The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.
Okay, this is the information directly from the Black Friday website. I learned something new, like that this term and shopping extravaganza started in the 1960's. One of my favorite things to do has been waiting in the long lines in the wee hours of the morning. I met new people, saw old friends, and enjoyed the memories made as we watched the craziness of people getting the best deal. We'd wait in line at one store, get what we need before scurrying to the neighboring store to wait in their line. Toes and fingers cold yet no one noticed. The singing of Christmas carols as beautiful snow fell and landed on your nose, a priceless experience. These days are gone.
As we picked up the last items for Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening, I heard people complaining about the shopping on Thanksgiving day but in the next breath, say how they "had" to come to get the best deal. I may upset you but it's your choice if you go to the sale. Personally, we don't shop on Thanksgiving because in an attempt to put first things first, we spend time with our family. If no one shops on Thanksgiving, retailers will go back to waiting for Black Friday, the way it has been for more than fifty years.
My heart breaks for the store employees who don't have a choice to work or not to work retail on Thanksgiving Day. For some, if they don't work, their family doesn't eat or have eat. Remember this as they ring up your $300 sale, as you save just as much, because they might be fighting back tears at how they could catch up bills or enjoy a feast of their own if they only had half that much money.
I enjoy Black Friday shopping yet this morning as we set our alarms for 5:30 a.m., we are still home because we know there aren't lines to wait in and the sale goes until 10 a.m., so why rush. I find the pre-Black Friday deals have decreased some of the Christmas excitement and tradition, at least for our family. I look forward to getting out today. There is no great deal we are hoping to get, well, other than the women's winter boots at Herb Philipsons in Oswego on Saturday for $20 because I don't have any. I'm sure my movie junkie family will find a couple movies left in the $2 and $4 bin at Walmart. My goal for the day, to enjoy time with my family.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Why do you go? What is your favorite part of the day? Do you shop on Thanksgiving? What would happen if everyone sent retail a message by not shopping next Thanksgiving, do you think Black Friday lines would return or would everyone log online and limit socialization even more? Oh the questions buzzing in my brain and just 7 a.m.
Rant done...Time to get moving and enjoy this Black Friday adventure!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323