Black Friday takes over Thanksgiving traditions

   All over the country, the day after Thanksgiving seems to be a national holiday itself. Black Friday is known as the first day that Christmas shopping truly begins. Retailers offer reduced prices on items that are typically expensive. According to statistics, 58 million people shopped exclusively online, while 51 million shopped in stores in 2018. The remaining 65 million consumers shopped both online and in store. This year an Americans will spend around $60 billion throughout the duration of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is 13.7% of the total November forecasted sales for the month.     

   Whether this is necessary or not leading into the Christmas season, Black Friday is not that big of a deal where people must hurry to get to sales when their Thanksgiving dinner has barely been touched. Thanksgiving seems to be not necessarily skipped, but forgotten about with Christmas coming up. The purpose of Thanksgiving is to celebrate the things and people we are thankful for and is a major part of our American history. However, the media jumps straight into Christmas advertising as soon as Halloween ends, leading into the questioning of why do we even try to celebrate Thanksgiving? 

    The phrase Black Friday originated in Philadelphia and has been used to describe disruptive traffic and pedestrians that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. But it also has to do with companies going “into the black” or turning a profit. This event has been responsible for 117 injuries and 12 deaths within the last twelve years due to unnecessary shopping rage and traffic. That many injuries and deaths for going shopping is not an ideal situation when it comes to getting into the holiday spirit. In fact, there is no need for any injuries or deaths at all during this event. If you look into the media coverage during the month of November, much of it is on Black Friday, covering the earlier hours, the effects on the economy, and where to find the best deals. Not much has been said about giving thanks or enjoying time with family and friends. It has always been about going from a holiday that is all about being thankful for our blesssings, immediately followed by a day where we only focus on wanting more. If Americans are more concerned with purchasing products and fighting one another for items much more meaningless than their own lives rather than celebrating those they are thankful for, obviously the true purpose of the holidays is no longer relevant. 

  Impulsive buying is the only way to describe Black Friday. Overall, it defeats the purpose of saving money on products when most individuals find deals that seem to be too enticing to pass up. People who are the smartest post-Thanksgiving shoppers will create a strategic plan that is well-organized and prioritize the stores they are visiting. Black Friday is not the only day of the year where Americans can save money, either. Typically, stores begin their sales several weeks before Thanksgiving. Other retailers keep prices low throughout the holiday season to encourage buying or even offer better sales in the weeks following Thanksgiving. 

   Retailers are negatively affected by Black Friday, and typically do not look forward to it. Those who work in retail will be well there before 6 a.m. or at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day to open doors for bargain-hungry shoppers. Two-thirds of American households are trying to provide for their families and make ends meet from check to check. Half of the population earns too little of money in order to live comfortably, so while everyone else is able to go out and buy gifts for their families, the retailers working have to be away from their family on Thanksgiving just to provide regular needs for their household. 

   Altogether, Black Friday just takes away the true purpose of Thanksgiving, which is to spend time with family and be grateful for what you have in your life rather than going and getting more. Black Friday should be delayed and not take effect until after Thanksgiving; that way people are not getting hurt and forgetting what the true meaning of the holidays are.