Today is Black Friday- known as the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. On Thanksgiving day, as I was walking to my hotel from work, I noticed a major line of people camped outside Target. It was around 3PM. The Black Friday sales at Target wouldn’t begin until midnight.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday centered around giving thanks for what we have. The huge irony of Black Friday being the day after Thanksgiving isn’t lost on anyone.
Yet Black Friday mayhem happens anyway- a pushing, shoving, screaming frenzy of people trying to purchase as much new stuff as they can as early as they can. Black Friday is even its own official holiday in some states.
I understand that Black Friday helps a lot of businesses make money fast. One of the origins for the name ‘Black Friday’ comes from businesses beginning to be ‘in the black’ and doing well that day because so many people begin their holiday shopping right after Thanksgiving ends.
I also understand that Black Friday helps consumers get deals and save money on holiday gifts for family and friends. It’s always good to save money on things you’re going to buy anyway.
However, I can’t help but feel slightly sickened by Black Friday. The day is completely contradictory to Thanksgiving and occurs only one day later. And it really brings home the feeling of thankfulness being over. There’s an ‘ok we were thankful yesterday, now we’re good’ feeling in the air.
It’s important to be thankful- not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. I always like to compare thankfulness to brushing your teeth – you don’t just do it one day and then you’re done. Every day you start again.
When you aren’t clamoring for the best sale or shiny new toy, it’s easier to stop and appreciate what you already have. Even if you’re feeling down, or bored, or you have the post-Thanksgiving blues, you have so much to appreciate. I’m happy I can walk and can see and have strong lungs and a healthy heart.
Be thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving. There’s a whole lot to be thankful for.