It’s safe to assume that of the many holidays, Thanksgiving is the one that gets it the worst. Not only do you have more and more people ignoring its existence in order to get to Christmas faster, but it also has to share the day with one of the worst holidays: Black Friday. There’s no true origin of the Black Friday we know today, but the concept has virtually remained the same since its inception. Retail stores around the country post their best deals and discounts on the night of Thanksgiving all through the following Friday. Customers so desperate for the bargains often camp outside for hours on end, and once those doors open it’s every man, woman, child and person for themselves.
While COVID-19 has certainly calmed down the hordes of angry shoppers plowing down mall employees, Black Friday is still seen as a day of pure pandemonium. While stores and retailers have tried to ease back on the influx of shoppers by spreading out their deals throughout most of November, it still hasn’t stopped mile-long lines from forming on the day when many should be staying in doors with those they love and enjoying a good meal.
Black Friday being right after Thanksgiving feels totally dismissive of the love and connection that families can create on that holiday. Since many of us were young, we thought waves of people swarming stores for “good deals” felt barbaric. Most have never been Black Friday shopping, but it’s not that we don’t want to go. Especially with Cyber Monday existing, there’s no real reason for Black Friday anymore.
Black Friday overhyped sales and can actually be dangerous in the situation where too many people are in a crowded space all at once, which can cause crowd surges and death or injuries. It also overhyped the value of certain products and makes them seem like they are more important than the people you’re spending time with during Thanksgiving.
Black Friday is a good example for the issues with consumerism. It's a really great example of the commodification of the holiday season, where the holidays' have been turned into an opportunity to spend rather than a time of giving. The timing is also sort of ironic. Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and giving thanks — how badly does that pair with the greed and violence on display when the clock strikes midnight?