‘So this is Christmas?’

In 2007, Aerosmith released a song, “Livin’ on the Edge,” whose lyrics, as most rock lyrics do, still hold true years later:

“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today. I don’t know what it is. Something’s wrong with our eyes.

“We’re seeing things in a different way, and God knows it ain’t His.

“It sure ain’t no surprise. We’re livin’ on the edge.”

Aside from the fact that getting tickets to an Aerosmith concert, or any band or performer who seeks “social justice,” leaves one falling off the edge, the lyrics are pretty spot on.

I have never, I repeat, never shopped on Black Friday before. I don’t even leave the house. For me, that’s a day for putting up the tree, watching college football and the annual Boston Bruins’ Black Friday matinee game (that the NHL in its infinite wisdom took away this year).

But circumstances beyond my control took me outside the cozy comforts of home and from the mound of tryptophan that was calling my name from the fridge.

I discovered I HAD to go to one of the major retailers for a much-needed item for a friend.

I immediately offered to go, but on the drive there it hit me .... Black Friday! Fighting the increasing temptation to pull a U-ey (New England for U-turn), I made it through the traffic to the parking lot. “At least I’ll get in a two-mile walk each way,” I thought as I parked in a spot where I could barely make out the retailer’s enormous sign.

I entered and saw and heard things I never want to see  and hear again. This was around 11 a.m., so there was nearly 12 hours of carnage that had already taken place.

It looked as though the store actually vomited its inventory. Clothes and shoes and CDs and DVDs and who knows what else were strewn all over the floor, racks, and I swear I saw some on the ceiling fans.

I had to figure out a game-plan quickly. I determined the departments that would have little to no people in them and made my way to my destination through them.

I got what I needed, and figured I’d grab a couple of groceries while there — but that was at the opposite end of the store.

I saw the hoards of shoppers in electronics and video games and steered clear of those. 

Drat! I had to pass through men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. There was no way around it.

I wished that the store had a religious articles department. I’m sure there would have been no one there.

I followed a couple of “blockers” who had no problem pushing folks aside on their way to God knows where.

I saw the dog food aisle and sought refuge there for a few minutes to catch my breath. I poked my head around the corner and scrambled to the toilet paper aisle. No gift-seekers there!

I picked up my items and snaked my way up to the lines at the registers that put the Great Wall of China to shame.

While in line, I started thinking (I had plenty of time at that point to do so). What is happening here?

All of this is going on — here and in stores all across the country. People are actually fighting, getting knifed or shot for this? For what? Oh yeah, to celebrate the birthday of the Baby Jesus; the Savior; the One Who would lead all of us away from this type of behavior. I wondered what is He thinking now?

I emerged from the horror show alive. I checked to see if I still had my wallet ... and my limbs, and if so, if they were intact. Check and check.

John Lennon once asked in song, “So this is Christmas?” No. “We’re seeing things in a different way, and God knows it ain’t His. It sure ain’t no surprise. We’re livin’ on the edge.” Not all of us.

“Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright, ’round yon Virgin, mother and Child. Holy Infant so tender and mild. Sleep in Heavenly peace. Sleep in Heavenly peace.”

That’s Christmas. No blue-light specials. Just the light of the Star of Bethlehem.

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at davejolivet@anchornews.org.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts