Black Friday has become nearly as prominent in America as the holiday that it follows. It has become rather like a holiday itself. It takes up almost as much advertising as Christmas. When I return to school after the break, I am just as likely to be asked where I went shopping as I am asked where I went for Thanksgiving. It is only a matter of time before the production company that created the movies Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve will create a film entitled Black Friday.
Unlike a real holiday, where folks look forward to time at home, Black Friday specializes in taking people out of their homes. Millions of retail workers are made to cut short or miss out on their Thanksgiving festivities in order to prepare their stores for the massive event. It not only forces people to leave their families on a holiday weekend to work, but it drives countless others to finish their turkey early and drive to the nearest Best Buy. As Black Friday hours begin earlier and earlier each year, often starting on Thanksgiving Thursday, it encourages shoppers to place their Christmas shopping ahead of the traditional American Thanksgiving plans. With these things in mind it appears as if Black Friday is Armageddon to those traditional Brady Bunch type families: placing consumerism above family values.
On the other hand, what is Black Friday if not another activity for your family during the holiday season? It may not be traditional or idealistic, but more and more families every year don matching T-shirts and charge into Target like the Pats into Gillette. Personally, I have not experienced this but I imagine that I would definitely bond with my family if we were out to claim or wrestle the last iPad mini out of the hands of our competitors at Walmart. Perhaps these families can become closer through this kind of activity than they would in reciting what they are thankful for over their best china dishes. All I know is that the closest I ever felt to my family over the holidays was when we watched the first two seasons of The Office together, spending hours at a time laughing. This is not the most traditional way to get close to one’s family, but it is my favorite way. So who is to say that Black Friday can’t provide a bonding, if not traditional experience to a family?