And people wonder why I despise the holidays ....
From the NY Daily News comes the story of a very black day at the beginning of the holiday season. (Look, we know it's called Black Friday, but this should never happen.)
A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.
The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.
"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."
The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.
The cause of death wasn't immediately available pending results of an autopsy.
A 28-year-old pregnant woman was knocked to the floor during the mad rush. She was hospitalized for observation, police said. Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said.
Three other shoppers suffered minor injuries, cops said.
Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.
"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."
Only a few stopped.
"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."
Now, why do I despise the holiday season, you ask? Surely it's not because of a story like this, right?
Not in so many words, but this lends credence to why I've grown so disillusioned with the holiday season, and why it takes Marcie about three weeks to get me in the Christmas spirit. We have completely forgotten what this time of the year is about. It used to be that this time of the signified a time to get together with family and friends. For those of us who are religious, it's a time to recall the birth of our Lord and Savior.
But that's not the case any longer. Now it's about the petulant brats who want the newest, coolest gadgets at the cheapest price. then there are the kids. I'm kidding, really, but what used to be a traditional, family oriented holiday has become a mad dash of wanton consumerism. Nowadays, the holidays just don't seem like the holidays I remember from my youth.
Throw in the radio stations here in Phoenix that have decided that from now until the day after Christmas their FM formats will consist of Christmas music only, and you now know why I'm ripping my hair out during the holidays. (Two stations actually started playing Christmas music at the beginning of November. Sheesh.) And since everyone else jumps the gun on Christmas, I have jumped the gun with them. My Scrooge side comes out on Black Friday as everyone and their brother makes a mad dash for the stores. And why do they do it? Because little Johnny just can't live without his XBox 360, or little Jane needs the new MP3 player because her old one is full, and Dad just can't live without his new plasma, hi-def TV and Blue Ray DVD player.
Malarkey. They can too live without those toys and gadgets. I did. They can too. It's time to take a step back from all this, take a deep breath, and remember why we celebrate this holiday season. This isn't what Christmas is about, but it's become what our society is about. And that, my friends, is the real tragedy of Christmas.