Consumed by Consumerism

Warning: Black Friday rant ahead. Leave now if you’re a diehard black Friday shopper.

Why I’m Boycotting Black Friday 

Alrighty, folks. I think it’s safe to say that this whole Black Friday thing has gone too far.

Black Friday now starts on Thursday—yes, Thanksgiving Thursday. Anyone else bothered by this? Some stores will open as early as 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Others’ hours begin in the evening and continue through Friday.

We are a society so consumed by consumerism (read: materialism) that we now cannot even spend a full day—24 hours—to be thankful for what we already have, before we go out and buy more stuff that we don’t need.

Get Some Perspective

I’m not going to pull a starving children in Africa line on you, but, well maybe I am. Here I go. You don’t even have to go as far as Africa to find starving children. And we cannot spend one day to enjoy our Freedom From Want with family and too much food. Last time I checked, Thanksgiving was a day to be thankful for what we do have, that we are truly in want of nothing. 

Worth it?

Meanwhile…people are getting trampled in the black Friday rush to get in the stores. Let me break that down for you. People have died from being walked on top of by other human beings. But that’s a darn good deal on that big screen TV or new iWhatever.  This has happened more than once—Look at this google search.

I’m failing to see the logic here. What is it you need so badly you will actually cause someone’s death in attempts to get it?

Rudeness of Epic Proportions

Last year I had a job at the mall. I was scheduled for the afternoon on black Friday, but the mall had been open since 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. When I arrived, I drove around for 20 minutes looking for a parking space. Twenty minutes. People were cutting other cars off, even having their passengers get out of the car and stand to hold a free space for their driver.

Seriously?

So, I get it—there are some really great deals out there. And I realize it’s not always just for the shopper…Christmas gifts hang in the balance. But can we really not take one day to be thankful? That leaves 364 days to buy stuff we don’t need. I’m not trying to demonize black Friday(/Thursday) shoppers—I have been known to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. But not this year. This year, I’m taking the full day of Thanksgiving (and the next day, too) to be thankful for my freedom from want.

This is an experimental year for many of those stores opening on Thursday. YOU CAN make an impact by not going out on Thanksgiving. 

2 thoughts on “Consumed by Consumerism

Add yours

  1. Thank you Emily for writing that.

    Last week I was going to suggest that you write about this topic, but I was too busy shopping. Kidding.

    Actually, I was going to suggest that Thanksgiving is becoming more and more an overlooked holiday because it doesn’t have a strong reason for loyal observance. And it isn’t intrinsically tied to our national economy––therefore it gets the shaft. The second reason I think people look past it is because of the obligation its name implies. Thankfulness implies gratitude to something or Someone, and people aren’t totally sure or comfortable with how they should fully express that. The tricky part is Who should they address their thanks to and how. Prayer? Hmm, don’t think so. Providence? Ok. People don’t get too queasy about giving a “nod to God” but they would say “let’s not get carried away and think that we might have some moral obligation or accountability to a Creator.” Most draw the line there. “Let’s just be thankful in general and leave it at that.” So, I wonder, do unbelievers have a moment of awkwardness as they sit down at a feast this Thursday? Do they feel compelled to offer some sentimental “shout out” for this bounty to pacify some perceived obligation to a Higher Power? Are they willing to carry that feeling of gratitude to its logical conclusion––or Source?

    Maybe their remedy is: “Stuff that conscience. I worked hard this year. Let’s eat and get to the football.”

  2. Great point, Darrell—I’ve never thought about how unbelievers come to the Thanksgiving table. But you’re exactly right. Accountability is the keyword…no one wants to give the nod if it means they have to do more than nod.

    How about—”…Let’s eat and get to the shopping.”

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