I don't like Black Friday. It's not the starting at ridiculous a.m. that gets me. It's not the notion of big, bad capitalism taking over the holidays. It's not the fear of being run over by thousands of parents who need just the right talking baby doll for their littles ones.
It's a timing thing. Each year, it seems Black Friday creeps further up on Thanksgiving, and we don't have much wiggle room left. On Thursday, we are expected to bask in the warmth and ease of our family and loved ones, giving thanks for all we have. On Friday, and recently, on Thursday night, we are made to forget all of that thanksgiving and concentrate instead on what we don't have, on what we need, right this second, at 70 percent off. The turkey isn't even cold on the counter before many families turn their attention from laughter and forgetting to bargains and strategy.
To be a successful Black Friday shopper, one must have a route planned out. Store visits are put on deadline. If we don't get out of Toys R Us at 5 a.m., we'll never stand a chance at Kohls! Do people even go to bed on Thanksgiving night anymore?
And what about the moms and grandmothers in all this? Somebody had to make that dinner for 18 people. Somebody had to fret over getting the turkey just right and setting the dip out on time, and hiding the bread loaf that didn't rise. After all that stress, the peace and tranquility that comes after the meal is needed to preserve the day's meaning.
I've got nothing against consumerism, but when it encroaches upon and nearly redefines a holiday I love, I do feel a bit put upon. Even if you choose not to partake in the event, someone in your family is going shopping, and they are going to tell you all about it. Memories of your beloved ones, talk of family ties, and chit chat about the day tend to be drowned out by anticipation of standing, cold, in line for eight hours to get that new computer.
Why not put a little space in between them? Would Black Saturday be such a bad idea?
I'm not saying everybody should stay home and buy presents at full price, or make little trinkets themselves. I'm not saying the rush is necessarily a bad thing. I'd just like a few hours to enjoy my Thanksgiving before being flooded with news stories about maulings and arrests.
Thanksgiving is for being grateful for all you have; Black Friday is for ignoring all that you have in favor of all that you want. I simply think they are too close together.
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