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 email@example.com.