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It would be so nice to tell you everything that I’m thankful for given that we’re headed into Thanksgiving and all, but there’s something else that’s on my mind.

Can we talk about Black Friday for a minute? Here’s an excerpt to bring you up to speed:

A brief history (source: TIME http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1942935,00.html#ixzz1eXnwZerQ )

As early as the 19th century, shoppers have viewed Thanksgiving as the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, an occasion marked by celebrations and sales. Department stores in particular locked onto this marketing notion, hosting parades to launch the start of the first wave of Christmas advertisements, chief among them, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, running in New York City since 1924. The holiday spree became so important to retailers that during the Great Depression, they appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 to move Thanksgiving up in order to stretch out the holiday shopping season.

The term Black Friday itself was originally used to describe something else entirely — the Sept. 24, 1864, stock-market panic set off by plunging gold prices. Newspapers in Philadelphia reappropriated the phrase in the late 1960s, using it to describe the rush of crowds at stores. The justification came later, tied to accounting balance sheets where black ink would represent a profit. Many see Black Friday as the day retailers go into the black or show a profit for the first time in a given year. The term stuck and spread, and by the 1990s Black Friday became an unofficial retail holiday nationwide. Since 2002, Black Friday has been the season’s biggest shopping day each year except 2004, according to market-research firm ShopperTrak.

As much as we roll our eyes at how men seem to remember every stat about every player and every team in every sport for every year, I’ve seen women know how much 25% off a $39.95 sweater comes out to without blinking an eye. Shopping has become a sport, of sorts. We show off our best bargains and retell stories of how we spent hours scouring through the pile in the back of the dressing room to find the “perfect blouse” that had a minor defect that marked it down to like 80% off 5 minutes before they closed the store. It’s like draining that three pointer as the buzzer goes off after faking out three guys from the other end of the court. Yup, it’s a full on sport.

There’s a certain thrill when I come out of a store valiantly having conquered every full-priced item that dared come against me. The best feeling in the world is when I have gift cards and coupons to use on already marked down items to get a $250 clothing item for mere dollar bills. The higher the face value, the bigger the margin, the higher my satisfaction seems to be. Are we on the same page so far, ladies? You know what I’m talking about. We know a good deal when we see one.

But do we really?

When’s the last time you felt THAT GOOD about the gospel? The best deal that we could have ever gotten or will ever get, is the free gift of salvation that we’ve received from God. The best “black Friday” was “Good Friday”; the day that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, purchasing salvation for us. Hallelujah! Now THERE’S something to be thankful for 🙂

There’s nothing wrong with shopping, but let’s never replace our spiritual wealth with the temporary goods we have here on earth. If you still can’t resist the urge to clip some coupons, I made some for you (click to enlarge):

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