Happy-ish Black Friday

Shawn Magrath

Just the term “Black Friday” makes it so unappealing to me.

Everyone loves a good deal, right? I know that’s why the red clearance tag always draws my attention. But how much humiliation are people really willing to endure during Black Friday to get a good deal on toys, gadgets and clothing – even bed sheets and comforters stirred up some angst in a Montana department store last year. This morning, it was reported that pepper spray was used by a consumer trying to drive people out of a check-out line at a store in California and police had to intervene in a fight at the Jewelry Department at a Wal-Mart in Florida (making them Wal-Martyrs?).

Of course, this kind of thing is expected on Black Friday so when I read about it, it leaves little impact on me. In fact, as humiliating as this one shopping day may be to all mankind, I encourage Black Friday. Money spent in the American economy is money that boosts the American economy. To top that, nothing makes me feel better about myself than hearing about two grown men in a fist fight over the last set of bed sheets with a high thread count.

The real problem I have with Black Friday is its gradual consumption of Thanksgiving Day, blending the two days into one annual, stuff your face and your shopping cart event; I don’t remember learning about the pilgrims thankful for 40 percent off black breeches and steeple hats with buckles. Every year, department stores open earlier: 5 a.m., then 4 a.m., now midnight, 10 p.m. or 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening – some even open through Thanksgiving Day. Is Black Friday overshadowing Thanksgiving? I can barely utter the phrase anymore: “Happy Thanksgi… ooh look, that’s a really good deal.”

Remember the days when you could sleep in until… 4 a.m. before holiday shopping?

Moving away from the topic of Black Friday, the Parade of Lights is Saturday. It sounds like it’s going to be a blast so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend after licking your Black Friday fight wounds, please check it out.