Black Friday conundrum
November 23, 2016
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Hundreds of people press toward the front entrance. Fueled by a mix of last night’s turkey dinner and the anticipation of a few dollars savings, they crowd themselves against the door.
Suddenly, a count down is heard, and as the count hits one, the crowd erupts into cheers as they pour into the store seeking Black Friday discounts.
Inside, the scene is not much better. Pushing and shoving over store items appears akin to the opening moments of Suzanne Collins novel The Hunger Games.
Yet, isn’t this the opposite of the meaning of the holiday season?
The Washington Post reports that 151 million people went Black Friday shopping last year, spending an estimated $300 per person.
However, this consumption conflicts with the very nature of the Thanksgiving holiday.
During the holidays, sharing time with our families and being grateful for what we have is contrasted by commercial America’s sick joke: Black Friday.
Black Friday cuts into retail worker’s Thanksgiving celebrations, with many stores like Macy’s opening at 10 pm on Thanksgiving night with even more opening at midnight.
It even claims lives. In 2008, a flurry of shoppers trampled to death a Toys ‘R’ Us employee in a mad rush to secure discounted gifts.
Is Black Friday what the pilgrims had in mind after the first Thanksgiving celebrations? Did they rush out of their cabins to make midnight sales with Squanto and the Wampanoag?
The company REI doesn’t think so.
REI, along with few other retailers, have begun to close down their stores for Black Friday, instead encouraging their employees to enjoy the outdoors and family and customers to remember what is truly important this Thanksgiving.
So, as you pile into your cars this year on your way to the best midnight doorbuster savings, try to think about why we celebrate Thanksgiving so that Black Friday doesn’t turn into Black and Blue Saturday.