This year, like every year, my mom woke me up before sunrise to prepare for a shopping adventure. Since I was younger, I’ve enjoyed the anticipation and competitive nature of the experience, not to mention the rush of getting deals on Black Friday. This year, we got up at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. because we felt like a break. We usually aren’t the first to enter any store, but there still are crowds no matter what time you show up. There is also caffeine and snacks and Christmas music.
I’m not a shopping freak, though. I’ve never ran anyone over, elbowed a fellow shopper or camped outside a store. To me, Black Friday is a family tradition. Almost all of my mom’s side of the family participates in the fun and meets for lunch afterwards to relax. I look forward to it every year.
I get a little frustrated when a couple of crazy people define how someone looks at Black Friday shopping. Sure, my venue is a part of small town America, so I don’t have the wildest experience. I know a lot of people who enjoy the day without any violence, greed or anger, though.
The thing I have noticed about Black Friday, too, is that it is an opportunity. Those struggling financially can finally get something special for their children. Christmas isn’t all about presents but, especially for kids, getting a nice gift can be so exciting.
Frequently, my family also uses Black Friday as a time to pick up some toys for a Toys For Tot’s drive or to buy good coats for people in need of warmth this winter. We can be twice as charitable during Black Friday because the deals are so low.
This opportunity not only gives people the opportunity to afford gifts for their loved ones, but it also stimulates the economy. Businesses put a lot of work into Black Friday offers in hopes of staying afloat in tough times.
I’m not saying that some people don’t get really cutthroat in shopping malls. The stories you hear on the news are dramatic cases, however. There are a lot of greedy people but there are also a lot of people who are just trying to be fiscally responsible about the holiday season.
I still feel bad for employees who have to put in early morning hours and deal with impossible patrons. There are flaws in the system and it can get out of hand. I’ve always enjoyed my experience, and I think there is value in the event over all.