Today while millions of people were shopping, about 200 people and me were at Unity Unitarian church observing the Frist Black Friday service. This is a new effort designed to help all deal with the cultural and spiritual aspects of a holiday that is somewhat out of control. We had magnificant music an acoustic group specializing in Southern US and Celtic music, a story by the magnificant Kevin Kling,and conversation with those near us in the sanctuary. Children 4-10 had their own discussion group, considering the question: Is it possible to get too many Christmas gifts? They seemed to consider more the consequences of too many gifts: One would have to take over all the houses in the neighborhood for storage.
Press photographers were there, too. The idea of celebrating the season with music and thought rather than shopping seems to be novel. Here's a link to the Minnesota Public Radio story:
Later in the day-- our church made the news such as news is these days -- about 30 seconds -- as something that is new totally in the United States and something that may move to other faith-based communities next year.
Later yet: Here's the story on the KARE-11 web site: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=530638&catid=2