Best gifts given aren’t bought at Black Friday

Freedom New Mexico

It’s Black Friday; do you know where your Christmas shoppers are at?

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is when the holiday shopping season moves into high gear. Today has become known as Black Friday because it’s when many American retailers start to tip over from “red” deficit spending to keep their doors open to the “black” of balanced bottom lines and profit-making.

Of course, this year the term is more likely to refer to a black cloud of depression as every available expert is predicting a dismal holiday season.

Consumers have no confidence in the economy and they are expected to hang on more closely to their cash, just like the nation’s financial lenders.

Consumer spending has been the engine that fuels the U.S. economy going back more than 20 years. So a bad holiday season would eliminate whatever hope might exist that we haven’t already entered a recession or that it would end in a couple of months instead of sometime later in 2009.

Still, no one should be too upset if American shoppers restrain from their annual winter exuberance. After all, none of the holidays celebrated at this time of year — from Christmas to Hanukkah to Las Posadas to Kawanzaa — are supposed to be about some love of material collections.

Selecting and giving a gift should be a symbol that reflects a deeper appreciation for our family and friends and our combined faith in a higher power.

It really is the thought that counts, whether you spent a little or a lot on what you put under a tree, set next to a menorah or stuffed into a stocking.

Worry about how much of yourself that you invest in your gifts, rather than how much money it costs, and our moral accounts will be overflowing this year.