Black Friday, in recent decades, has became what is known as the unofficial official kickoff to Holiday shopping here in the United States.
The preparation for Black Friday alone is mind blowing. Consumers scan the ads, plan their attack, stock up on supplies. I mean, you have to have a real strategy if you want to “win” the best deals.
Oh yes, I did say supplies, because a number of people camp outside the stores early in the week. Really, the big box electronics store in our town had campers out there Wednesday afternoon. One person even had a generator. These families were not at home making Thanksgiving dinner and spending their day off with their families. Well, some were with some members of their family, the ones that stick it out with them in the tents. Some of the stores have port-o-potties set up for the “campers”. What happens to all their “gear” when the store opens? I do not know, I’ve never been there to see that. Even sadder is that there are some kids who will grow up believing that’s actually camping. Ha.
What this has come to is that retailers have opened their doors early, as well. Some actually opened Thursday evening, Thanksgiving night. No, not Black Friday Eve. That is not a thing. I refuse to call it that. Thanksgiving night many large retailers opened their doors, breaking years of tradition of being closed entirely on Thanksgiving. One major department store brand had kept this tradition alive for 155 years, finally breaking it this year opening at 8 PM, on the holiday evening.
What are people really thankful for? The fact that they can load up their credit cards on crap that they do not need, but want because it is such a “great deal” and that they are most likely not even buying for Christmas gifts.
Hey, I’m not saying I’m not guilty. I tried Black Friday a couple of times. The first time, boy, there was a kick being one of the first in line and getting a free little tchotchke (that I could not tell you what or where it is now). The next year, I hated every minute of it. The lines were long, one store was all just a check out line, I think. We came home with a trunk-load of things we did not need and probably 80% of our purchases were not Christmas gifts. It was very anti-climatic.
That was several years ago. The credit card bill came and we realized it was all just stuff and nonsense. It is really repulsive, I feel nausea rising when I think about it.
Needless to say, I do not participate in the Black Friday frenzy anymore. In fact, I plan my entire week around avoiding even the grocery store and the traffic on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You see, I do my own Black Friday planning in a way. I am just opposite of what most people expect. In fact, Black Friday is a terrific day to go to the gym. Not packed at all. Quite pleasant really. I even get quite a bit done around the house and spend time with the kids. We have time to enjoy putting up Christmas decorations. Black Friday is fun at our house.
I get that the reason it is called Black Friday is that is when the retailers start to make money and show black instead of red in their books. Biggest retail day of the year. Businesses need to make money to stay in business, to pay their employees, to stock their shelves, to pay their bills, etc. I am all for making a living.
I do try to support local businesses & small businesses; not just retail stores, but the restaurants and coffee shops, service businesses, online businesses – like Etsy. 😉
Small businesses should definitely get a piece of the pie. Of course, there is now Small Business Saturday. Yay! I support that. I support them all year though.
Hey, I’m not going to complain if I make a sale on Black Friday in my Etsy shop. I want to make sales every single day.
I just hope we do not forget the important things in the process. That’s all.
It is comical watching the frenzy, though.
Now, go get out there and shop ’til you drop. Just make sure you stop by the small businesses in your town and shop with us online, too.
Happy shopping and Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Be safe y’all.