Don’t let Black Friday gobble up Thanksgiving

Walker is a senior sociology major from Brunswick, Ga. She is an officer in the Green Ambassadors

Brittany Walker

Thanksgiving break is rapidly approaching. Our nation is known for constantly striving for bigger and better things, so it is nice to take a day to give thanks for what we already have.

But just like a brand new iPhone that will be outdated in a few months, being thankful has a short shelf life in the U.S. Not even 24 hours can pass after the Thanksgiving meal before Black Friday begins. A national holiday for gluttonous consumption of stuff we don’t need. Oh, the irony. We sit down on Thanksgiving Day to a feast of epic proportions and stuff our bellies with more food than many people in the world eat in a week. We give thanks for the people and blessings in our lives. We have the freedom to watch mindless entertainment like the Macy’s Day Parade and football, and then nap for hours. What more do you want!? A new TV, apparently.

The problem isn’t with Black Friday itself. I see the fun in having a day to get good deals on Christmas presents and other items. The problem is with is how close it is to a day of giving thanks. It really undermines the whole holiday. Especially since stores are now moving their Black Friday kick-off times earlier and earlier, encroaching on Thanksgiving itself. This year, Walmart will start its Black Friday at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, on the day itself. Shove the turkey down your throat and get in line at Walmart. And if you want to just skip Thanksgiving altogether, Kmart will start its Black Friday at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Never mind that you’ll be supporting the fact that minimum wage workers of these stores have to miss Thanksgiving with their families, just to hold back a stampede of crazed shoppers. Never mind that meanwhile, CEOs of these stores will enjoy their Thanksgiving at home and watch massive profits roll in. Lastly, never mind that you’ll likely be buying the same stuff you did last year. A study found that 90 percent of Black Friday ads contain the same items as they did last year with the same prices.

In years past, I remember my mom, grandma and aunts getting up around 5 a.m. on Friday to go Black Friday shopping. Even then, it was kind of a funny concept that this yearly tradition existed. But back then, I would have never thought stores would have the audacity to push back the start times to the day of Thanksgiving itself. This Thanksgiving, honor the holiday by letting it be a full day of giving thanks, untainted by the overconsumption of Black Friday.