Many can agree that waking up at four in the morning isn’t what they want to be doing after eating all those mashed potatoes and being interrogated by multiple family members. But many will willingly do so. Could it be the amazing deals, the electronics they bring home, or just the tradition itself? Yes, it’s a nationally well-known day and will most likely stay an American tradition for many years to come — but that doesn’t mean it’s a relaxing day, in and out of a store. It is a stressful day for everyone.
Pushing shopping on Thanksgiving doesn’t only put pressure on people to jump out of their food coma; it takes people away from their family gatherings because they have to run to work or to make it to the stores in time for the deals. It’s an odd experience to go from Thanksgiving, the day of thanks where people are thankful for what they have, to Black Friday where they need to buy everything that they don’t have. Many are thankful they make it out of Best Buy or Walmart alive.
No one signs up for getting knocked out over a flat screen, but it will happen. With the motto “first come first serve,” everyone is at risk for getting hurt — maybe the day should be called “Black Eye Friday.” In the end, is it worth the injuries? Some will say, “yes, I need all these things,” but do they actually? No, most people don’t need three of the new Macbooks, but some of the pushes and shoves are from people who go shopping to buy things they normally can’t afford. The day is not what it used to be, the materialism is still high, but years ago it was overall a more exciting experience.
The old days for us young people were where people were camping outside of stores at 2 a.m., when the excitement felt was built on spending more time with family and accomplishing the missions our parents sent us on. Some went for the deals, others went for the excitement. The “tradition” should be called “Black Weekend” because the day lost its magic and isn’t even one day thing anymore.
The shopping hysteria in many cases isn’t even warranted, as some vendors stealthily markup their prices in the weeks leading up to Black Friday so that the supposed discount is more often than not the normal price. It’s the ugliest side of consumerism in the culture. It encourages people to get things they don’t need. It’s really just an excuse to get more stuff to fill a hole that will never be filled.
A safer and easier alternative to getting a better price for your Christmas presents is the following Monday. Some have turned to ordering their supposedly discounted appliances online on Cyber Monday to avoid leaving the comfort of home for the lines and chaos of buying in person and to support small online businesses.
As the crazy holiday weekend passed, we are all just lucky to have eaten a little stuffing and snagged a couple stocking stuffers to look back on. For the rest of the season, we hope everyone has a stressless and memorable shopping experience.