Not your parents’ Black Friday

Opinion: On the evolution of, and in defense of, this most American of holidays

One of our greatest holidays has come and gone, and it may have been the greatest one yet. It had it all: family, overindulgence, and oh-so-much television.

Thursday is Black Friday pregame. Families get together and eat a big meal to sustain them through a long night of alternating between waiting for sales to begin and tearing a 75 percent off towel from the hands of other frenzied shoppers in a brief, fierce fight for the best deals.

Jesting aside, defenders of the rapidly growing behemoth that is Black Friday are needed. There has always been an outcry against the day – commercialism, crowds and such. These people shiver at the thought of Black Friday–and they must be stopped.

Now, complaining about the commercialization of Christmas is an understandable stance. When one is upset about all the uproar around what has always been a premier shopping day, though, it seems a bit selfish. They want it all to run their way. We live in the capitalist United States; commercialization is one of the primary American values.

“Suffocating crowds! Greedy, heedless people! Long lines!” some will shout. There is a simple solution to these, for all the lucky shoppers, a way they can take their shopping experience into their own hands–by not going shopping.

Then there are those people with their cart full of hundreds of dollars’ worth of discounted toys who simply cannot get over missing out on the pillow with arms. Such rage they’re filled with; no amount of memory foam mats or Hot Wheels racetracks can make up for the loss of that pillow with arms. Hey, they really wanted that pillow; can you blame them? Don’t be those people. Your Black Friday will be much better for it.

Take it from a low-level retail worker who worked that night: While there were still those initial crushes of shoppers, spreading out the sales helped to thin the herds. People would rather stay up a little late and get a sale at 10 than wake up at two in the morning to rush to the store, even on Thanksgiving. What better way to bond the family than help forge a path to the cheap DVDs for your mom?

While forging that path for your mother, you will also be accomplishing another important task: the post-Thanksgiving workout! Burn those pumpkin pie calories the right way, by fighting of mobs of shoppers and getting punched in the mouth going for that Xbox. Look at it as you would a party or concert, when the masses of people enhance the experience. It’s blissful, crowded chaos.

Playing with sale times isn’t even the biggest evolution in the betterment of Black Friday. That distinction goes to the greatest changer of all things in life: the Internet. “Cyber Monday” is the obvious counterpart for the brick and mortar Black Friday, but the deals are prevalent throughout this week of deals.

It’s quite simple logic. Online shopping is constantly increasing; the technology to get online is now everywhere, more people are adopting the technology and there are more deals than ever. It only follows that people will save time and avoid the crowd to easily find the best deals online. Even the crowd-averse can enjoy this most glorious day now.

Nobody loses on Black Friday: Retailers make money and consumers save money. Participation is voluntary. It can be done from the comfort of our homes, tucked into a warm bed with a giant plate of turducken waiting on the nightstand.

Black Friday is the most American holiday. Embrace the freedom to fight for deals. Disliking it is simply un-American—unless you work in retail.