Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Black Friday: The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving?

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It’s the one day that some people look forward to all year: Black Friday. It’s is not a day of mourning, it’s a day for shopping. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, but got the name Black Friday because it signals the official start of the Christmas shopping season. The heavy shopping day puts many retailers “in the black” which means they are turning a profit. (“In the black” is a old phase which goes back to the days of manual financial ledgers where losses were written in red ink and profits in black ink.) Many retailers offer big sales/discounts on coveted items (like TVs or other electronics) to draw shoppers into the store. While Black Friday puts many retailers in a good place financially, it puts many consumers in deep debt.

Sadly, the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday gets lost in the shopping frenzy. While many families still get together for a nice turkey dinner, just as many are using the day to comb through the ads to find the best deals. Quite a few people spend part of Thanksgiving standing in line, waiting for a store to open its doors in the wee hours, letting in the throngs to shop until they drop. Some stores even opened up on Thanksgiving last year. It’s pathetic that some people spend more time planning what they are going to buy than spend time on those things for which they should be thankful. Let’s not forget that because so many people are out shopping, the crowds are large, the lines are long, and tempers can be short. It’s common to hear news stories of customer vs. customer or customer vs. store clerk altercations on that shopping day. In my opinion, a person must be desperate to save a few dollars to go out and shop on a day like that.

Me? I will be staying away from the stores that day, maybe even that weekend. Instead, I will be spending my weekend being thankful for family and friends – because family and friends are far more important than things.

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