Scrolling Headlines:

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass Board of Trustees approves rise in tuition, student fees -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former Minutewoman Quianna Diaz-Patterson named to Puerto Rican national softball team -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass rowing’s Jim Dietz inducted into CRCA Hall of Fame -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jury selection begins Monday in second gang rape trial -

Monday, June 15, 2015

Students turn attention to state legislators as decision on UMass budget looms -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alumna and next director of Brooklyn Museum Anne Pasternak ‘created her own path’ -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UMass graduate crowned head of 600-year-old Indian kingdom -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Committee recommends UMass increase tuition, student fees for in-state undergraduates -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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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