The whole concept of Black Friday is absurd. The rush to have more ‘things’ at the expense of trashing Thanksgiving all so corporate retailers can make more money is not only unseemly, it is down-right ugly.
Every year at this time I write about one of the saddest events that dominate our society. Days before Thanksgiving there is a never-ending stream of news stories about Black Friday, and the national economy. That Friday every newscast will be dominated by shoppers who rush ahead of others, and are all stressed out over not getting that item which was drastically reduced for sale at 2:00 A.M. Too many lives are driven on that day by everything except the real reason for the holidays.
In the past, on this blog, I have written about my disgust with stores that open early to make more money, along with people seeming to care more about shopping like wild animals than sharing time with those around the dinner table on Thanksgiving. While I know that my views on this matter are in the minority, I am also aware that every year there is a growing number who share my perspective, and are pushing back on the senseless over-commercialization of the holidays.
This year, however, due to the pandemic I think Black Friday is on the run!
The thrust from the business sections of newspapers about this year’s event can be summed up this way. Retailers can scrap the insane middle of the night openings and in-store only doorbusters. In the place of that many retailers are spreading deals across several days or weeks, along with expanding online and curbside pickup options. Dampening the desire for Black Friday and reduction in hours at stores, and limiting the number of shoppers is a consequence of the pandemic.
Many of us are old enough to recall not so many years ago when Thanksgiving was a day for being at home with family while the juicy turkey roasted in the oven. Halloween had taken place several weeks before, and Christmas would follow in a month. There was a distinct feel and attitude about Thanksgiving. I recall many years back when my family all said one thing we were thankful for before we started to eat. The day was spent at home, with lots of laughter, some board games, and then more food. Thanksgiving had a traditional routine, an American feel. It was modeled on what the day was meant to be about. I think my memories about Thanksgiving are the average ones for the nation as a whole. It was not just ‘another day’ for shopping, or preparing for a blow-out sale.
The pandemic is most dreadful, the loss of life stunning and unnecessary. We should have had a president who understood the gravity of the public health crisis and implemented proper federal planning.
But even now in the midst of crisis, there will be greedy merchants and foolish shoppers who will still spill into these unhealthy places to cough on each other and spread more of the virus.
Come for the sales, go home with the virus. Oh, and Happy Holidays!
And so it goes!