Being Jon Morgan

Putting Black Friday into Perspective
There has been a lot of debate about retailers’ decision to move their Black Friday sales to Thanksgiving. You need only to look as far as this Facebook Page to read the viewpoints of those who oppose the idea of shopping for Christmas deals on Thanksgiving. There is bound to be incidents during Black Friday sales, and you can draw your own conclusion from media coverage. But, I wanted to point out this article from the Huffington Post which cites about a dozen tweets from shoppers who witnessed or were involved in Black Friday sale fights at Walmart. I think that before anybody makes any rash statements about the virtues of Black Friday (or Thursday) sales, we need to take a step back and try to see these day-after-Thanksgiving sales for what they really are: competition. In the midst of all of the retailers’ hype about which store offers the best deals, this has turned into a race to see who can get those deals. This involves camping outside the store, waiting in lines, rushing down the aisles and, yes, fighting with one and another over the items we want. I think that it was Jimmy Kimmel who compared Black Friday to “The Hunger Games.” It was a joke, but there is a hint of truth to it. Most of the tension of Black Friday has been created by the stores. They pick the

deals, the prices, and the timing of their sales. They intentionally make it so that only the first few people in line will get the item or items that they want. There will be customers who go back home empty handed, but the stores never lose as long as people show up for their sales. Those who oppose sales on Thanksgiving argue that the stores should remain closed so that employees can celebrate with their family. Those who oppose the “Save Thanksgiving” campaign argue that you could never give everyone the day off. I think that both are right. The people who started the “Save Thanksgiving” Facebook page have the right intentions, but I think that they’ve selected the wrong goal. It isn’t Thanksgiving that they should be trying to save, but a mentality which says that holidays are for taking time out to count your blessings and spend time with your family. What we’re really protecting Thanksgiving is a dangerous slide into commercialism, a threat that Christmas has faced for a few years. I’m not going to suggest that we eliminate Black Friday. I know how much the economy depends on events like this to drive consumer spending. But, I think that we should be very wary about the kinds of ideals that this represents. Do we really want Thanksgiving to be about winning the race to get the best deal at the stores? Do we want Christmas to be only about giving the best gift? These are the types of questions we should be asking ourselves. Finding Balance The argument about Black Friday should be about maintaining a sense of balance. I have a simple way of finding that balance. My idea is based on the idea of giving back when you take something away. The next time you spend a few hours shopping at a post-Thanksgiving sales, take a moment to schedule some time to be with your family. It could be Thanksgiving

day, it could be the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving, or it could be in the middle of December. Just make the promise that you will take the time to appreciate your family and loved ones. Web | Suggest Edits | Respond | Discuss | Email | Activity Feed |

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