The Day Before Black Friday

Do you remember it? You probably do… C’mon… think! Think! You know, it’s that day in late November where we all stop what we’re doing, get together with our families and friends, eat obscene amounts of food and watch football. We stuff ourselves with loads of turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and candied yams and green bean casserole and hot, buttered rolls and of course, pumpkin pie. And many of us also take some time to pause and reflect upon that for which we are thankful. I guess that’s why it is generally referred to as Thanksgiving.

However, for some strange reason, in recent years the term “Thanksgiving” seems to have eluded us. Despite the fact that our country remains deep in a recession and we’re still seeing some of the highest unemployment numbers in decades, I noticed a disturbing trend emerging even stronger than in years past. The trend being that what was formerly referred to as Thanksgiving is now merely The Day Before Black Friday.

I’m not an idiot and I don’t live under a rock. I’ve known for years that here in America we worship the almighty dollar more than anything else. And in direct correlation with that, we worship things. We see it… we like it… we want it… we HAVE to have it! After all, the neighbors do. And by all means we must keep up with our neighbors and our relatives and our friends and our co-workers. But even with the knowledge that “things” are so important to us… I am still shocked by what I hear at the very top of every newscast during the holiday season (which, by the way, NOW begins immediately following Halloween.)

Notice there is ZERO mention of: “How to Prepare The Most Succulent Turkey,” or “10 Tips for Fixing a Feast Fit for 20,” or even the ever-popular: “How to Avoid Gaining 10 Pounds While Still Ingesting All The Carbs Your Body Can Possibly Handle Without Winding Up in a Coma”

Instead of those all-time favorite Holiday Classics, we are bombarded with: “How to Be the First in Line To Get Your Air Swimmers Giant Flying Fish” or “10 Self-Defense Tips for Fighting the Frantic 3 a.m. Traffic at Wal-Mart” and the NOW popular: “How to Best Manage Your Credit in Order to Still Provide a Magical Material Christmas for Your Child Even Though You’re Broke and Haven’t the Money to Make Your Subprime Mortgage Payment.”

I'm fairly certain THIS is Dante's 9th circle of hell.

What is wrong with this picture? Surely I am not the only one who has made note of this and found it a teensy-bit troubling, unsettling, nerve-wracking or nauseating? Hello? Can I get an Amen?

It doesn’t feel like that long ago news programs, talk shows and magazines served up extra helpings of wisdom on how to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving with the people who mattered most. But seemingly overnight this once-favorite holiday has yielded it’s prominent position to the day after. I’m not exactly sure who is to blame. Whether it’s us—the consumers? Or whether it’s the big-box stores, manufacturers and credit-card companies? I suspect it is probably both… A marketing match made in heaven… Or hell. Depending on how you look at it.

I may be part of a minority here, but I think I’ll stick with the day before Black Friday as my holiday of choice. After all, there is no waiting in line, no angry mobs to deal with and no anguish over paying the bill for those stupid Air Swimmers when it comes due in January, February and March. You see, on The Day Before Black Friday there is only the warm, lazy feeling of being lulled to sleep in front of a football game surrounded (hopefully) by people you love… with a tummy full of turkey.

And I much prefer that.

P.S. By the time the credit card statement comes… that “must-have” flying fish is most likely enjoying the company of dust bunnies… somewhere underneath a bed.

P.P.S. THIS is how I plan on spending my Black Friday…

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8 thoughts on “The Day Before Black Friday

  1. Amen. What bugs me the most, though, is that no matter how big sales are on Friday, economists will predict gloom-and-doom. Sales are always reported to fall short of retailers expectations. No matter what. We’ve scaled back what we buy. Stuff just isn’t what the season is about.

    And those air swimmers are apparently hard to put together and require helium. Awesome.

  2. AMEN too! As children, time stretches on forever esp. as you anticipate holidays. I loved Thanksgiving. That was the only time we ate in the dining room (rather than the kitchen table) with fancy dishes and the GOOD silver. We drank from green glass glasses and it was delightful. I never thought about Christmas until the calendar said December. Being thankful (which requires thinking about others who have done something for you) is now Get their first because I WANT THAT THING AND I AM GOING TO BEAT YOU TO IT!
    JUST HEARD ON THE NEWS THAT A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT HAS PITCHED HIS TENT OUTSIDE A BEST BUY TO GET THE 42 INCH FLAT SCREEN FOR $399. HIS DAD IS HOLDING DOWN THE FORT (so to speak)WHILE HE GOES TO SCHOOL THIS WEEK.

  3. I will be spending my Thanksgiving morning in the airport in order to spend the Holiday with my family. We are going out as a family on Saturday evening for the Theater Production, The Christmas Story. This means dressing up and not just picking something to wear from the pile on the floor. If I do not see a store (maybe the grocery store) I will be happy:) Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving and Spending it With Our Loved Ones!!!

  4. Amen several times over! That is plain dangerous to be in a crowd like that. What if the store caught on fire? What if a crazy murderor busted out? What would you do? There is no where to run. You’re stuck like a big fat turkey in the oven. I would never be in a crowd like that.

  5. Since we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in my country I get to avoid all of the above.

    However the day after Christmas (Boxing day) all the retail stores participate in massive sales which I quite happily partake in. It can become quite chaotic (imagine hundreds of people crammed outside shops just waiting for the doors to open) but very entertaining! Plus you get some wonderful bargains.

    Btw, What are air swimmers?

    • Yep… sounds just like Black Friday around here. Like the pictures I posted 😛 Some people love it. A LOT of people love it. I just happen to not be one of them 😛 haha

      Air Swimmers… well, I didn’t know what they were a few days ago either but for the sake of the post I did a little research to find what was considered to be “THE” toy of 2011. I don’t have children and all my nieces and nephews are teens so I had to do a little investigating to illustrate my point. Hoping that several of the readers know what they are.

      I think they are helium-filled, radio-controlled giant fish that “swim” through the air as you control them… but I could be wrong. Look them up online and see what you find out. The other item was the MyKeepon Dancing Robot—which actually looked kinda cool!

  6. JT says:

    Amen Joanna, I will not be in a store on Friday as I need the weekend to digest all the Food on Thursday and to be thankful for more than I can possibly fit in this reply. Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving, though we won’t actually see each other, I will be with you in spirit snuggled up in my blankets 🙂

  7. StrangeLittleGirl Photography says:

    You can get an amen from me, way too much emphasis on inanimate objects. After working in retail since 16, I have complete Black Friday burn out; I am turned off by the whole ticking time bomb concept (if you don’t buy it tomorrow at the crack of dawn you’ll never see it again and your Christmas will be ruined!).

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