This week, one American seasonal tradition is on everyone’s lips: Black Friday. Today is the day when US retailers kick off the pre-Christmas rush with a slew of discounts, and their finances are said to move back into the black as a result.
This year, Brits are promised our own welter of price cuts. But it’s a pity to import this tradition without its inseparable partner: Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving with US friends is part of my life, but anyone can take a moment to tot up their reasons to be grateful. Here are a few to start you off.
I’m thankful for the plenitude of goods in our commercial society, which has turned an orgy of shopping, once only for the wealthiest, into a mass participation event. I’m thankful especially for the miraculous communication technologies built and refined by the tech sector to bring us all closer together, so that even when my wife is on the other side of the world we can chat as if the distance wasn’t there.
I’m thankful for the way such technology permits firms such as Airbnb and Uber to grow to multi-billion dollar valuations in just a few years, thanks to the peer-to-peer networks of opportunity they are enabling on a global scale.
I’m grateful for a country so rich, peaceful and law-abiding that people are drawn here, offering Britain their talents and dreams; and to big pharma companies, for drugs such as GSK’s new Ebola vaccine. I’m geekily grateful for today’s new Star Wars trailer, an epic once again filmed in the UK, thanks to our favourable tax regime.
Above all, let’s be grateful for family and friends, and the love on display on days like this, when we celebrate by freely spending our time and hard- earned money on gifts for one another.