From Thankful to…Not So Thankful: 5 Reasons Why I don’t Shop Black Friday

Let me start off by saying that I’ve never been a “Black Friday” shopper *gasp*. Now that might have a little something to do with the fact that I love sleep more than I love shopping. So getting up at a ridiculously early hour to stand in a long line in the (usually) freezing cold, has never been intriguing to me. I’m more of a last minute, Christmas Eve type of shopper. But it could also have something to do with the fact that I’m a first-generation American, and this is an American tradition. My parents never participated in what has been known as the “biggest shopping day of the year”. Therefore, neither did their children. So when I found this picture on Facebook, it definitely struck a chord with me. The truth behind the humor is just funny to me. 🙂

Photo credit: Someecards.com

The holiday season has become so commercialized that I think some people tend to forget the true meaning of the season. If you suggest that you’re not doing any Christmas shopping, or getting all 43 people in your family a gift, people look at you with the side eye. And as if opening up at before the crack of dawn on Friday wasn’t enough, some stores are actually opening up on Thursday now! Pretty soon, they will start advertising these sales on the day after Labor Day.

Against my better judgement, I decided to try out this whole shopping “experience” back in 2003/2004 because “everyone was doing it”. I always heard of my friends talking about their shopping extravaganzas and how great the deals were, yadda, yadda, yadda. Well needless to say that it was a major disappointment for all of us that went and experienced it for the first time together. We didn’t get any of the deals we saw advertised because we weren’t one of the first three people in line. And the prices that we saw were prices that we could’ve definitely stayed in bed for.

So here are my top 5 reasons that I do not care for/participate in/shop on Black Friday:

5. Sleep is a precious commodity: Did I mention I love my sleep? For the last five years I haven’t gotten too much of it. Now that all of my kids are sleeping through the night, I like to catch as much as I possibly can!

4. Long lines & big crowds don’t mix: I just don’t have the patience for either of them. I don’t like them on a regular day so the one day of the year when EVERYONE is in them, is just a recipe for disaster. Just like long lines, I really don’t care to shop in big crowds. Every year, we hear stories of people getting trampled, hurt, or beat up over these so-called amazing deals. Is it really worth it though?

3. Why stand in line when I can shop online?: With the ability to shop online, I can shop in the comfort of my pajamas…and still be in my comfy (and warm) bed should I choose to do so. I can get just as good (if not better) deals online and during Cyber Monday sales that I could on Black Friday.

2. Holiday shopping has gotten too commercialized: It used to be about the spirit of giving. But nowadays, it’s about the spirit of making a buck. Instead of allowing families to enjoy this special time, companies are now taking that away by forcing employees to report to work before they’ve barely finished eating their Thanksgiving dinner (opening as early as 9pm on Thursday). There’s advertising about what gifts to get for your pet, your new boyfriend/girlfriend, the mailman, or your spouse’s twice removed uncle. You even have to get the vegetables in your garden a gift. It’s just getting ridiculous.

1. I want to remain thankful and grateful: I think the picture says it all. I’d like to actually finish enjoying the food I just ate (that thousands/millions don’t get to enjoy), and the family that I don’t get to see every day (because some people spend it alone). I would like to just relax and enjoy this day that comes around once every 365 days. I’m not saying that people who shop on Black Friday aren’t either of these (I have several friends who do, and I love them to death). But, it’s just not for me.

I want my kids to understand the true meaning of this season. They are blessed in that they are never without, and have more toys than they know what to do with. My siblings and I didn’t have it as great as they do. But looking back now, I am so grateful for what our parents provided for us. I’m thankful for the values that they have instilled in me, and the fact that I truly enjoy giving, much more than I enjoy receiving.

So what are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping? Do you love it or hate it, and why?

