Dear Black Friday, You Can Do Better

Thanksgiving is always like a preview of the holiday season. Meals and festivities occur, but it is only the start of a season filled with festive lights, warm drinks, and time spent with family. I find it so special that we take a day to gather with our families to eat and express gratitude. Especially before going into a new year, it is very important to acknowledge our blessings and be thankful for them. What better setting to do this than at a table filled with people you love and yummy food? Thanksgiving is a beautiful concept that we should aim to integrate into our lives all year round. Gratitude journals are very popular nowadays and I can attest that they are definitely successful. When I’m feeling sad and like I don’t have much to be grateful for, I write down even the tiniest details of my life that I am thankful for and this has proven to uplift me. Sometimes I just write down even the tiniest things that I am thankful for, like not oversleeping this morning and for arriving to class on time. I know, sounds dumb. But trust me, gratitude can do tons in terms of happiness.

What I find strange and almost contradictory is the fact that Black Friday immediately proceeds Thanksgiving. While Black Friday can be seen as a happy day due to the amazing deals, there have been horrors regarding the lengths people will go to in order to get a good deal. Americans stand outside stores early in the morning waiting for the doors to open, only to enter the store and shove people in order to get their hands on a good deal. Violence is very common among Americans on this day; last year, a 27-year-old man was shot to death in a parking lot in South Keys Ottawa on Black Friday and this, unfortunately, one of many violent Black Friday incidents. Another point to consider is that Black Friday takes away from the spirit of Thanksgiving by forcing a lot of people to go to work on Thanksgiving day to prepare for it or have to wake up early the day after to be there for it. Not to mention, the sales are not always that great and are definitely never worth the violence.

So good job, America - the day after we counted our blessings, we feel the need to run after a good discount at the cost of the safety and happiness of others. Black Friday is a day that promotes selfishness, consumerism, and materialism. What ever happened to being happy with what you have? Although Black Friday is obviously a great opportunity to express gratitude to loved ones by buying gifts for them (at a discounted price), I think we can all agree that it is not worth the violence and taking people away from the Thanksgiving holiday. The way I see it, go for that Black Friday deal if you’re remembering to be in the spirit of Thanksgiving and not hurting anyone in the process. If anything, there’s always Cyber Monday, which you can take advantage of from the comfort of your own home without bothering anyone.

Dear Black Friday, you’re alright. But seriously, cut out the violence and stop taking people away from the Thanksgiving spirit.