Only in the United States do we trample over each other for holiday deals the day after giving thanks for the things we already have.
As I was watching the news today I heard a report about how holiday shoppers were already mapping out their game plans for Black Friday. People were planning to eat Thanksgiving dinner and then go sleep in their cars outside of the stores. The commercials that followed that report were all Christmas and Black Friday related. Frankly I was disgusted by the whole thing and just turned the television off.
It’s as if Halloween finished and we just skip straight to Christmas. The only acknowledgement people even give to Thanksgiving is in relation to how much weight they’re going to gain when they stuff their faces with turkey and mashed potatoes. Now look, I love Thanksgiving food as much as the next person, but that is not the only thing to look forward to on Thanksgiving.
Over the past ten years or so Black Friday has become one of the most looked forward to days of the year. The commercialization and hype surrounding it has begun to overshadow probably one of the best holidays that is celebrated in the U.S.
Thanksgiving is a day when families and friends gather to remember that the most important thing they could ever have is each other. It’s a day when you don’t need presents, cards or, for some people, even food. You just have those you love and you’re grateful to whatever God you pray to that these people are a part of your life.
Granted, like any American holiday there is mass commercialization. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Thanksgiving Day football, food sales at major grocery stores, but really that’s about it. Most of those things you would enjoy doing with your family and friends. Even the cooking of Thanksgiving dinner is in itself an enjoyable activity. Thanksgiving is probably one of least commercialized of the major holidays. Aside from reserving a honey glazed ham or a 15-pound turkey, there’s nothing much to it.
Then along comes Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and it practically ruins the entire meaning of Thanksgiving. Probably one of the most beautiful holidays conceptually is followed by a day of madness and absolute mayhem across the country. On Black Friday people have gotten into fistfights, shot, trampled to death, and robbed just so they could get that one deal that’s only happening for two hours. It’s just so frustrating to see people completely lose their minds over these things. That’s really all they are: things. People, especially Americans, place so much value in our things that we would go to such great lengths to acquire them.
I went Black Friday shopping once and it was the most miserable experience of my life. I have never done it again. I do most of my Christmas shopping at the last minute and even though I pay a little more I really don’t mind.
On Thanksgiving Day I am going to enjoy the company of my family by being with them from the break of dawn until the wee hours of the morning. We’re going to cook together, play together, watch football together, and of course eat, drink, and laugh together. As far as I am concerned Black Friday is just another Friday, one which I plan on hibernating straight through.