The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
This Thursday, thousands of families across the United States will be sitting around a dinner table overwhelmed with food while football is played on the TV in the background. We’ll fill ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing while we give thanks for our family, friends and good health.
Several hours later, these happy and thankful people change into the greedy and the aggressive as they fight over the last discounted plasma screen television at Walmart.
The stark difference between Thanksgiving and Black Friday is almost comical, but definitely troubling. The season of giving and spreading love switches to 24 hours of shoving, fighting and arguing over prices at stores across the nation, and we at The Miami Student are tired of it.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the sales. For some of us, Black Friday is a great opportunity to get Christmas shopping done in one inexpensive, albeit stressful, trip to the mall. However, we don’t understand the need to continually push back shopping times.
As children, we saw commercials advertising Black Friday sales starting at 8 and 9 a.m. For the dedicated shoppers amongst us, that meant getting in line at stores at 5 in the morning to be the first inside.
Then the times began to change as stores became more and more desperate to increase sales. Stores opened at 6, and then 5 followed by one store opening at 4 in the morning. Eventually, stores started opening at midnight. We thought that would be the end of it, but we were wrong.
Last year, most stores opened between 8 and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. This year, many stores will be opening at 6 p.m. For people working in retail, that means arriving at work at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving to prepare for mobs of shoppers flooding stores.
What happened to the holiday spirit? We love Thanksgiving and spending time with family, but we aren’t so sure that running through a store to fight over the last size medium cashmere sweater says “happy holidays!”
For some of us, the earlier times are welcomed. Stores opening at 6 or 8 p.m. means that some shoppers can get all their items purchased at a reasonable hour, rather than waking up at 3am and driving to the mall in the middle of the night.
For others, Black Friday merging with Thanksgiving seems to be intruding on a day set aside for family and giving thanks.
The editorial board believes that Black Friday isn’t ruining family values, unless individuals allow it to do so.
For most of us, prioritizing family over shopping is an easy choice. We can enjoy a day filled with family and food and then go out the next day, or later that same day, and shop for Christmas presents.
If some are unhappy with Black Friday intruding on Thanksgiving, we encourage them to simply not participate in the sales or to wait for Cyber Monday and shop sales from the comfort of home.
Black Friday is a choice, and whether or not we choose to participate lies in how much we value sales and our patience to wait in long lines. If the sales and crowds are worth it, then we at The Miami Student encourage people to face the madness to get the perfect gifts for family members.
However, if it’s not worth it, we fully support ignoring the numerous ads for the lowest of low prices and instead focusing on the annual fight between watching football and watching the dog show while we debate between pumpkin or apple pie.
For the rest of us, we’ll have our turkey and pie on Thanksgiving with our loved ones. But that won’t stop us from heading out to the mall a few hours later to be first in line to buy a new jacket on sale.