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Growing into more and more of a yuletide plague, Christmas looms craftily on the calendar when Halloween ends, replacing pumpkins with presents and turning shopping into a nightmare.

It begins at the stroke of midnight, when all at once there’s a sudden shift from Halloween and all of the wickedness evolves into Christmas, and the frenzy of shopping begins for another year. Let it be said now that there is no hating on the holiday itself, in all it represents; Christmas truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.” There are beautiful lights, good food, piles of gifts, stockings, music, and sugared-up good times with family and friends. But there comes a time when too much is just too much, and America has teetered over that line with savings-crazed eyes.

Never mind the fact that Thanksgiving, a time filled with stuffing, gravy, roasted turkey, mac and cheese, and that parade we all grew up with, gets shortchanged. Never mind the fact that many don’t even register a holiday between Halloween and Christmas, glossing over a day of thanks and football. Never mind the fact that all of the pumpkins are left to rot on stoops, overrun by swollen figures of Saint Nick, electric candy canes, and packages delivered as the result of overly energized commercials.

No, the main reason that Christmas has become a dangerous tyrant is the bizarre and often dangerous shopping tendencies it inspires as the public races out to find the perfect gift, and in doing so, creating an enormous war zone. The day after Thanksgiving, noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, draws crowds of consumers with special offers from retailers. What is one of the biggest battles you can fight during the holidays? Black Friday, when only the bravest venture out into the streets to try and buy cheaply made DVD players at outrageously low prices. For those wishing to risk life and limb for Furbies, this year the aptly named day of discount darkness will occur on Friday, November 28, but caution should be used. To prove just how violent shoppers can be in their scramble to accelerate the year into Christmas time, just look at the death count rendered from Black Fridays in the past.

Since Black Friday in 2006, there have been nine deaths and over 80 serious injuries resulting from trampling, fighting over products, and other acts of violence. People getting caught underneath the crowds’ feet, others elbowing, pushing, and in some cases even shooting fellow shoppers to steal their wares.

In 2008 a Wal-Mart worker in Long Island, NY, was literally trampled to death under the heavy feet of savings-seekers. Shoppers described as savages broke down the doors, jumped over barricades, and threw themselves at the desperate human chain of workers. In another horrific Black Friday incident in 2013, an 18-year-old was charged with stabbing a man in the stomach in the Carlsbad Mall of San Diego, California, proving that it isn’t solely adults committing crimes. Additionally, two people were shot at a Tallahassee Wal-Mart over a parking space in 2012, resulting in serious injury.

What was supposed to remain a charitable, family-oriented holiday has evolved into a black monster riddled with greed, the hunt for a good deal overtaking better judgment and regard for human life.



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