With about a month left until the day after Thanksgiving, everyone is bracing themselves for the special deals that stores will offer on Black Friday.
The day after we sit around our family tables and thank each other for the various joys in our lives, people flock in droves to their local stores to get cheap televisions and free blenders. They participate in ridiculous contests in order to win toys their kids don’t actually need, and they do harm to themselves and others to get the best deals.
The Craziness of Black Friday
For a while, each Black Friday seemed to get a little bit more ridiculous than the last. The deals get more extreme and the news surrounding the transgressions that take place only gets more horrific. The death of a mother trying to get a Wii for her child for chugging a gallon of water drew a great deal of media attention and from then on, people seemed to be less extreme. Is it getting better, are we hiding it better, or is Black Friday just not as popular as it once was?
The past couple of years, the toys du jour have garnered quite a bit of attention and there’s usually some controversy surrounding them, but there doesn’t seem to be foolish contests or deaths by trampling lately, so maybe things are calming down. Maybe Black Friday isn’t as important to people as it used to be. Perhaps, when I’m driving home from my mom’s house on Thanksgiving night this year, I won’t see hoards of people camped out in the parking lot of Kohl’s and Best Buy. Hopefully, people will stay at home and watch a family movie and sleep off a tryptophan overdose. But, you know what they see about hope…
Both Sides of the Coin
Part of our society hates the idea of Black Friday because it’s meaningless consumerism at it’s best. It’s a departure from what we believe to be the true spirit of the holidays. There are about fifty different memes on the internet skewering the tradition of Black Friday shopping. People are more than willing to point out the fact that we spend Thanksgiving day giving thanks for all of the wonderful things in our lives and then we stampede into stores to get a cheap Keurig and whatever the newest video game is.
To a lot of people, the crazy herds of people descending upon stores like locusts on, what is now, Thanksgiving night, is senseless and selfish. A lot of people are right, to a degree. While it is senseless to drag store cashiers and management from their holiday celebrations with family so you can get an early start on Black Friday shopping is ridiculous. They deserve a holiday too. Black Friday should remain on Friday if we are going to keep doing it every year. It’s senseless to make people work on Thanksgiving so you can shop more.
Does Black Friday Offer the Best Deals?
However, there are reasons people still crowd into stores on Black Friday trying to get the best deals; they feel they need to do it. Most people have an inherent desire to provide their kids with a good Christmas and for some, Black Friday deals are the only way to make that happen. For working-class individuals, it isn’t always easy to make ends meet during the holidays and the deals provide a great way to get some nice gifts for very little money.
As with almost everything in life there are two sides to a story, or rather, an idea. Black Friday may very well be a necessary evil. For some families, it is the only chance at a nice Christmas. However, some people are following up on the gluttony of Thanksgiving with further consumer gluttony. Is Black Friday still the insanity it used to be or have we mellowed out?