Black Friday shopping, the American way!

I’ve seen this more this year than I think I have any other year: People griping about those who go out shopping for Black Friday on Thanksgiving night. Maybe this is because stores are opening earlier this year than in the past. Regardless, I’d like to present a small argument on why I don’t agree with the many negative sentiments I’ve been hearing.

Frankly, I don’t understand. For those who condemn this activity, they say that it takes away from the real meaning of the holiday, which is to be with family and ponder about all you’re thankful for.

I’m not entirely sure how going out shopping and taking advantage of the great deals available takes away from the spirit of Thanksgiving.My parents have been divorced since I was young, and today I’ve spent a fair amount of time at both my house (where my mother’s side of the family gathered to feast) and my Grandmother’s house (visiting and spending time with my dad’s family). Now, near 7:00 pm, both sides of the families have dispersed and probably went home to curl up in a ball and enter their food comas. With this in mind, I’m not entirely sure how going out at midnight or 2am takes away from the time I am not, and would not, be spending with my family.

On a similar note, many people attest the idea of stores opening at midnight or earlier. In a consumer driven society, especially in a time of economic disparity, stores must try to have “the edge” to attract people more than their competitors. Sure, its a national holiday and a symbolic day for many Americans, but what’s more American than shopping?

I don’t feel that getting an early start for Black Friday shopping takes anything away from Thanksgiving or its meaning. It just means getting an early start on holiday shopping and taking advantage of the great deals available that day. Stores that open early for Black Friday, even if it means a few hours before the actual turn of the next day, are only doing so because that’s what we, as consumers, want.

So, enjoy the holiday. Spend time with friends and family and eat a lot of great food. More importantly, take a few moments to think about what you’re thankful for.

Then, after a power nap and maybe another serving of turkey and the like, bundle up, hop in your car, and stand in line trying to buy one of ten “special priced” items. It’s not wrong, it’s not demeaning the holiday… It’s simply American.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bsoda on November 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I too don’t feel that getting an early start for Black Friday shopping takes anything away from Thanksgiving or its meaning. I do, however, just find it to be simply annoying at times (although I do appreciate a good deal). All over the news this morning were stories of lines, and the troubles they caused. Someone got stabbed in California. In New York? A woman sprayed pepper spray to clear the lines. Yes, it’s American to be all-about-material-things, but these stories of the extremes that people go through to get a flat-screen tv just frighten me. It’s how Americans are, but is it how we should be? I feel as if Black Friday would be a GREAT argumentative topic, because discussion could go either way.

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  2. I think anyone who argues that Black Friday takes away from Thanksgiving, because it is a time for family is ridiculous. You can spend time with your family the other 364 days out of the year. I actually have never been black Friday shopping, but how you decide to spend your holiday is up to you.

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  3. I completely agree with this post. People complain about Black Friday but no one is forcing people to go out and shop, its a choice such as smoking or drinking. I personally go shopping at 10 every Thanksgiving night with some of my closest friends and this year I even convinced my mom to go with, which she now claims she wont be doing again for a very long time. Going out late that night to shop and be outside in the hustle and bustle with everyone trying to get that last sale item is fun to me. Its the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and I don’t think it takes away from Thanksgiving at all.

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  4. Great post! I agree with everything you said. It is a choice that people go out Black Friday shopping and I feel that if other people have a problem with it, who cares? They are free to do whatever they want on Black Friday, a right that everyone has, and who is to tell them that they should not do what they enjoy and look forward to every year? No one, that is who. I personally have never been out shopping at that time on Black Friday, mostly because I value my sleep (and my life), but I think it would be a blast to give it a try sometime, just for the atmosphere and great deals. Just because I don’t go shopping does not mean that I don’t think anybody else should, because that would be wrong. I do not understand why some people feel the need to complain. As Tyler said, no one is forcing them.

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  5. I had never really thought about Black Friday in the way you do and you make really good points. I am not a Black Friday shopper, in fact I have never gone. I agree with you though, that going shopping early in the morning will not take away family time. I guess it is just up to the shopper!

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