Black Friday…Enough Said

As someone who has spent 6 years of my life working Black Fridays in the past, I have to comment on it. What is the point of waking up at an ungodly hour to stand with a bunch of people we don’t like to spend a bunch of money that we don’t have on a bunch of things we don’t need? Is there any other point in your life that you would be like “Yes, you know I do love standing in lines, why don’t we get up at 2 a.m. and do it?” Not only that but the full day prior we are supposed to be giving thanks to what we have in our life, most of which are not ‘things.’ When you ask people what they are thankful for they usually respond family, friends, a warm place to sleep at night. I have never heard anyone say “My new Xbox…. the video game I stood in line for 8 hours to get…Tickle Me Elmo.” What changes between Thanksgiving and barely the next day that turns us into thoughtless consumers?

Parents out there fighting for the latest toy, I want you to think about your childhood. When you think back I guarantee the best memory you have is not one in which your parents bought you something. What if instead of on Black Friday you spent time with your children creating meaningful memories of the holidays instead of purchasing things that will be forgotten or broken no more than 2 weeks after they are received?

As someone who worked retail I can honestly say people become ugly on this day. I will never understand it. Is it worth being rude and thoughtless to someone you do not even know, who is trying to help you and 500 other people? What is that showing your kids? What is that saying about who are as a person? It saddens me every year to watch the news after Black Friday and see what kind of destruction we have done to one another over material things. There are enough problems in this world…Furby should not be one of them.

A few years ago my mother and I stopped trying to give each other as many gifts as possible. It was pointless, it was stuff we didn’t need. We spend time together, we give things that are needed and useful if we give anything at all. It’s a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

If you still insist on going out this Black Friday I at least ask this of you, be kind to one another. Smile at strangers, help someone reach something on the shelf, buy a random person waiting in line coffee. Remember we are all people with lives and stresses and families, we are all in this together.

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