Every time I turn around I run into some kind of discussion about doing Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving.
“ZOMG! THE AMAZING DEALS! My children will have ALL THE TOYS! And they will cost three cents because here is my post-Turkey dinner sale-tastic road map.”
“If anyone shops on Thanksgiving, you are part of the problem. We should all at least have one day with our families.”
I’m left feeling kind of “meh” about the whole debate because here’s the thing: I’ve been getting spammed with “pre-Black Friday sneak peak deals” or whatever for a month. And then there’s Black Friday itself and Cyber Monday and Lord knows what else. Basically retailers have been teasing Christmas since before I picked out a Halloween costume so it seems safe to say the consumption-mad chum has been in the water for months now. Which is really saying something because it’s not like we’re a super-laid back non-materialistic society during other times of the year.
Consumerism is out. of. control.
I’m all for the power of symbolism and the comfort that can be found in tradition and ritual, don’t get me wrong. But ceasing to be materialistic sport shoppers for one day of the year doesn’t seem super-significant in the grand scheme of things. It seems more like binge-eating McDonalds for 3 straight months and then declaring one day water and salad day. And if you don’t eat your greens on salad day then, by God, what is wrong with you? Have you no respect for nutrition? WHERE ARE YOUR VALUES?!
I’m not going to get within ten miles of any store touting “Black Thursday” deals but that’s not because of some moral superiority on my part. I don’t like crowds. Or stores. Or getting up early. Or going anywhere after eating a bunch of turkey. I prefer to buy my thoroughly unnecessary consumable goods online.
But all this “Thanksgiving was sacred before and now it’s not” stuff seems very straw-man-esk to me. One day’s good behavior does not a healthy society make. If there’s *ever* a day where people are prioritizing buying a plastic gizmo over, say, not trampling other people then we’re not respecting the spirit of the turkey.