Bleak Friday

I will admit that I was one of the early risers on November 28.  I got up at 3:30 am, showered, and drove (bleary-eyed) to Savannah to find some bargains.  Got a carseat for $34.99 at Sears, cute lil' sleeping bags for $8 at Target, blah blah, and so on and so forth.  What I didn't get (this year) was a big ticket item.  What I didn't see (this year) was a massive hoard of people waiting in line outside of the stores.  Most shockingly, none of the items on our "must get" list were even sold out by the time we got to them.  And although the lines at Target indicated that there were *plenty* of people spending money, it just didn't feel like it has in past years.

My suspicions have been confirmed by article after article reporting that sales are down.  Retails sales dropped for a 5th consecutive month in November, despite Black Friday (or perhaps this year...Bleak Friday).  Of course, economists are crying recession (to which we all reply, "Duh").  They're saying that it's terrible that sales are down, this is a bad sign, etc.

Actually, I beg to differ.

I think for the first time in decades, people are scared.  People are thinking that maybe, just maybe, it's time to start thinking about financial responsibility.  Perhaps we shouldn't rely on our line of credit to get us through things.  Maybe living paycheck to paycheck, as we dine out 5 of the 7 nights a week and spend without a budget *hasn't* been such a great idea.  It might be smart to cut back a little bit, even at the holidays.

While I do feel a certain amount of pity for the retailers, I think this whole discretionary-spending-on-the-part-of-the-consumer could be considered a bright spot in this midst of our present recession.  It shows responsibility.  And I have to admit, in my young, cynical life, I've not witnessed much of that.

To all of you, I wish a happy, albeit probably-more-frugal Christmas.  We all know that's not what it's *really* about anyway, right?
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