Unless you have no access to the news and live under a rock, you've probably heard a least a snippet or two of the aftermath of Black Friday. If you watch any TV at all, you've been inundated with commercial after commercial of catchy and not-so-catchy ads trying to lure you into stores this week all with the grand bargain of providing you with deals if you'll part with some of your money. One of my least favorites is JCPenney's corruption of "Deck the Halls" with their admonition to drop everything after Thanksgiving dinner and go shopping.
I've read several articles on The Atlantic, such as this one, explaining the need for Black Friday shoppers to be cautious in their shopping and to realize that retailers have the upper hand on this day. I've also seen several friends post status updates on social media making their case against the evils of Black Friday. One post, however, stood out to me. In short, my friend said that it is easy to ignore the lures of Black Friday deals when you have the luxury of a middle class income. When her family was struggling in previous years, she used the deals from this day to buy needed items.
I've been thinking about her comments on and off all day and I've concluded this - hogwash. In 2012, the average Black Friday shopper spent $423. Last time I checked, groceries, electricity, gas, and healthcare weren't on sale during Black Friday. The best you might do for buying "needed" items is finding some clothing on sale. But even then, that clothing would likely be on sale for a greater discount immediately after Christmas.
Black Friday isn't for the poor. It is for large corporations.
Black Friday isn't an opportunity to get a good deal. It is an opportunity to throw out money on things you didn't plan to buy.
Black Friday isn't a day of shopping "sport." It is a day of undignified brawls, and even deaths, all in the name of consumerism gone wild.
My husband and I agreed to formalize a previously unspoken tradition. Unless there is a dire emergency, we will never purchase anything on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, or Christmas Day. That includes gas and entertainment, such as movies, which my family is found of taking part in on Christmas Day.
I challenge you to do the same in future years.