8:00 pm, November 22nd. That is when it all begins. Mindless hordes will fill malls, parking lots, streets. They will trample, maim, or destroy anything and anyone in their path. While it does sound a lot like the zombie apocalypse, it is not. It is Black Friday (hmmm……kinda still sounds the same….).
When I was little, we always had friends over for Thanksgiving. After dinner, the boys would watch football while the girls would go for a walk outside (weather permitting) to relieve some of the fullness from the meal. Then, the next day day, we would get up at about 5:00 am to make the three hour drive to Minneapolis. I would sleep in the back of our big red and white Econoline van the whole way there. Once there, my mom, my sister and I would engage in the time honored tradition of Black Friday shopping. We would hit Ridgedale or the Mall of America and get our holiday shopping accomplished in one weekend. We did not worry about doorbusters, trampling others to death or finding the best deals. We just wanted to get out and shop. It is not like that anymore.
It feels as though the post Thanksgiving shopping tradition has become a grotesque version of what it once was. Gone are the days where we enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and activities as families, instead choosing to start camping in line at whatever big box retailer is offering the cheapest laptop. Gone are the days of being thankful for what we have, instead choosing to get physical with other people over the hottest toy of the season. I find it odd, that the chance to save $20 can turn the sweetest of people into raving lunatics, willing to run over others on their way to the electronics aisle.
Ironically, the deals we think we are getting are usually not that good! The items are often cheaper quality or can be found for better prices at other times of the year! Yet, the second the title “doorbuster” is stamped on something, it becomes a hot commodity.
This year many stores are even opening up earlier that midnight, starting the complete elimination of family gathering itself. Why even bother eating, when it will just give someone else the opportunity to get to a deal faster than ourselves? Maybe we should turn Thanksgiving dinner into breakfast or move it to Wednesday?
I know many of you reading this probably are thinking I am nuts, that you love the excitement of the day and the deals. For me, the the excitement has gone and has been replaced by greed and ugliness. It seems like a depressing start to the holiday season! So I choose to stay with my family (or my sister and her family, since Hubby and the kidlets will be with his family this year). I would rather pay more for my gifts to spend time with my loved ones and avoid the Black Holiday chaos.
For those of you braving the crowds, please remember to play nice with others.
Or at least be prepared to defend yourself.