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    T. Espi
    November 21, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Amen to all of it! I am appalled by the fact that companies are opening their doors on Thanksgiving day. My sister won’t be able to enjoy the day with our family because she has to work. How selfish of these companies! I’m sure that the executives at all these money hungry companies will be at home tomorrow enjoying their catered dinners while their employees work well into the wee hours to provide for families they wont even be able to spend time with. Grrrr!

  • Reply
    DjRelat7
    November 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    I used to love black friday shopping, mostly to find deals for myself but its just not the same.

    • Reply
      ChaChanna
      November 25, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      I used to go shopping on Black Friday as well, for myself, and others but I’m getting to lazy to go out the day after I stuff my face. Plus, people just seem a tad bit more rude and unruly now a days.

      • Reply
        Christine St.Vil
        November 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        Yes, I agree ChaChanna. I definitely think people have gotten way more rude and unruly with the whole thing.

  • Reply
    Aishia
    November 22, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Very well put. I’m usually a Christmas Eve shopper too. The last few years I’ve been sucked into the black hole of Black Friday. I might sit it out this year.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM

      I’m right there with you Aishia! Thanks for sharing! If you got sucked in this year, hopefully you got some great deals that made it worth it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Joyce
    November 22, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Even though the holiday was birthed to boost the economy from the beginning, I too feel it’s gotten completely out of hand. I believe a lot of the outrageous behavior and “out of control levels” we experience today can be laid at the consumer’s door. Someplace along the line, the “thankful” aspect was sidestepped and we’re being told we have so much more to be thankful for since they are making any and all sacrifices worth our while. We go for that line too. Most of us will teach our children they’re flirting with disaster when their stories have gone beyond believable, cute and imaginative and have crept into the realm of, “Hush baby, ’cause now you’re lying.” That message hasn’t reached big business. At least not where it counts, which is their corporate bottom lines. As long as folk continue to suspend common sense, this “advertising lie” will continue and escalate. As long as we keep on believing, reacting and plunking down our hard earned dollars for these “bargains, this mess is gonna keep right on. I too am positive “Black Friday” sales will steadily begin earlier and earlier. It will take the American consumer to let go of the competitive reactions advertising agencies are looking for. We are supposed to be a much more evolved consumer than that. We’ll troll for coupons to enhance the value of our purchases. How did we go from common sense consumerism to mindless “shopping”? How is camping out in a parking lot, waiting in never ending lines, surrounded by who knows, putting ourselves in the line of fire, fulfilling or smart shopping? There is nothing being sold in any store that has ever made me lose my mind enough to even consider that level of ridiculousness. I can imagine what folk in other countries think of all this and nothing I imagine is very flattering. It’s a very sad situation but, until we loudly say “enough”, I believe it’s going to get worse. Until we say “No!” and let common sense rule, we’ll continue to be inundated with the promises of “sumthin’ for little or nuthin”. It all begins and ends with our dollars.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      I think you’ve definitely said it all right here, and have covered all bases!!! (Let the church say, Amen) Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  • Reply
    Janeane Davis
    November 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I really enjoyed this article. I am not a shopper. I do not like to shop for ANYTHING except yarn and books. I do not understand the need to stand in line with hundreds of people for hours to save the same 10-50 % I will be able to save a few weeks from now. I like the idea of Thanksgiving and being greaful and thankful without the pressure to leave my sweet potatoe pie to go stand in line at Toys R Us for six hours.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      LOL @ only liking to shop for yarn and books. But I am right there with you too Janeane. The deals are.just.not.worth.it. OMG…and sweet potato pie: what could be more important than that??? 😉

  • Reply
    Rani
    November 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Great article. I’m with you — 100 percent. It doesn’t feel or even look right, hundreds/thousands of people trampling over themselves for … wait for it … things we DON’T EVEN NEED. The key word there is NEED. It’s time to separate our wants/desires from what is really important? For example, can you pay for your bills on time? No? Then, why are you in line? I’m just sayin’.
    God is always the reason for the season. Go volunteer. That makes Him happy.
    God bless.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      THANK YOU RANI!!! You hit the nail on the head with that. Amen and amen again!

