The day after Thanksgiving signifies a lot of things: Christmas songs on the radio, holiday movies on TV, Christmas trees going up, fall decorations coming down, and of course Black Friday. Oh, Black Friday. When I think of Black Friday I think of
crazies people lining up for a $2 Justin Beiber CD 2 days before the store opens. I also think of people getting trampled as they enter a store–just so they can get a flat screen TV for 60% off. Chances are, if you shop wisely you can get that same TV for just as cheap in a few weeks. But what’s the fun in that?
Last year, 266 million people set off on Black Friday to grab some deals. To put that into perspective: that’s nearly double the number of people who turned out to vote this year! So are you going to be getting up early this year (or leaving Thanksgiving early) to go shop? Brittni says, “Black Friday is the epitome of an anxiety attack waiting to happen for me. While I do understand the idea behind it, I definitely would never step foot anywhere on this day.”
And let’s just talk about all this pre-Black Friday madness going on right now. It’s bad enough to have employees work extended holiday hours, work on Christmas Eve, and show up at 3am on Black Friday; but to ask $8 an hour employees to leave their families on Thanksgiving Day?! C’mon. Never mind the police officers that will have to direct traffic, parking garage attendants that will have to man their booths, and food court workers will have to leave their Thanksgiving dinners to serve you slushies and hot dogs. Think of all the other people Thanksgiving is being taken away from too.
And to the people who decided to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day (and I’d assume it’s the same people who aren’t going to be leaving their families on Thanksgiving): Do you really think employees want to go work after eating, drinking, and relaxing with loved ones? Call me crazy, but if I was ever told that I had to come into work on Thanksgiving, I would refuse. Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that isn’t all about giving and getting presents. There’s no Thanksgiving turkeys coming and giving out candy, and there’s no turkey coming down your chimney. You don’t have to spend obscene amounts of money on gifts for your family, friends, neighbors, and your friend’s neighbor’s sister-in-law. Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends. It’s a “universal holiday” if you will…and the only one we have.
Now if you’re a shopper who plans on joining the Black Friday festivities, go for it (you can also find a list of deals here. All I ask is that you keep in mind that if you do decide to go to one of those stores open on Thanksgiving Day, don’t expect any cheery staff. Wait until Friday, and then go crazy! Unfortunately, I feel like these radical shopping holidays are only going to get worse. With Black Friday already extending into Thursday, pretty soon this whole week will be overshadowed by shopping, and Thanksgiving will be completely overlooked. Cyber Monday on the other hand… now that’s my kind of sale! I don’t even need to stand in line OR leave my house; sounds perfect.
As Stacia put it, “Being a twenty one year old female I’ve been a victim to waking up at 2AM in previous years to go Black Friday shopping. Standing in line for purchases, which usually end up being for me, doesn’t strike me as something I’d want to do when Cyber Monday is more convenient and easier to do in the comfort of my own home.” As it is, holiday shoppers do about 36% of their holiday shopping online (source). And in 2010, 70% of Cyber Monday shoppers logged in from a work computer. We sure hope their bosses don’t mind…