for this shopping spree that she enjoys. I, on the other hand, save up money all year long to enable her shopping spree.
I am an enabler. Is she a Shopaholic? Is this a disease?
Don’t tell her I’m thinking about this, but I believe I am enabling her in this Shopaholic lifestyle.
One thing about being a Shopaholic is that it’s not contagious. It is outrageous, but not contagious.
For me, black Friday always ends on red Monday.
On Friday, my checkbook is all in the black. Come Monday afternoon, it is all in the red.
Of course, I must say it has been working out very well for someone like me who does not like to go shopping. If I liked to go shopping, we might be in competition and that could create some stress. As it stands, she loves shopping and I love her enough to support her shopping. Can you think of a better scenario?
The reason I do not like shopping, especially at the mall, is because of all of the people crowding the stores in the hallways. Although I don’t like to shop, there are times when I must go shopping and when I go shopping, I like to ponder carefully what I’m shopping for.
I do not buy the ﬁrst thing I see. I used to do that and got into a lot of trouble. But now, I need to think through what I’m buying and make sure it’s the exact gift I want to purchase. When there are all kinds of people crowding the store, it does not give me the space to ponder my purchase. I like my personal space.
Not only that, but when I am shopping I want to get the best price and maybe there is another store across town that has the same item for a lot cheaper price. After I buy an item, it always worries me that maybe I could have bought it cheaper at another place.
My thinking about shopping begins when I start shopping. The other side of our marital bliss does it completely different. She thinks about shopping weeks and sometimes months ahead of the purchase date.
When she goes shopping, she has everything thought through and all she has to do is go and pick it up, give them a coupon and pay the bill.
I wish I could be that put together when it comes to shopping. My wife can shop for everybody at the same time and keep all the gifts in order.
I can never do that. I have to think of one present and I cannot think of the next one until I purchased the ﬁrst present. It takes me forever to do any kind of Christmas shopping. That is just the way my clock ticks.
Through the years, I have come to a wonderful solution to this problem. I have one present to buy at Christmas time and that is for my wife. All the other presents for all the other members of the family are negotiated quite successfully by my wife.
I sweat and ponder the proper gift to give. I’m not sure if I have ever given the proper gift, but she always opens it and smiles and says “Thank you.” That’s all I need.
I like what David said about giving. “Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2).
I may not be very good at giving presents, but I’m trying to become a better giver of thanks to God.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www. whatafellowship.com.]