Friday, December 2, 2011
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Maybe...
Christmas time is here again and it is more chaotic than ever. The most wonderful time of the year has turned into a shopping frenzy that has turned into a new holiday all in itself. A holiday where people spend the most money on consumer goods as they will in any other single day the entire year. A holiday where the worst can be brought out in people to get the best deal on what they want. A holiday that encourages the greed and selfishness that makes America great (sarcasm). It is the holiday we now know as Black Friday.
What has caused this extreme new holiday the day after thanksgiving? The culture of America and social influences would be a good place to start. The more that Christmas became the most consumeristic holiday of the year, the more a separate, slightly darker holiday was needed to meet the wants of our culture. However, not everyone will pull your hair or pepper spray you to get to the item they want for the price they want. What is it that makes sane people go out on Black Friday? Is it the deals? Possibly, but not likely. What makes us want to stay up all night the night we stuff our faces on Thanksgiving?
Black Friday has become so popular in our society that it has virtually reached every consumer's reference group, whether it is seen as something that is negative or that is positive. No matter what one may think of Black Friday, there is something about it that draws us in. A good friend of mine had never been out on Black Friday because he realized that you can get most of the deals through the entire Christmas season not just on that one day. He decided this year to conform and try it out because of the craziness of it. The way people had been talking about it made it seem like it was similar to a mosh pit at a concert. He had to see for himself. Because of word of mouth, he tried something that he would later call "a regrettable decision." He found out that it is just as crazy, if not crazier than people say it is, especially at Wal-Mart.
Black Friday has become more than just a fad in the United States, it is now the norm. My family may be one of the few that previously participated in Black Friday, but stopped because it became too crazy for their liking. People now participate in Black Friday because it is what everybody else does, and once you start doing something because everybody else does it, you are probably going nowhere fast. Black Friday is now officially a part of Christmas. That should make us question what we have we let Christmas become all about? It used to be the most wonderful time of the year, now we have to cut through the thick fog that is Black Friday and consumerism to find it.