Black Friday Luancy Dwindles Due To COVID Pandemic

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!

Violence At Nine Walmart Stores On Black Friday, At Least 24 Injured

Happy Holidays!

Video: Women Fighting Over Waffle Makers At Walmart On Black Friday

Might I call your attention to the woman who seems to be losing her pants and shows more crack than should be allowed–no sane person will be found at a place like Walmart today.

I swear these are the types of women that once made roller derbies on television (when I was a kid) such a hoot to watch–for three minutes.

Walmart Store Evacuated On Black Friday, Possible Explosive In Frig

Can you image the rage that was building in the lines of shoppers at Walmart who had to wait for the removal of the mysterious package?  I sure hope there is a tax write-off this store can take for the lost money from all those who had to scram when the dogs came to sniff around.  No one wants to see Walmart lose any money….    Be interesting to know if the workers had to sign out before exiting the store.

A robot removed a suspicious device that led to the evacuation of a Wal-Mart store  in Cave Creek, Ariz., Maricopa County, sheriff’s deputies said.

Deputies told KPHO-TV of Phoenix that they had reason to believe the device might have been an explosive and said whoever left it in a refrigerator at the store Thursday could face felony charges. Police dogs swept the store for further possible devices, they said, and the store reopened late Thursday night, KPHO reported.

Black Friday Shooting At Walmart

No shootings at Macy’s reported as of this hour.

A Black Friday shopper was shot and critically injured during a robbery outisde a Wal-Mart in San Leandro, Calif., early Friday, police said.

Police patrolling the parking lot found a victim suffering a gunshot wound and a possible suspect being detained by family members of the victim.

Police said the victims were walking to their car with their purchases and were approached by multiple suspects who demanded the merchandise.

A fight ensued and one suspect pulled out a gun and shot one of the victims. Some of the victims wrestled down one suspect as the other suspect fled the scene.

The victim who was shot is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. The suspect in custody is an adult male in his mid ’20s, but it is not known if he was the shooter.

Black Friday Shopper At Walmart Pepper-Sprays Others For Merchandise

And here we go….

Black Friday took an ugly turn at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart when  a female shopper -desperate to get her hands on discounted electronics-pepper  sprayed a crowd to keep them away from the merchandise she wanted.

At least 20 shoppers suffered minor injuries and police are  still looking for the woman.

Plain And Simple–Boycott Black Friday

When I went to my front stoop this morning to pick up the papers I was left wondering how many trees had to be cut for Madison residents to receive the countless ads that were included with the Wisconsin State Journal.  In fact, the paper notes on the banner “hundreds of pages of holiday ads inside’.  All the colorful ads made the plastic wrap around the paper bulge.  I can only assume my delivery person had a very long morning getting things prepared for today’s route.

On the front page of The New York Times was a color photo of people camped out in front of a Texas Best Buy store in anticipation of buying a TV for $200.00.  I am assuming that their families will not miss them at the dinner table today.

Every year at this time it seems I write about one of the saddest looking events that dominates our society.   Days before Thanksgiving there is a never-ending stream of news stories about Black Friday, and the national economy.  All day Friday every news cast 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 at this time of year 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.  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.

Last year, just to make sure that I was not being too hard on something I had never experienced, I was at a large store when it opened for Black Friday.  It was something I will not forget, nor repeat.

At 12 midnight James, Rolf, and I experienced our first black Friday shopping experience.  The idea was not to buy but to see others foam and stampede.  After seeing this all happen on TV each year I wondered how crazy might it look up close.

The question was where could we go to get the whole experience?

It did not take us long to know that there was no better place to see the spectacle than at Walmart.

 Last night at midnight when the store started allowing sales to be made there was an announcement.  “Shoppers may start cashing out at the front of the store”.

There was no  “Good Morning” or “Happy Holidays”.  Instead it was ante up to the registers and open your wallet.

Gag.

More and more this year I have been heartened by the tone coming from many who express concern about something wrong in the nation when the lust for buying, along with the greed from merchants runs smack dab over a national holiday.

It’s ironic that a holiday born amid scarcity and premised on appreciation for blessings already received has morphed into the opening act of an orgy of acquisitiveness, the gateway to an entire season spent scrambling to buy things we don’t need and can’t afford. Odder still is the fact that so many of us bemoan this fact yet hop on the treadmill anyway, convinced that we have no choice but to spend the next 30 days exhausting ourselves and our bank accounts in an endless quest for more stuff.

Perhaps this Thanksgiving is an opportunity to challenge that conventional wisdom. By staying home tonight, and refusing to patronize retailers who fail to respect one of our most beloved holidays, we can strike a small blow against the crazy-making trends we typically lament to no avail. We can do our part, however modest, to observe Thanksgiving as it was meant to be observed: as a day of rest from labor, unhurried fellowship with loved ones and gratitude to God for blessings not sold in stores.

Sadness About Black Friday, And What Is Happening To Thanksgiving Day

Let me cut to the core of how I feel.  Thanksgiving Day has been lost to mindless merchandising.   It makes me sad, and I think many share my sentiment around the nation.   Too many say nothing about what is happening to our national holiday, so I have a few words to share, suspecting they reflect many of my fellow citizen’s thoughts today.

When I awoke  Thursday morning to start my holiday with family, Walmart stores nationwide were already open with countless workers needing to adjust their family time and meal for the ‘need’ of this humongous company to make a few more dollars.  Fact is Walmart nationwide would be open 24 hours on Thanksgiving.  There was no consideration by Walmart for the family values of their workers, much less for the higher ideals of  what the national holiday stands for.  Instead the national day of reflection and appreciation was used as a better way to advertise and grease the bottom line of a company without a conscience.  If we think about what we are allowing to happen for just a moment we will recognize all this for what it is.  Many in this country are giving up an American holiday to chase a sale in order to buy something cheap from China. 

Is it worth it?  I think not.

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 one year about 15 years ago when my family all said one thing we were thankful about  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 average ones for the nation as a whole.  It was not just ‘another day’ for shopping, or preparing for a blow-out sale.

But today in this nation the reason for Thanksgiving has been lost.  Perhaps I should say it has been replaced.  What has replaced it is the crass merchandising of every item imaginable.  There are no lines that will not be crossed to lure shoppers into stores.  From dawn on Thanksgiving at Walmart to the malls in large cities opening doors at midnight, to other retail stores opening early Friday morning there will be near hysteria to get the bargains and deals.  For days even television newscasts were evaluating the various stores and the deals that awaited customers.  Special websites had been created to alert shoppers to where the bargains were located, and where sitting in line for hours may prove to be a better deal than if the wait in line had taken place at a competitor.  If one watched this stuff with any degree of detachment it was impossible to not laugh at first, and then get sad.

Laugh because it is just amusing to see so many people act like lemmings because Madison Avenue created a gimmick.  Sad because undermining a national holiday is rather serious business.  Large stores around the nation are doing something that no terrorist could ever achieve.  We are taking a national moment where we pause to be grateful about our lives and share it with family, and instead marshall our attention and focus on the needs of making larger companies even richer. 

The way to combat the greed from these stores is just to not participate.  I for one can not image leaving the good mood I am in after spending most of Thanksgiving with 18 relatives to race anywhere for a sale with the unwashed masses.  To slip away from the smiles and laughter from what was a huge part of our Thanksgiving is not something I am willing to give up.  The mood I am in from Thanksgiving should linger.  And it will.

How about you?  Are you ready to trade in your Thanksgiving mood for a product made in China?