September 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Work already underway for SGA speaker Sïonan Barrett -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass in for a challenge against Penn State, QB Hackenberg -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nostalgia and angst abound in ‘Palo Alto’ -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Want student power? End the SGA -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass football kicking situation still undecided, looking forward to opportunity to play at Beaver Stadium -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lorenzo Woodley finds opportunity after getting lost in the shuffle -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Millennials’ votes can make a difference in all elections -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass faculty member Bonnie Strickland recognized for work in psychology -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass women’s soccer suffers major set back with injury to co-captain Jackie Bruno -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass men’s soccer returns home looking for season’s first win -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass professor Elizabeth Chilton to speak in Madrid and Paris about importance of heritage studies -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass club rugby hopes to continue momentum despite opening loss -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bizarre foods eaten worldwide -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

US should spend more on space -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walking through a week of practice with UMass field hockey -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass receives $37.5 million for environmental and sustainability initiatives -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Irish coffee recipe -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To fight ISIS, US must understand them, not chalk up actions to pure evil -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass tennis is reloading, not rebuilding in 2014 -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fast food workers need more than $7.25 to sustain basic living -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Does Thanksgiving matter anymore?

Hannah Cohen/Flickr

It is a known fact that America has turned into a materialistic country. Holidays have become more important to us than ever before. Black Friday is a significant factor in this materialistic movement. People are frantically worried about Christmas while Thanksgiving is pushed to the side, or in some cases, even ignored. So, I ask this: does Thanksgiving matter anymore?

Black Friday started in the 1960s, when companies realized that bigger sales draw bigger crowds to their stores. With the help of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, businesses were able to promote their deals and attract many potential customers.

One reason why Black Friday may be so popular is the recession. The American public is always looking for a way to save money. By getting a good deal a month in advance before Christmas, people won’t have to worry about rushing at the last second and paying more.

I was looking up “Thanksgiving” under Yahoo’s search box and the first result that came up was “Walmart Thanksgiving Sale 2012.” I don’t know about you, but this sickens me. This really shows the impact of Black Friday and how little Thanksgiving matters.

With sales that are similar to the one Walmart is putting on, people are forced to leave their turkey dinners early to raid the mall. Even in the past, shoppers were able to at least get a few hours of sleep in before engaging in battle. Others would pull all-nighters. Now shoppers have to cut their Thanksgiving celebration short in order to beat the crowds.

This sale bothers me even more for family members who fly in to see everyone. Try explaining to them why you have to leave early. The modern Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings everyone together. Black Friday just gives people an excuse to leave this warming holiday.

Even to this day, there are arguments claiming Thanksgiving should not be a celebrated holiday. This is true; some argue that we are celebrating the deaths of Indians, which we do regret. Now, it has been shaped into a day where Americans prepare a feast for loved ones where they can appreciate the good things we have in our life, such as friends, family and health. How can we take away a holiday with such a good message?

Black Friday is not even a legitimate holiday. It is a “shopping” day. It is not even marked on the calendar. People complain that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday; well, Christmas is turning into one. In a way, it takes away the true meaning of Christmas and Thanksgiving. There are no signs of it stopping; I only see it getting even bigger.

I pose another question: are good deals worth it for the violence? Particularly within the past few years, there has been an outbreak of Black Friday deaths. People have been getting trampled to death because once people have entered through those doors, it becomes a jungle. It is a vicious world and a survival of the fittest realm on Black Friday. How can anyone live after killing someone for buying a TV that may be only $20 off?

This brings me to another subject: Cyber Monday. Though the shopping holiday is only a few years old, it is considered a much safer approach than Black Friday. Though some people do not like shopping online, it can be useful for easy orders like a game console. People also do not have to leave their homes, thus focusing less time on getting ready for going to the store.

Cyber Monday apparently gives better deals, too. Though the amount of online shoppers may not be as obvious as the amount of in-store shoppers, some retailers have admitted they have better deals on Cyber Monday. In many cases now, there are good sales throughout the weekend – that is from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

The point I’m trying to make with this column is to appreciate Thanksgiving. This holiday was granted for everyone to be thankful for the non-materialistic things in life. Push your money problems aside just for the day and leave Christmas for another day.

Rachel Arlin is a Collegian contributor. She can be reached at rarlin@student.umass.edu.

 

Comments
6 Responses to “Does Thanksgiving matter anymore?”
  1. tina says:

    I am sad that Thanksgiving has become just an annoying time before the real event – black friday. I plan to portest and not shopp at all until friday afternoon – It is ashame that we have become such a materialistic society, that taking away a beautiful family centered holiday is allowed to happen – people – protest do not shop until a decent time on Friday – they will alwys have sales , but families cannot always celebrate together

  2. WSHUMPHREY says:

    Everything Black Friday disgusts me. Isn’t it ironic, that the day after we celebrate and give thanks for all that we have, many people practically lose their minds, trying to get more stuff. Asked to give charity – someone will undoubtedly bring up the poor economy, yet the economy is never seems too bad to pass up the $549 50″ Plasma HD TV.

  3. WSHUMPHREY says:

    I’d rather live in a society where people camped out all week for the opportunity to donate blood to the Red Cross.

  4. hm says:

    i am not going to protest, but just eat until i’m sick and get unrepentantly drunk around my relatives. i am thankful that this is possible (they’re pretty hard to be around otherwise, har har). no but really. the materialism i think can only be the sign of a gaping spiritual emptiness. i too wish we lived in a world where gratitude was truly more important. in a sense though that is really all that holidays are now. what else are they? no one really believes in anything but *stuff*. i used to find the native american objection really significant, now i think like all other holidays thanksgiving has been emptied of all significance other than what it immediately and materially is.

  5. Frank King says:

    Thanksgiving is always a necessary, if annoying, reminder that I often think I ‘deserve’ things and don’t need to be thankful. I wrote an essay about it: http://bit.ly/P9fBuF

  6. Monica Book says:

    Congrats to you Rachel Arlin…and Tina and WSHUMPHREY and hm…….for all your words,thoughts,feelings and truisms. We just had this discussion at our dinner table on Sunday…..and you all couldn’t have said it better. It is a privilege to know that others out there have a conscience and a true knowledge of right from wrong. May we all be a light in the dark world of Black Friday.

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