Black Friday

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

Yesterday saw the United States come to a halt as people got together with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Today will see a fair few of those same people heading to malls and department stores to do their Christmas shopping. However, this isn’t any normal day of shopping, today will be the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday:

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I had thought that Black Friday was just an American thing, but judging from the adverts on TV and the subject headings of the emails in my inbox, the hysteria has made its way over here. I saw it in person too – at a shopping centre earlier this week when, even at 9 pm, there were still thousands of people shopping for presents.

I don’t care what people spend their money on – it’s theirs, they earned it, they can spend it however they like. I’m not that interested in snooty arguments about consumerism, either. What struck me was that, in all probability, the people who are shopping on Black Friday or mid-week at shopping centres are not doing it for themselves, they’re surely buying Christmas presents for others.

That got me thinking about why we all go out and spend so much of our hard-earned cash on other people. I don’t think it’s because we’re all slaves to consumerism. I don’t necessarily think it’s because we expect to get something back in return, either. I think we all just like to see the look on the faces of our friends and family when they open a present, which we’ve given to them, and it’s immediately clear that the present was what they wanted. With that in mind, maybe we don’t all need to be shopping at 9pm on a Wednesday, maybe we just need to spend a bit more time thinking about what we should get and whether it’s actually going to be appreciated.
Speaking of appreciation, with this being the day after Thanksgiving, I feel it’s appropriate for TF to give thanks too. Surprisingly enough, TF gives thanks that Tom Selleck decided that this look didn’t suit him:
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But that this one did:
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Have a great weekend folks!

We could be heroes

Hello Tash Appreciators,

This will be the second to last TF of what is, incredibly, Tash Friday’s second year.

Earlier this week, I had a look back at what I said around this time last year. As some of you may recall, last year’s festive TFs looked at Christmases Past, Present and Future.

In the final TF of 2011, I said this:

With the Tash of Christmas Future, I hope that we can all look ahead to the things that can be achieved or, more excitingly, attempted. After all, it is only by pushing ourselves beyond what we perceive as our capabilities that we can really test our mettle. It’s also at these times that we tend to find that we are capable of doing more, and going further, than we thought possible.

If you look back at 2012 you can see numerous examples of people who did just that:

Closer to home, 2012 has seen numerous new jobs (100% decrease in unemployment among Tash Appreciators); new houses; exotic holidays; an engagement or two; weddings; and what would appear to be, in the main, relative contentment.Friday morning rhetoric about getting stuck in, aiming higher than just an “acceptable” level and about life being too short is one thing but it looks very much like this year exceeded expectations. If we had sat down a year ago, and recorded our hopes for the year, would we have thought ourselves too ambitious by suggesting that all of the above would happen? Yes, is probably the answer.

The question we therefore have to ask ourselves is: what’s next?

We must be ambitious, enthusiastic, vigorous and determined. The coming year will not bring financial prosperity for the nation or even, dare I say it, any indication that we’re on the right track towards it. However, this year has shown we can do just fine; even in times of relative hardship. Onwards and upwards must be our battle-cry!

So that leaves us with this week’s Tash. Serendipitously, Bowie just faded into my earphones and so, with the words “just for one day…” ringing in my ears, I leave you with this week’s Tash (from the excellent movie The Prestige), David Bowie:

See you next week for the end of year/world edition…Cheers.