October 1, 2016

Con: Black Friday ruins Thanksgiving traditions

I’m thankful for cheap clothes that I’ll trample other people to get to, electronics that kids will want to upgrade in two months and appliances that no one really needs — but I’ll get them anyway because they’re cheap.

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, Americans line up hours before stores open to be guaranteed a “good buy.” And every year the doors open earlier. Black Friday is becoming apart of Thanksgiving; it is creeping deeper into the one day of the year labeled as a day of thanks, and slowly overpowering the Thanksgiving tradition.

Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to show thanks for what our nation has given us — family, housing, food, friends, freedom, etc.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday to blow off. It has historic roots and is a strong national tradition unlike Valentine’s Day, which was created so businesses can make a profit. Big business is rearing its ugly head and turning Thanksgiving into another profit-driven holiday and exposing the materialistic side of Americans.

We cut family time short to line up at stores that cause their employees to miss Thanksgiving dinner. They check people out who care about nothing more than getting the half-off item they must have.

In 2008, two people were trampled to death as shoppers broke down the doors of a Walmart in Valley Stream, N.Y. in 2011. A woman pepper sprayed shoppers to get an Xbox and injured 20 people.

What does this say about our nation? What does this tell our kids? That getting a video game system is worth potentially blinding people and that getting items is more significant than life.

One may say they understand the meaning of Thanksgiving and only go out on Black Friday for “fun.” But by partaking in Black Friday — especially on Thursday — and cutting Thanksgiving dinner short, we are teaching younger generations that good deals trump family.

Although Black Friday enthusiasts may say they’re not being materialistic, their actions say otherwise. It seems to me that shopping has become the top priority for Americans on this day of thanks. I realize many people have good intentions on Black Friday. They set out to shop for the fun of it. But maybe we should step back and look at the potential outcomes of allowing materialism to delve into Thanksgiving.

I’m afraid that by the time people who appreciate the roots of Thanksgiving grow old, and the younger generations are the leaders of America, shopping on Thanksgiving will be the norm. Spending all day preparing a turkey feast with family will become a lost tradition. People will be too busy lining up days before Black Friday.

The term Black Friday originated from large amounts of people going out to shop causing major traffic accidents and violence; it has always had a negative connotation.

I feel like more people talk about Black Friday than Thanksgiving these days. People work extra shifts to get more money so they can buy more things. They express their excitement for Black Friday, not Thanksgiving. Americans are more eager to get off work for Black Friday than the holiday that precedes it.

Is having Black Friday worth establishing immoral values?

Thanksgiving should not be lost within the minds of greedy Americans. We should stay appreciative of what we have before thinking about items we want to buy on Black Friday. Let’s not go out on Thanksgiving even if that means we miss out on a free vacuum. By lining up early we are telling businesses that what they are doing is okay. Celebrate the holiday with loved ones, and show younger generations what Thanksgiving means by showing them what we are truly thankful for.

 

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