Friday, November 29, 2013

Back in Black? Ack!

If you're reading this on a handheld device while standing in a line outside a big box store to snag a once-in-a-lifetime-deal that isn't on a television, a new cell phone, a refrigerator-freezer or gaming console, please go home now.

All of us who have the capabilities to read this blather have all the physical possessions we shall ever need-anything you're standing in line for now, or elbowing folks out of the way to get to later in the day as Black Friday accelerates, is sheer and absolute greed.

Thanksgiving, and this is still Thanksgiving my friend, is to celebrate with friends, old and new and not acquire more things to put in the basement or attic with the other things we already own and don't use.

Many years ago in Germany I had an acquaintance who explained Americans as "people who buy things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like." I really disliked him for that characterization but I always think about what he said when Black Friday rolls around and know I cannot argue with his point.

Where I live, Norwich, Connecticut, a town of about 45,000, if I were to add up all the square footage of all the shops in our downtown, occupied buildings or otherwise, I suspect it's less than the floor space in the average Super Box Store.

I smile realizing tomorrow is Small Business Saturday because, assuming you're not tuckered out from that super deal you got on the 1932 hand-carved mahogany Terraplane at MaxBucks MegaStore, you could support one or more of the local shops where you live, all of whom help make your city or town an even better place to come home to.

Perhaps to help you keep that same small town in each of us, you have where you live a semi-official start of the season such as ours here. Tonight, technically speaking this afternoon at 4:30, starting at City Hall and culminating at 6:00 PM with the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf himself (no, not Will Farrell or Bob Newhart) and the lighting of City Hall, Norwich, once again, establishes its bonafides as Connecticut's Christmas City.

We've given each other some hard knocks lately, and I'd suspect/expect a few more before the New Year arrives but we do this Christmas kick-off stuff really great and will have a terrific parade tomorrow starting at noon at Chelsea Parade. We always have room for more so if you're waiting for an invitation, this is it. And though it's been said many times, many ways.....
-bill kenny

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