Black Friday used to be about waking up early, still being full from a heavy thanksgiving dinner the night before, and trying to find the best deals around. Now, with sales starting as early as 5pm on Thanksgiving day, family gatherings and the all important Thanksgiving dinner are being cut short.
In 2015, despite the crowds, traffic and earlier start times, there was a record breaking $50.9 billion dollars spent on Black Friday.
Black Friday deals can save people upwards of hundreds of dollars — depending on what they buy. During the holiday season, saving money is crucial for many Americans. Usually the best deals, know as doorbusters, are only available for a limited time. This causes the infamous crowds, customers camping outside of stores and violence between shoppers.
“I personally think it’s crazy that stores are now opening on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a national holiday and so is Black Friday but I don’t think they should overlap,” said Lauren Robbins, Leesville sophomore.
Once a year, shopaholics have a reason to drop everything, feel the rush and face the crowds. Many stores might be taking “the early bird gets the worm” too seriously. With earlier start times, stores hope to gather more customers, but instead give shopaholics one more reason to miss out on a Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to give thanks and spend the start of the holiday season together.
“Thanksgiving is a national holiday and so is Black Friday, but I don’t think they should overlap,” said Lauren Robbins, leesville sophomore.
For some however, Black Friday is a bonding time with family and friends. “My mom and I have been waking up early and going shopping for 10 years now. Despite the hectic atmosphere, Black Friday shopping is a bonding time for me and my mom. It’s a tradition and each year we look forward to the day,” said Robbins.
Since 1869, the American tradition of Black Friday has allowed for families to save money during the holiday season. In recent years, the day seems to be spread out over the course of the entire weekend.
Shoppers rush through the doors on Thanksgiving Day hoping to grab all the best deals for the fast approaching holiday season, but what if they knew many deals were available online the following Monday?
Cyber Monday was introduced in 2005 and has been a way that shoppers don’t have to face the masses and chaos of Black Friday, all while trying to find the best deals. Cyber Monday allows for people to sit in the comfort of their own homes and spend time with their families during the Thanksgiving weekend.
“I have never been Black Friday shopping. I think it can give people the wrong impression of the holiday season, it’s not about greedy shoppers fighting for the last TV, it’s about family and love,” said Addy LaBanca, Leesville sophomore.
REI is one store on a mission to stop the chaos of Black Friday shopping. REI is trying to get customers to “optoutside”; by agreeing to this movement, customers are choosing to spend time outside instead of shopping on Black Friday. The movement has over 1 million supporters. In an effort to help support the campaign, REI doesn’t open on Black Friday.
Black Friday will continue to be a part of American culture, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, stores like REI and people around the country will spend less time shopping and more time with family.