Good Girls Don't Say Things Like That...

... but I do.

Victoria Carlson

Victoria Carlson
Burbank/Toluca Lake, California, USA
June 09
L.A. native. Single mother. Writer. Dog whisperer. Gemini. Crossword geek. Recovering Catholic. Novice Buddhist. Multi-tasker. Jedi Master. Currently working on a collection of short stories based upon personal experiences. Recent contributor to the L.A. Times and featured on


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NOVEMBER 28, 2011 9:28PM

Dear Santa: All I Want For Christmas is Everything

Rate: 4 Flag


Guess they couldn't wait until the door opened.

Back in the 80’s, when Black Friday rolled around, my mom would rise before dawn, put on one of her festive Christmas sweaters and make the twenty minute drive to JC Penney, which opened its doors at 5am. As the manager of the cosmetics department, my mom bravely stood at her post, armed and ready with perfumes and gift sets. Penney’s always promoted some sort of give-away for its early bird shoppers. I remember, even then, thinking people were crazy to get up so early just to snag themselves a small, cheap, plastic holiday snow globe. It’s not like these things were collectibles. Nevertheless, there they were, lined up at the door, waiting to claim their reward for getting up so early.

Some years ago, K-Mart, I think it was, got a jump-start on Christmas and thought it would be a good idea to open on Thanksgiving. I guess this pre-Black Friday tactic worked because this year, a bevy of major retailers opened their doors either on Thanksgiving, or at midnight, instead of the more traditional 5am.

So, what drives some people to forgo a good night’s sleep in order to get to Macy’s by midnight, Toys r Us by 3am, or pepper spray their fellow shoppers at Wal-Mart just so they can procure an X-Box on sale?  Perhaps it’s the same thing that drives the retailers and mucky mucks on Wall Street.


Some of the Black Friday incidents of late reminded of those women I observed pillaging Target the day the Missoni line was released. Like rabid, starving animals, these women blindly grabbed armfuls of whatever they could get their paws on. Within twenty minutes, the racks were picked clean, save for a couple of less desirable items, which were left for the meek and weak. It mattered not that these frocks were cheap, flimsy, and manufactured-for-the-masses-who-can’t-afford-the-high-end-stuff. It still bore the Missoni name. They just had to have it and they weren’t going to share.




Do we really need three 65” flat screens for one household? Does every kid have to have an X-Box, PS3, Nintendo DS and a Wii? Does a ten year-old really need an iPhone? Is that cashmere scarf, those fluffy slippers, or that last Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD really worth fighting for? Is it necessary to bully our way to the front of the line, or aggressively steer our carts through crowds of shoppers just to score the best deal? Since when did we become so uncivilized? When did it become acceptable to forgo civility and consideration, during what is generally known as the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men? What’s happened to us?  


It’s understandable that in this economic climate, we’re all desperately clamoring for the absolute best holiday deal. I know we want to give our families the best possible holiday despite having less money to work with, but at what cost?

By behaving badly at the mall and vying aggressively for that X-Box, are we not teaching our children it’s okay to bully others to get what you want? In our efforts to keep up with the Kardashian's by stockpiling computers and televisions and iPods and designer clothes and other luxury items, are we not teaching our children to place more value on material goods over say, family and friends?


It’s something to think about, isn't it?


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I don't know, Victoria. Sometimes I wonder if it's greed or feeling like you've "gotten one over" on someone else. Something to boast about, or maybe to feel justified in spending the money. I never had the stamina or desire to do anything like knock someone over just to get the last deep discounted electronic goody. Nothing material is worth that. Remember in 2008 when the Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death?

For the past three years, my 2 dtrs. & I have made the 45 min. trip to a huge outlet mall in the wee hours of Black Friday. It's something for us to do together, the drive is fun and there's something delicious about milling around in a big crowd at 3 a.m. and not getting to bed until 6:30 or 7! We don't buy much. The "deals" are no better than the regular stores nearby but that's not why we go.

Unfortunately this year, the outlet mall was dead compared to other years. It's because the retailers opened earlier, like you mentioned. It was kind of sad.
Of course it is; it is called the American Way of life. R
I totally get that, Margaret, the going out into the fray just for fun. I used to brave the crowds and the impossible parking just to go to that cheesy Hollywood Christmas parade. And I've done the Black Friday thing, too, but I'll intentionally park a mile away so I don't have to do battle over a stupid parking space. I have friends who were going shopping as soon as the stores opened. They told me they loved it and they loved having all their shopping done by 10am. For some, it's definitely about the tradition.

Ever since I discovered the joys of online shopping, though, well, I love not having to deal with the mall at all!
I have mallphobia. Can't stand crowds... the audio/visual addition to the "scents" and germs- Sooo, I shop on line and locally. My kids and grandkids get checks. For me...Toys are Us is like a short trip to Hell.
Black Friday, they tell me, was a huge success.
The American economy might be saved, you commie,
why don't you damn pinkos get it? Greed isn't good, certainly,
but it is the human predicament. we are finite creatures who
yearn for the infinite. God made us that way. You cannot
possibly argue with how God made us. Also , remember what
Adam Smith said. Enlightened self interest is the thing, gal.

Anyway, most of these shoppers are mamas lookin out
for their kids. I hope u wouldn’t deny the little ones the shit they need. To stay competitive with all the other little kids. Kids are the future. Black Friday is the future. We are back in black, America! Yahoo!
Jim, did just call me a commie? LOL