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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Ho ho showdowns

From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day is a time of caroling, family togetherness and the most grueling and hardening form of American free enterprise: holiday shopping.
The term “holiday shopping” refers to those precious weeks prior to Christmas during which you buy gifts for all 300 of your family members, friends, coworkers, associates, acquaintances and local homeless people. For some reason, stores make matters worse by holding massive nationwide sales that start at 6 a.m. and by announcing that the earlier you get there, the more you will save. It’s as if a diabolical mastermind is trying to trick the entire United States into going to the mall. Terrorists are going to stage a military coup of the U.S. government, and no one will be there to stop them because the entire armed forces are at the Toys ‘R’ Us clearance sale fighting over whose kid gets the last G.I. Joe Tiger Storm attack helicopter.
Apparently, some experienced shoppers go to bed early on Thanksgiving just so they can hit the mall at 0600 hours the following morning. Brandishing their credit cards, these veteran shoppers can almost smell a clearance sale and will pick it clean faster than hungry piranhas will consume a steak from Duncan Dining Center, assuming they could stomach it. To put it plainly: Holiday shopping is not the pleasant weekend activity Americans are accustomed to, but a contact sport more akin to Canadian hockey.
Anyone who has ever worked in retail can tell you of the atrocities he witnessed during this time of year. How he prayed before opening and nursed his wounds after closing. “It was terrible,” one might say, “It was the Wal-Mart holiday sale of ’96. There were big women with shopping carts all over the place, and it took everything I had to keep them from taking the shirt off my back.” Store employees are helpless in these situations, unless they are well trained in self-defense, negotiation and riot control. If you ever consider such a position, be sure to check if they provide special training before the holiday season and all-expense-paid trips to the psychiatrist when it’s over.
With employee hostilities increasing, it is painfully obvious that Americans need to remember that the holiday season is not about fighting over the last super-skanky Paris Hilton doll. It’s about gift cards. Can’t find that perfect gift for your estranged cousin Joey? Get him a gift card to your favorite store. It’s just like money, but more restricted and less impersonal. Of course, stay away from cards that make a donation to some ridiculous non-profit organization such as the Save the Blind, Paralyzed, Homeless Shrimp Foundation.
In all seriousness, take care this Christmas, and enjoy the gift of freedom from classes, homework and exams. Visit old friends, but stay in touch with those you made here at A&M, and most importantly, remind your parents how much they love you and why you’re their absolute favorite child before grades are released on Dec. 21.

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