In the Spirit of the Season?

At 6 a.m. this morning in Times Square, a line of shoppers several hundred deep burst through the doors of Toys “R” Us and promptly formed a second, equally long line to buy the season’s must-have product: T.M.X. Elmo.

The standard, morning-after-Thanksgiving retail behavior ensued — pushing, shouting, grabbing — until the dolls sold out and a frustrated crowd of Elmo-less consumers fanned out across the store in search of a substitute.

Shoppers Mob Malls for Holiday Discounts

I suppose this is nothing new, but I’m always amazed (appalled?) at how the intended spirit of the season gets buried under an avalanche of greed.

As for me, I did get up at 6 a.m. to go to a store to shop. It was at Purlescence Yarns, which my friends opened October 14. It was called a Pajama Jammy-Jam sale. The staff did wore their jammies, as did a few of the customers. If you arrived between 6-7 a.m., everything was 30% off; 7-8 a.m. it was 25% off, 8-9 a.m. 20% off, etc. They weren’t sure they’d get more than a handful of customers. When I pulled up at 6:20, the parking lot was nearly full and the store was positively jammed. (No pun intended!) They had coffee, tea, and spiced cider. Everyone was cheerful and courteous, discussing with complete strangers what they might make with a skein or two of a particular yarn, or exclaiming over the softness of the luxury yarns. I, um, didn’t make it out of the store without dropping a bundle. (Shhhh, don’t tell Husband.) But I did walk away having saved $73! I easily spent what I did on some clothing a few months ago, so why not yarn (and a book on Victorian lace knitting)? I’ve got yarn for five different projects: a hat, a lap blanket, a shawl, socks, and a scarf. All useful. Right?

I wavered quite a bit over what to buy, but fellow knitters are nothing if not addicts and enablers when it comes to fiber and anything related to it. I had plenty of encouragement. Resistance was futile.

It was an altogether lovely way to spend the morning.

[cross-posted at Knit Together]

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4 Comments on “In the Spirit of the Season?”

  1. Eden Says:

    I wonder how many of those people donated the money they would have spent on TMX Elmo to their local PBS station. I bet 0.

  2. Bill Bradford Says:

    The first time I read this I read it as “Purlescence Yams” and thought “ooh an entire store dedicated to sweet potatoes!”

  3. Winston Says:

    Everyone I know claims to not be part of the early mall assault team on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Which probably means some of them are lying. Who are these people? Do they have nothing better to do with their lives?

    Last week I stopped by BestBuy to pickup something. There was a line outside down the side of the building. Must have been a couple of hundred deep, huddled in sleeping bags, some with tents, all with iPods (or other). I noted them with curiosity and went on inside where I asked the door attendant what was going on out there. “Play Station 3” was the answer. Some were camped out for days, enduring torrential rain, near freezing temps, eating nothing but fast food, sharing a porta-jon with a couple of hundred strangers. And I once again asked, “Why?”

  4. Bill Bradford Says:

    Winston: I didn’t see any “Black Friday” deals worth even getting out of bed for.