If you have been on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest in the last month, you may have seen the e-card that reads, “Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”
Have Black Friday sales turned the holiday season into a time of shopping and not of celebration?
For some families, going Black Friday shopping right after Thanksgiving dinner has become a tradition. For those whose family members worked Black Friday, it meant breaking tradition and eating an earlier dinner or not having a Thanksgiving dinner at all.
I think that every day should be a day of giving thanks and reminding yourself how lucky you are to have what you do. If shopping for your friends and family on Black Friday is your way of saying thank you and celebrating Thanksgiving, then so be it.
However, working on Black Friday should be optional because most would rather be spending time with their families.
Junior Esmeralda Carrillo and her family felt the burden of this year’s early Black Friday sales, which in some places, started at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Carrillo’s sister had to work during the early sales, which meant that her family had to make changes to their Thanksgiving as she had to leave her house for work by 4 p.m.
“Both my sister and I just ate our Thanksgiving meal earlier with our family,” Carrillo said. “I feel that some people did just make it a day of shopping.”
For others, the shopping itself became the bonding experience associated with Thanksgiving dinner.
Senior Astrid Olivares said she, along with her parents and sister, missed Thanksgiving dinner because they were Black Friday shopping.
“We had family over earlier during the day and they left around 3:30 p.m.,” Olivares said. “We had just finished a late lunch and so we decided to go to Wal-Mart and try to catch some their deals. We did not think we would be gone too long, but we did not get back home until about 10 p.m.”
This was the first time the Olivares family went Black Friday shopping as soon as doors opened on Thursday night. The family usually goes shopping in the afternoon on Friday so they can enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner and avoid the crowds.
“It was not worth missing dinner,” Olivares said. “It sucked that we did not have a traditional dinner, but we still spent time together at the store. We had fun watching all the craziness and making the long lines as a family.”
This was the second consecutive year that junior Elisa Escobar went Black Friday shopping, but her family did not let the shopping interfere with a Thanksgiving celebration.
“We had dinner early enough to play games, talk with everyone and just hang out together,” Escobar said.
Even if the shopping meant cutting into some family time, Escobar’s family found the crowds and long lines justifiable based on some of the sales they encountered.
“The electronics were worth it. We got a big flat-screen smart TV at only $300 and movies were $4-$6,” Escobar said. “Clothing sales were not that great.”
For some families, Black Friday shopping equates to quality family bonding time as they run to get the best deals on that flat-screen TV. But, for those who have family members who work on Black Friday, it becomes a burden on the entire family.
Published December 11, 2013