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The Black Friday Takeover Essay

2572 words - 10 pages

“Mommy, why didn’t I get what I wanted for Thanksgiving this year?” This question seems absurd in a modern-day context, but in the future, it could be a question that is asked much too often. With holiday-themed advertisements in the media and holiday discount deals already visible on the shelves, it is no wonder that Black Friday and the holiday shopping season are creeping up closer and closer to Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a popular phrase used to describe the chaotic shopping frenzy that takes place every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. In recent years, the chaos of this so-called “holiday” has only escalated; consumers are trampling one another to get the best deals, and retailers are scrambling to keep up with their competitors. However, this year, many large department stores in the United States are opening their doors on Thanksgiving day in preparation for Black Friday (Zilman). This unprecedented event brings light to a startling change in American society. Black Friday’s inevitable takeover of Thanksgiving will ruin the holiday itself and negatively impact traditional familial values because it will force Americans to embrace materialism in place of graciousness.
Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday dating back to colonial times. The commonly-known First Thanksgiving is a story that all American children learn. The Native Americans teach the Pilgrims to grow food to last the winter. At the end of the harvest, the Pilgrims and Native Americans come together to celebrate and give thanks for the friendship they have and for all of the blessings they have received. Modern Thanksgiving, although based off of the First Thanksgiving, has evolved considerably. It is traditionally celebrated by families across the US with feasts of turkey and pumpkin pie, and some families watch football or go to Thanksgiving Day parades. Many Thanksgiving celebrations today are still centered around getting together with family and friends and giving thanks.
The term Black Friday was first used, according to US News Digital Weekly, in 1869 in reference to a stock market crash on the day after Thanksgiving that year. US News Digital Weekly says that it was again used in 1951 to describe the high number of workers that skipped work that day. Eventually, employers started giving workers the day after Thanksgiving as a vacation day. In turn, many of the workers used this day to start their shopping for the holiday season, making the day after the Thanksgiving a day that many stores started making huge profits. If a business has a profitable market, they are considered “in the black”. This is likely what brought about the modern meaning of the phrase Black Friday. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that Black Friday was officially considered the “biggest shopping day of the year...according to data from retail analyst ShopperTrak,” (Tozzi). Today, stores everywhere have Black Friday sales with almost comically low prices on merchandise...

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