Art by Katherine Carter
By Claire Thompson, staff writer
Help! Black Friday has taken over Thanksgiving!
Oh, the irony of this situation. Thanksgiving, a day for spending time with family and giving thanks, is slowly being replaced by Black Friday, a day of selfish consuming, pushing, shoving, and demanding more. A holiday celebrated by sharing what you’re most thankful for, is being invaded by the beginning of a season that teaches children to write letters asking for more things they don’t need.
Thanksgiving began in Colonial times when Native Americans and pilgrims shared a huge feast to give thanks after harvest. In 1863 during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made it an official national holiday. The holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, traditionally spent with family around a huge meal. We feast on turkey and stuffing, eating as much pie as we can take before loosening our belts and settling down for an afternoon nap. It’s a day spent away from school or work, relaxing and enjoying good company, food, and football. It’s a day to give thanks.
That is, until Black Friday crept in.
Black Friday has traditionally been the day after Thanksgiving. The day earns it’s name by supposedly marking the day that businesses move from the “red,” which means having no profit, to the “black,” symbolizing money made, with irresistible sales and discounts. It also supposedly marks the first day of holiday shopping and the beginning of the Christmas season.
Everyone loves sales, but Black Friday has gone too far.
People spend their Thanksgiving evenings camped out at stores, waiting in line for the doors to open and allow the ferocious mob of crazed shoppers into a bargain lover’s paradise. But now, stores are taking it a step farther.
These lines seem to grow bigger and form earlier every year for stores that do nothing but encourage it. At first, stores began opening an hour early for this special day, then it was two hours, then midnight. Now, some big businesses have taken it as far as opening the night or day before.
But, that’s Thanksgiving! Stores are open for Black Friday on Thanksgiving. That’s not Black Friday anymore, that’s Black Thursday. And that, is just wrong.
I can understand to some degree being open all day Friday, the whole 24 hours, but looking through the newspaper I noticed ads for Black Friday sales going on even longer. Yes, longer.
This year, Sears will open at eight o’clock Thursday night. So will Office Max. This hardly leaves enough time to finish the beloved meal before heading out to shop.
But get this, K-Mart is opening at six o’clock on Thursday morning and staying open until 11 o’clock on Friday night. That’s 41 hours. I repeat, forty-one hours. I could go on, but all information can be found at the shopping enthusiast website, theBlackFriday.com. You’re welcome.
It not only angers me that Black Friday is pushing into Thursday, it worries me. This is a fact that should concern everyone, and I’m beginning to lose all faith in humanity. People would rather save a couple of bucks on something they don’t need than enjoy a good Thanksgiving. Have we forgotten the true meaning of the holiday?
Can someone say Thirsty Thursday? Or, at least for now. Soon it’ll be Give Away the Store Wednesday. But at least then the madness that is Black Friday would be finished in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
This is even more tragic for the people having to work at these insane stores, tending to ruthless shoppers and giant messes, hoping for a second of escape to fit in some microwaved cranberry sauce. Meanwhile, the CEO of that big department store is probably enjoying a nice game of golf and a gourmet pie with his younger wife. I’ll tell you what they are thankful for, and that’s your business.
Another problem is that the longer these stores are open, the more people are trampled racing to the Twinkie or electronic section of Wal-Mart. More people will die fighting over the last box of hostess cupcakes, and even more people will suffocate, taking their last breaths hoping in vain that the two extremely large shoppers they are stuck between will somehow migrate away. ‘Merica.
While this causes a decrease in America’s human population, the decline of traditional Thanksgiving leads to a lot less turkey being eaten… since Thanksgiving is slowly ceasing to exist thanks to this new “Black Thursday,” there will be an enormous increase in the turkey population. Considering the amount of turkey usually consumed by Americans on what was once Thanksgiving, this could possibly lead to an overpopulation of the feathered bird. Eventually, there could be more of them than there are of us, which could only mean one thing… Turkeys are taking over America.
No one with any right sense would want this to happen, so let’s keep Black Friday on Friday, and keep Thanksgiving from becoming a “thank you for shopping” day.