Black Friday tarnishes holiday season

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

Families come together and appreciate all that we have been given, and these positive vibes lead all the way up until Christmas celebrations and New Year’s festivities.

It’s during this holiday season that we’re reminded of how thankful we should be for our friends and family while respecting the sacrifices they make for our benefit. It’s disappointing that this special season of appreciation can be tainted by consumers obsessed with Black Friday savings.

Can you think of another “holiday” that you find yourself checking the news to see if anyone was injured or killed during it? I can think of a few, but all of the fatalities would be directly related to alcohol abuse. During Black Friday, people almost expect that there will be deaths due to the hurried nature and greed of frantic shoppers.

Since 2008, there have been seven deaths and 85 injuries due to Black Friday shopping, according to Luckily, 2014 appeared to be death-free, but there were five documented injuries suffered – including a woman suffering a head injury from a fallen television during a “scuffle” in the United Kingdom.

The most recent unfortunate fatality came in 2013. A teen was returning home from Black Friday shopping, fell asleep at the wheel and was killed in the wreck.

I personally am not an avid shopper, but I understand that Black Friday offers unheard of savings for Christmas presents. But I strongly dislike the general attitude – that I will get the deal I came here for at all costs – of most shoppers.

I have been offered the opportunity to attend the late-night sales with my aunt and mother, but decline because I don’t want any part of the retail madness.

I think about all of the individuals working at these establishments and the fact that they aren’t able to be with their families during Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t want either of my parents having to leave my family celebration to prepare for the wrath of savage savers.

The origin of the name “Black Friday” comes from the idea that most stores operate at a loss for the majority of the year, which in finances would be considered in the red. It’s thought that during the holiday season establishments make the majority of their profits, which would be depicted in black ink.

I understand why producers would want so much hype surrounding their biggest sales day of the year and I think when the original idea was put in place, it was done with the best of intentions. But there is no denying the fact that this nice idea has been transformed into a monster, like most beautiful things in our world.

It’s a shame that some people think the 2014 Black Friday was a success because no one passed away in a shopping accident. Especially when there is no reason for people to physically camp outside of stores on Black Friday anymore.

Cyber Monday has come onto the scene to appeal to many shoppers, like myself, who do not engage in Black Friday shopping. In the next 10 years, I hope that Black Friday madness will become obsolete.

Companies can still offer their jaw-dropping deals on their websites with limited availability and it would save on paying employees overtime for their work on the holiday. These people would instead be able to relax and enjoy spending time with loved ones.

Most importantly, there won’t be any deaths connected to “Cyber Friday.” The only possible injuries would come from excited shoppers clicking their mouse too hard.


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