Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

November 29, 2012

Holiday Happenings in keeping with spirit

Andover is 32 square miles and has more than 30,000 residents. One of those annual events that keeps this community feeling like a small town is approaching.

Holiday Happenings, an event that closed Main Street for a tree lighting, music and horse-drawn hayrides, is coming to town next Friday night, Dec. 7. The event is organized by the Andover Business Center Association, and is meant to draw people to the downtown with special deals at the local mom-and-pop shops.

We have a feeling that among all the cocoa and costumed characters and horse-drawn hayrides we won’t here of anyone being knocked down to get the last of the Wii U gaming systems.

Our sister paper, the Eagle-Tribune recently listed some of the headlines of the “Black Friday” shopping rush that were posted on The Drudge Report website:

“Gang fight at Black Friday sale.”

“Man punched in face pulls gun on line-cutting shopper.”

“Shoppers smash through door.”

“Customers run over in parking lot.”

“Men steal boy’s shopping bag.”

There are many more. Taken together, they raise a question: Have we, as a nation, gone insane?

All this violence and mayhem — for what? To save a few bucks on a toy or the latest electronic gadget? What is the cost to the human spirit of this frenzy of consumerism?

It’s wonderful to be able to give a gift or two to a child or other family member at Christmas or Hanukkah. But somehow, that desire to give has become corrupted into “must have or the holiday will be ruined.”

We’ve seen this kind of collective insanity before. Usually, it is associated with a hot new toy or product that everyone wants. Recall the mania for Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo dolls or the rush to get the latest video-gaming system. People fear that the supply will run out so an atmosphere of panic buying develops.

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