Some Thoughts On Black Friday

November of 2010. That was the first time I recalled ever seeing an ad for Black Friday. I recalled that the sale started at four in the morning, or something like that. For me, it was somewhat baffling.

All I could think to myself was, “Why would anyone want to wake up at two or three in the morning to go Christmas shopping?” It was from there I became an opponent to Black Friday. I would never understand why anyone thought that shopping that early was a good idea.

Then, Black Friday started during Thanksgiving, at times where I thought people would prefer to be enjoying meals with family and friends. That’s where I was taken aback. People really wanted to go shopping for jewelry, electronics, apparel, and other items instead of having Thanksgiving dinner with their families? Who in their right minds would want to do that?

I wanted to avoid black Friday shopping as much as I could. I recall I went shopping at a Target store near my house to get some basic items the day after Thanksgiving in 2015. I felt disappointed in myself, even though I wasn’t shopping on Thanksgiving Day instead and definitely not in the wee hours of Friday morning.

In fact, one of the only times I ever took advantage of Black Friday was for some pizza for my family from Domino’s. I had a Pizza Profile and had ordered with them enough times to earn a free pizza. I decided to redeem the reward to get a free pizza for my brother.

This year, I decided to try actual Black Friday shopping from the Internet. I found it quite enjoyable. I honestly preferred Internet shopping to brick-and-mortar shopping because I could do it from the comfort of my couch and I didn’t feel trapped due to massive amounts of people.

Normally, I prefer to avoid shopping on Black Friday. This year, I decided to give it a try online, and I found it more enjoyable than offline shopping. (Photo Credit: innov8tiv.com)

I feel like Black Friday opens the door for people to flip a switch. One minute, they’re thankful for the things in life they have. The next, they’re purchasing items at stores left and right.

Some people might think, “I really need/want this, and the less expensive the better.” Yes, Black Friday sales are awesome. Yes, maybe they really want to get a Lego playset for their family member or are in desperate need of new work attire for a new and upcoming job.

However, I feel like being with family and being safe is also very important. I would prefer to be with my family on Thanksgiving Day and go shopping later in the day on Friday. In my opinion, going shopping early is not worth being seriously injured in the store.

Also, I applaud people who shop for the less fortunate on Black Friday. Maybe they’re shopping for jackets to give to a needy family so they can stay warm when it’s cold out. Maybe they’re shopping for a doll/action figure set for a child fighting critical illnesses in the hospital.

While I do agree taking advantage of the sales to help out needy people and animals in the community is kind, I feel like being with family and counting your blessings is more important on Thanksgiving. As much as I love taking a chance to help fellow community members, I would prefer to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family before all else.

As much as I enjoy shopping, I enjoy having Thanksgiving dinner with my family and friends even more (Photo Credit: TripSavvy)

What about the retail workers? Maybe they don’t have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with, live far from their families, or are looking for some extra cash to support themselves. I’ve even seen them be compared to first responders, military members, and medical professionals.

I’ve seen people say that retail workers who are upset about having to work on Thanksgiving/Black Friday when they prefer not to have no right to complain. I’ve seen people say that first responders, military members, and medical professionals work holidays and never complain. I’ve seen people say/imply that retail workers need to suck it up, work these shifts, and do what’s expected of them.

Yes, military members, medical professionals, and first responders are away from their families for the holidays all the time. However, I am sure these people went into these professions knowing that they would be working on holidays. They went into these professions wanting to save lives, help others, and make a difference in the world.

I agree that sometimes retail workers want or need to work these shifts due to life circumstances. On the other hand, I think that perhaps these shifts get tiring after a while. These people probably have to work very long hours, maybe with few restroom, food, or drink breaks. They might be running on very little sleep.

The biggest thing for me is that these people probably get verbally abused by customers when an item they want is sold out or is more expensive than they wanted it to be. I have worked in customer service in the past. I have seen my fair share of customers not being quite nice to myself, my coworkers, and other customer service people.

It’s okay if you want to go shopping on Black Friday. Make sure to stay safe, especially if driving in the early morning hours and/or in inclement weather (snow, fog, etc.), and when there are huge crowds. In addition, be sure to be tactful to the employees. They’re humans, they can make mistakes, and being nice can go a long way.

If you’d like to shop on Black Friday, it’s important to stay safe traveling to the stores, stay safe in the massive crowds, and be as kind as you can be to the store staff (Photo Credit: theCHIVE)

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