Black Friday: holiday buster

You know, I kind of feel bad for Thanksgiving. It’s a great day because you get to stuff your face with delicious food and wear sweats, but it’s a holiday that gets brushed off pretty quickly nonetheless.

As I am writing this, I’m staring at my fully-decorated Christmas tree that my family and I put up Friday morning—not even 24 hours after Thanksgiving. And right after friends left our house last Thursday evening I rolled myself into the TV room to watch “Christmas Vacation.”

Over the years, because it’s been a little while since the Pilgrims had a feast with the Natives, we have forgotten the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Let me break it down for you: “thanks” means to be thankful for all of the stuff you own and for family, friends, etc. Giving means to “give” those people appreciation for everything they do.

However, the act of giving thanks doesn’t appear to last very long. We spend a ton of time making a gross amount food, and then we move on to the next holiday—Christmas.

To kick off the season, why not go shopping starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and literally continue shopping until you drop the next day at 11 p.m.? Wow… doesn’t that sound like fun?

This “super fun” day is known as “Black Friday”. Yet, with more retailers opening on Thursday it should be known as “Black Thursday”.

I find it quite ironic that after appreciating everything that we have, we turn around and buy more stuff a few hours later. That’s kind of messed up.

Look. I get why some people would want to go shopping on Black Friday: you get great deals and you can also get a jump-start on holiday shopping. That aspect of that day is pretty nice. Another nice thing is you can come and go whenever you please–you’re not confined to the store. But, that’s not the case with the employees.

They are stripped away from their families on one of the few days they are supposed to get off to go to work in order to help you buy your discounted TV you have always wanted. That is not fair.

Clearly, this is a tricky situation, because on one hand there are people that need the money and therefore need to work on all the days they can. But on the other hand, everyone needs a day off here and there, or else they will just begin to shut down.

As students, we have all experienced this “shut down”—it’s called third quarter—so we should know that the feeling stinks. You get sick, you feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but you try to keep going because otherwise your grades will slip and your parents will disown you.

Black Friday for these workers must feel similar: hopeless and draining. We as consumers need to stop being so greedy. We are not only buying unnecessary items (for the most part), but we are also straining the employees at the places we shop on a day where we all are supposed to take a break.

Instead of stripping workers of a day to rest, why not stay in your pajamas at home and just order off the Internet on “Cyber Monday”? To me, that beats leaving my family during the Thanksgiving meal to go wait in line at a store and running the risk of say, getting stabbed or sprayed by a crazy fellow shopper.

Call me nuts, but loony incidences like that do happen when there is a crowd of anxious, tired people who want everything they came out to buy. (a British-American news website and blog) tallied the number of Black Friday-related injuries and deaths: 4 deaths and 74 injuries have occurred since 2006. Most of the injuries happened in 2011 when 2 people pepper sprayed others in line, and in 2008 three people were killed during the rush moving in to the store.

Really? Is a discounted item really worth deaths and injuries? I think not. Grow up guys. Give the employees a break and save yourself—don’t go to Black Friday in the future.