Where will you be on Thanksgiving Night?

Jeffrey Onyeador, Staff Writer

Black Friday. From Native Americans to native-Americans-teaching-pilgrims to HARVEST! to thanksgiving to pumpkinpie gala to Black Friday? Thanksgiving has survived for over four centuries due to the strong ties America has with family (and also the presidential proclamation of thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863). Black Friday has only existed since 19th century. But as the TV hear that stores are opening earlier and earlier into thanksgiving, a question resonates in my head – will it be able to weather the strong tides of Black Friday? Will it be able to maintain its core traditional value in America, and not digress into a commercialized holiday, like Christmas? Will CHFHS students stay at home, cozy in the warmth of loved ones, corn bread, and mouth-watering gold turkey? Or, will CHFHS students sacrifice family time to get the new Xbox one for 25% off?

Black Friday is foremost the day after thanksgiving; but also it is the busiest shopping day of the year; and the day of massive sales; and the day of endless wails; and, notably, the day of awesome fights. Nearer and closer every year, creeps Black Friday towards thanksgiving. In 2006, most stores opened at 5am, others at 6am. In 2012, a surprising amount of stores decided to be bold by opening up a midnight. A competitive Toys ‘R’ Us began their sales at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day. This year, Wal-Mart, Target, kohl’s, Sears, virtually any retail giant has decided to open a 6pm; Bestbuy starts at 5pm. Not only are stores deciding to compete against the cherished tradition known as thanksgiving, but also it appears that many people are feeding into it by waiting outside the haven of 2-for-1 and 40%-off deals for hours, not to mention the sultry coldness that permeates the Fall season’s nights. In the direction Black Friday heading, no more will it be called Black Friday but Black Thursday and Black Friday. However, some stores took a step in the right direction, for example, Forever 21 opens at normal hours on Friday, and runs sales through early Saturday morning.

Stores are opening earlier every year into Thursday night to create a great sense of urgency and excitement for shoppers. Accompanied with this unwanted adrenaline is unwanted violence, which almost always creates an eventful night for late-night shoppers. So my question is, would CHFHS students fall prey to the craziness of Black Friday, and abandon family time to savor whole shopping time? If so, is it worth it? And why?

As interviews ensued in the school, a surprising amount of students said they would not participate in the late night shopping of thanksgiving, as well as Black Friday, for a number of reasons. A senior and a fellow junior expressed a harsh reality of working, when they call you in for work there are no exemptions for commercial holidays; furthermore the senior had make an even bigger sacrifice by working on thanksgiving. Other reasons include that him or her doesn’t have a ride or that it’s too cold to wait outside, “whoever is going Thursday night is absolutely Bonkers” said one classmate. Another ridiculed that “only white people wait outside [for Black Friday] on Thursday night.” It’s obvious that many of the students actually valued Black Friday less than previously believed, however, that doesn’t mean they necessarily prioritize thanksgiving over Black Friday. In an interview, one student conveyed that he “wants to participate in Black Friday because the discounts for this day are unbelievably high” but he still has to postpone it to later rather than sooner because thanksgiving is thanksgiving, he can’t put that off. On the other hand, one student said that he is going to shop on

Friday because (I quote) “I do not camp out for anything because it’s boring and I hate hate waiting. I would rather spend half the day with my family then partake in Black Friday,” so it is evident that some, or at least one student, values family time, which is a plus. Right?

Some students seem to not be able to resist the allure of the great deals on Black Friday, even for the sake of thanksgiving, which was baffling. Why can’t students just wait for the great deals of the Christmas season? One student confidently rebuked my efforts by asserting that the season to be jolly does indeed have good deals, although, it was not Black Friday deals, which apparently made a difference. These students have their reasons – sneakers, games, clothes, etc and as a result, these reasons, however frivolous they may appear, effaced the value of thanksgiving.