Should people engage in Black Friday shopping after a day of thanks?
A home-cooked feast, a blaring football game, kids running, shouting and playing, a hand-clasped prayer of thanks- all these are some of the classic traditions that millions of us look forward to when the Thanksgiving holiday arrives.
But somewhere tucked away in the back of our minds is the anticipation for what happens after this great celebration of thanks, Black Friday.
Although not an official holiday, Black Friday, beginning once the clock strikes midnight after Thanksgiving, has millions preparing themselves for an all-night shop-a-thon.
As much sense as it makes for us to get our shopping done early for the next mega holiday, there just seems to be something ironic and wrong about the biggest shopping extravaganza beginning merely hours after a national day of gratitude. Almost like we just finished saying how thankful for what we have … and now it’s time for us to get more.
Adults and teenagers, and even accompanying children bundle up, fill up their wallets plan the route and even so much as camp out to get the deals that seem just “too good to be true.”
Black Friday was named due to the fact that businesses can turn a profit, and thus land “in the black.” Retailers get massive profits and shoppers get massive deals, sounds like a good idea right?
But on the other hand, this event brings out another side of shoppers that is uncommon to the daily trip the store: aggression.
Numerous reports of people being trampled, hit, punched and even maced have all occurred due to the need for preying shoppers to snag their desired prize.
There is just something wrong with this picture. One moment a family is laughing, smiling and talking about Pilgrims and their reasons for thankfulness, and then all that is thrown out once Black Friday approaches. People prepare for Black Friday as if they were entering into a war zone. Where did the gratitude go?
Now, most of us can’t resist a good deal on something that we have been eyeing, or something we know would make the perfect gift for a loved one. Automatically we jump at the chance, and have to get the deal. And once entering into the Black Friday arena, where stores are jam-packed and people are darting to and fro, surviving and getting the goods become the only things left in our minds, however, we need to make gratefulness not a one day holiday. There is no point in setting a day aside for thankfulness, when the next day we are ready to slaughter a rival shopper.
Go shop, but ease up on the competition. By all means, we should join our fellow Americans in a night of good deals, but we should do it tastefully and in a spirit of good humor. If they get the prize before us, we should choose not to yank it out of their hands and sprint toward the cash register. We all grew up hearing our parents say it: “You need to play fair and square.” Well, those words have no expiration date.
Don’t go over-board. Too many times it’s easy to get things just because they are a good deal without even thinking about whether we will use them at all. Make a list before hitting the shopping spree. This way we won’t wake up the next day wondering what we blew so much money on.
There will be other Black Fridays. It’s not the end of the world if we don’t get the sale we wanted. We need to respect our fellow Americans and not to antagonize or put them in danger for the sake of a good deal. When it boils down to it, what’s more worth it, a new electronic or human integrity and decency?
A quote most fitting by Don Robinson goes like this, “One
of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs
from our greeds.”