Returning to the spirit of the season

Returning to the spirit of the season

Several years ago, someone brought a ceramic figure to the office as part of our holiday decorations.

It was Santa Claus kneeling over a manger containing the Christ child.

If anything, it was a tangible reminder of just how much the true meaning of the season has been lost in a sea of sheer consumerism.

In the wake of the death and destruction that marked Black Friday, it appears once again a growing number of consumers are willing to sacrifice their souls to save a buck.

On the other side of the country, a temporary Wal-Mart worker lost his life while attempting to unlock the doors and greet shoppers anxious to get at the "door buster specials." Rather than provide compassionate care and comfort, shoppers stepped on and over the victim and some were enraged when the store attempted to halt the shopping spree because of the death.

There are those who would blame media hype which, over the past decade, has created what some call a consumer sporting event on the day after Thanksgiving.

Others would blame retailers who offer small supplies of deeply-discounted items.

In the end, the shame of this sad episode, said the Chicago Tribune, is a shared one.

While we agree with that, we also lean a bit toward suggesting the shoppers, not the retailers, were the ones who checked their decency outside the doors of that Wal-Mart store.

The death of the Wal-Mart worker was not the only tragedy that occurred on the retail scene during Black Friday. Elsewhere across the country there were other deaths and incidents among those seeking to unearth a bargain.

Whatever happened to old-fashioned scenes that include carolers on the corner, shoppers enjoying the social experience of the season as much as the search for gifts, decorations at every intersection and Christmas parades through the downtown?

It's still here on the streets of Eastern Oregon.

It's also safer, closer and the dollars we spend go back into our local economy.

We ask a lot of our merchants in terms of supporting our community with their taxes, as sources for local employment and their donations to every imaginable cause.

In the spirit of the season and as a show of goodwill, perhaps we can return the favor.

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