Thanksgiving rolled around again and you spent the entire day cooking with your family to make a delicious meal. The table was all set and ready to go. You took a fork and a carving knife out of the drawer and walked to the table where you saw your hungry family members waiting for you to cut the turkey. But before the carving could begin, your utensils fell to the table. It was 5 p.m. and retailers had come to steal you away. Some stores this year could not even wait until the turkey was done and began to request shoppers at 3 p.m.!
Retailers have started opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving. But they have failed to remember that the big shopping day is called “Black Friday,” and doesn’t actually begin until midnight on FRIDAY.
Black Friday surely was an interesting sight this year, as one car took up four spaces! It was an interesting attempt to make sure fewer people were in the store to beat them out for deals. Some people even wore their special Black Friday shirts, with sayings like, “I’m only a morning person on Black Friday.”
But in the rush to catch deals, some shoppers, especially the Black Friday novices, might have missed some key information. Some of those door-buster items had actually been on sale for the same price the week before; but on Black Friday there was a sign that said “door buster”? Many stores simply turn around their signs and keep the same price.
The coupons that many stores include in their ads have fine print that many shoppers do not read before they shop, and come to find they cannot use the coupons. Stores couldn’t possibly give you a better deal and risk losing their dollars, now could they?
Several shops even raise their regular prices and then mark down the price to make you think you are saving money, but you really only save a couple of dollars off the actual original price.
But sometimes, there are real deals at some retail shops. Some stores even offer freebies, such as JC Penney, which gave out free snow globes on Black Friday. The sad thing, though, is that we can’t finish spending time with our families on Thanksgiving without having to immediately rush to the next holiday.
Some stores were actually being fined if they kept their stores closed on Thanksgiving and let their workers spend time with their families.
It’s great for stores to make money and for shoppers to save money, but is it really worth leaving our families for?
The only reason why “Black Thursday” is becoming a trend is because we endorse it by going out and shopping.
Black Friday had been the focus of the holiday shopping season from 1960 until Cyber Monday was given its official name in 2005. Cyber Monday allows us to spend time with our families and shop from the warmth of our own homes and forget the hassle.
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, exhibiting a major holiday moral: gratitude. The holiday season is also about the joy of giving. We as shoppers are supposed to be willing to give. How can we be excited about giving if holiday shopping is being shoved down our throats?
It may seem like it’s just Thanksgiving that retailers are pushing into, but the madness starts before then. In October, many shops begin to put up Christmas trees. This shows how much people have forgotten the true meaning of the holidays.
It’s become less about what the holidays stand for, and more about the money that stores will earn. The world cannot evolve properly if we all become money-hungry citizens and cannot remember the values in life that allow us to stay humane.
Retail workers should be able to eat with their families. Shoppers should be able to eat with their families. Retailers must slow down and take a deep breath. We should be able to relax from one holiday to the next.
Alonni Reid is a senior at City Honors School.