The Real Meaning Of Black Friday
Every year, in the early morning hours of the day after Thanksgiving, a ritual occurs where millions of shoppers gather impatiently outside stores, trying to take advantage of special deals. Some camp out for days in the November cold in the hope of buying a new item. When the doors finally swing open to deliver them from the morning chill, people swarm in like a cloud of flies, jumping on discounted items, and the chaos begins. Crowds of people scramble for the gifts they want. People are shoved and pushed aside. Fights break out. Any resemblance of organized “society” breaks down as people throw themselves at the only Hello Kitty branded sofa remaining. This madness is Black Friday. This year, stores decided to take Black Friday a step further. Instead of starting their sales on the day after Thanksgiving, many stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target and others have decided to welcome hordes of shoppers to their stores on Thanksgiving Day in an adventure to take more dollars from more people’s pockets. And the people let them, eager to wait in lines for days in order to secure a deal on unwanted items that they wouldn’t have bought, leaving Thanksgiving tables normally filled with warmth and conversation instead absent, cold, and silent. Black Friday’s creators have been continually creeping toward the day we normally save for family time and being appreciative for what we have. Threatening to turn Thanksgiving into Black Thanksgiving. This routine needs to stop, and only with the combined effort of the guilty parties involved. The corporations and the people themselves. Can Thanksgiving as we know it be saved? What happened to Thanksgiving? The day is supposed to be a time when people can gather with their loved ones and be thankful for what they have in life, not a day spent getting ready to fight with shoppers as they scramble for discounted cell phones and toys. Black Friday is stepping on sacred ground. When will the Thanksgiving holiday become known as the Black Friday holiday? How soon will it be before stores offer a free turkey to families who wait in line on Thanksgiving day so they don’t have to skip their Thanksgiving meal? There is no doubt Black Friday is an important part of the United States’ economy. Some stores depend on strong sales during Black Friday and during the holiday season more generally, to boost the store’s sales for the entire year. Not only that, but stores feel additional pressure from every corner. Not only do they have to deal with a terrible economy, but their sales are also being taken away by increasingly competitive online companies like Amazon. Stores who decide to extend the Black Friday discounts in order to boost sales can’t be blamed for simply trying to keep the company ahead in bad economic conditions. Black Friday itself is not entirely bad to society. But extending it into Thanksgiving is. The day of Thanksgiving needs to be a time when people can be together with their families and be grateful for time spent with their loved ones. When stores drag people away with dazzling discounts, we as a society forget the crucial need for family, friends, and relaxation in trade of a belief that buying is what’s best. And so when we rush into the space of crazy shoppers to purchase the perfect gift for someone important, we forget that spending time with that person is the best gift you can give.