Let's not rant about Black Friday - let's change it
Here's a riddle for you.
When is the best time to plant a tree?
The answer is roughly twenty years ago.
So when is the second-best time to plant a tree?
The answer is today.
Do you feel a zen calm wash over you as you absorb my wisdom? Good! So now let us apply our new found knowledge to the thorny subject of Black Friday. Every year we moan about it. Every year we offer money to charity instead of discounts, or support Buy Nothing Day, or something else. And still nothing changes. Still it continues.
So here's another riddle for you.
Are you happy with the way Christmas is going this year? Do you find it relaxing... stress-free... meaningful... fulfilling? Or is it just a long headache which leaves you with empty pockets and a sore head on Boxing Day?
Now. Imagine. What does Christmas look like in twenty year's time? Just think about how much it has changed in the past twenty years. 1996. No mobile phones to speak of, no internet to speak of, let alone online shopping. No Amazon, no Facebook, no eBay. What do you think will change by 2036 - and will it be better or worse?
I think you can see where I'm going with this. If we want it to change, we have to change it. We have to stop doing what the adverts tell us, and go back to a simpler, more heartfelt experience of what Christmas time should be about.
So this Black Friday I'm not going to buy anything that isn't from a local shop here in Hay. If everyone did the same, of course, Black Friday would fade away. Whether that happens or we carry on the current course is up to all of us. In 2036 perhaps we'll be hearing those troika bells when the clocks go back... but equally, perhaps we'll have resolved to make Christmas a special time again, where we think about what we can give to others, rather than just a blizzard of buying. See you in twenty years!