I received an email the other day with the subject “Wednesday Is The New Black Friday,” and it got me thinking. Now don’t get me wrong, I love shopping just as much as the next girl. I could spend the majority of my day sifting through racks of clothing and searching for those amazing steals. Chances are that by the end of a trip to the mall with my friends, I will walk out bearing various shopping bags on both arms. While I’ve done my fair share of shopping in life, some of which occurred the day after Thanksgiving, for some reason, I can’t bring myself to support what Black Friday has become.
As a national holiday and tradition, Thanksgiving is a day set aside to spend time with family and friends, enjoy a festive meal, and reflect on the many things that we are grateful for. But after we count our blessings, some Americans transform into full-out hunting mode. These people are alert, focused, and ready to pounce on every Black Friday deal they set their sights on (and anyone who gets in their way).
With each passing year, however, the stores that participate in this day advertise as opening earlier and earlier. Sure, 6 a.m. openings were pretty early for the mainstream population, but 8 p.m. the night before is really pushing it; it’s reached the point where employees cannot spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones. On a day when they should be relaxing and enjoying the holiday with family, they instead are forced to open up their stores and provide service to eager, and sometimes barbaric, Black Friday consumers.
Recently, with some of the shopping day creeping into the actual day of Thanksgiving, Americans have been more focused than ever on Black Friday. Thanksgiving has essentially taken a back seat. These days, topics of conversation at the dinner table include more about saving “$250 on 49” 4K Ultra HD TV” and less about giving thanks or enjoying time with family and friends. I know that it might be incredible to purchase big ticket items for less, but before you get up and walk out on your next Thanksgiving meal to head out to the nearest Best Buy or Walmart, stop and ask yourself if it is really more important than spending a few extra hours with that cousin you only see once a year, or an aunt that lives on the other side of the country, or the grandparent that could possibly be gone before you know it.
If we could just end Black Friday now, that would give us all something else to be thankful for.