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. 🙂
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?