  • Reply
    Julian
    November 24, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Great article. I agree with everything 100%! I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper. Like you, I tried it once and…it was a bust. Over time, I’ve realized that the gift of time is really the most important gift you can give to your loved ones–and as a busy Mom, to yourself!

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 24, 2012 at 5:52 AM

      Thanks Julian! I definitely agree about the gift of time. Life is short and I’d much rather be spending the little time I have with my family than trying to fight my way through shops for things that I don’t even really need.

  • Reply
    Maama
    November 24, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    A well put article, very proud of you Chrissy. Although I used to enjoy shopping I never understood why people would go to such an extent on Black Friday. I still don’t understand why it’s called Black Friday. We really lose the meaning of the reason for the season – the child, Jesus Christ. I enjoyed all your wonderful comments.

  • Reply
    Chasing Joy
    November 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This was my 2nd year going black Friday shopping. I think my motives are a bit different than everyone else’s. Thanksgiving is just me and my mom for the last couple years since my dad died and I broke up with my ex. After dinner last year we spontaneously decided to go out and “look” to see if people were really in the long lines that we were seeing on the news. I think we mostly did this because it was so quiet after dinner and we both wanted a distraction from thinking about how huge my dad’s presence was at the holidays and how much we missed him. We headed out to the Wal-Mart / electronics store shopping center first and saw how ridiculous the line was. We could not help but to laugh. Then we drove up to the Target shopping center. The target line was not as long and was moving quickly and very orderly with about 20 people being let in every 30 seconds. No trampling or stamped at the front door. It was so well organized we decided to go in. We ended up getting some deals on a few things. No major purchases because we did not need anything big. It ended up being a fun way to end our night. This year we did the same. Drove by the electronics stores and laughed in shock at the lines then went to Target.

    I understand and don’t disagree with any of your reasons for avoiding black Friday shopping. I think in the future when my family Is bigger, after marriage and children it won’t really be on my agenda. But for now it is fun when you pick the right places to go.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 29, 2012 at 5:17 AM

      I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad, Chasing Joy. I can only imagine what that must be like and then to go through a breakup in the midst of it all. See what you do, is the complete opposite from what I hear most people do on Black Friday. You just might’ve convinced me to (at the very least) check out Target since they seem to have it together. The Walmart is on my way home, so I passed by it Thanksgiving night and didn’t see not ONE empty parking spot available. It was crazy! Thanks so much for sharing, and for letting me know it’s all about where you go…the driveby thing might just be a new tradition for me now LOL 🙂

  • Reply
    FIDELIA
    November 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    CHRISTINE, THANK UUUUUU 4 THIS ARTICLE…I ALWAYS WONDER HOW PEOPLE DO IT YEAR AFTER YEAR…THANK GOD FOR THE BLESSINGS WE HAVE BECAUSE I TRY TO ASK MYSELF…WHAT DO I REEEEALLY “NEED” THAT CAN’T WAIT TILL CHRISTMAS EVE…OR EVEN AFTER? I KNOW WHERE TO GET THE BARGAINS BELIEVE ME…BUT THAT QUESTION HELPS ME PLACE EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE! MY ANSWER IS ALMOST ALWAYS “NOTHING”…I HAVE ALL I NEED, TRULY GOD-BLESSED!!!

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      November 30, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      I agree with you Fidelia Maybe that’s why I don’t usually start shopping until Christmas Eve…and the days after, leading into the New Year when stores are trying to get rid of merchandise. 🙂

  • Reply
    #MamasMashup: Black Friday Shopping - Overboard or On Board? | Moms 'N Charge
    November 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    […] Ok so last year I wrote a piece about why I don’t go shopping on Black Friday. I thought it was out of control then. But now…it’s just getting ridiculous. Did y’all […]

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