I’m up north at my parents place. The middle of nowhere, with just my family and their cat, Max. We came up yesterday, early afternoon, and are staying until tomorrow at some point. Thanksgiving was technically yesterday, but we’re doing it tonight since my step-siblings just got here. Right now, I’m relaxing with a cup of coffee, when all of the kids are outside on the ice (it’s right on a lake). It’s calm, and oh my god, the amount of food is amazing. It’s about family and friends, which is what this holiday is supposed to be about.
We spend Thanksgiving spouting off about how thankful we are for what we have, for who we have in our lives. We tout ourselves as thankful people, who appreciate life and I’m sure you’ve already read 56 hundred posts about ” Things I’m Thankful For”. Americans take a holiday (which isn’t based on reality BY. THE. WAY.) which has it’s heart in family and thanksgiving, and use that one day a year to show how much they appreciate everything and everyone.
AND THEN. Black Friday. Less than 12 hours after most of America sits down to eat Thanksgiving dinner, the same Americans are standing in line, before the sun is up, just to fight each other for the best deals on material possessions. Less than 12 hours after a day dedicated to being thankful for what you have, for the people you surround yourself with, Americans are barging down isles, grabbing items out of other peoples hands, raging. In Romeoville IL, in the rush this morning, there was a knifing, and a shooting. All at a Black Friday sale.
Now imagine this. This consumer fueled, greed filled day, forces people in retail to work jobs (a lot of them hate) at horrible hours instead of spending a holiday with their family. These past couple of years, Black Friday has started on FUCKING THURSDAY. Who needs a holiday when sales start at 6pm on Thanksgiving. Start your shopping NOW, forget being THANKFUL, waste your money, neglect your family all at the expense of a person who now has to work a holiday in order to keep their job.
Greed is pathetic. Do I support Black Friday? No. Do I blame the corporations and business owners for it? Partially. Unfortunately the problem is us. Humans, Americans are so money driven, material driven that we bowl over everything else. If we didn’t FUEL consumer black holes such as Black Friday, they wouldn’t exist. Corporations couldn’t make money off of us so there would be no need for the biggest shopping day of the year. Yet here we are, the day after Thanksgiving, and I’m watching the news about people injured at a sale, about *Buy THIS at THIS PRICE, a Black Friday Special!!* and about the few righteous people who lost their jobs for REFUSING to make their employees work ON Thanksgiving.
So instead of shopping this weekend, instead of running with the masses on Black Friday, I’m spending time with my family. I’m spending time reflecting on what I do have, enjoying my family, and keeping my money in my pocket. I do not support this consumer black hole, and more importantly, I don’t support companies who make their employees work horrid hours because Americans suck. So while people are out in the stores, pushing each other over to get the best price, I’ll be right here, with my family, where I’m supposed to be. I’m thankful I have this time to be with them, because back when I worked sales/retail, I didn’t.