Black Friday, I hardly knew ye

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Last year, I wrote a column about how Thanksgiving is one of the worst holidays. Today, I’m here to report to you that my feelings have changed. Today, I write to tell you that Thanksgiving is no longer one of the worst holidays, but that it is, in fact, the worst holiday.

The reason for the shift from “one of the worst” to “the worst” is because of one thing: Christmas. This year, my wife decided that we wouldn’t put up Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving had passed and like the smart man I am, I agreed. But boy did I hate not having my Christmas tree up on Nov. 1.

If Thanksgiving wasn’t a holiday, I would be able to have my Christmas decorations up significantly sooner. Thanksgiving is a buffer holiday that gets in the way of the best holiday. It’s also a buffer between me and my second-favorite holiday – Black Friday.

Sadly, though, after years and years of loving the famed and sometimes sadly deadly holiday –

stop trampeding people for that TV on sale that if you had done even just the slightest bit of research, you’d have realized it’s not even a TV worth buying, even at that price – I must admit that it has lost a lot of its luster.

I used to adore Black Friday. And before you tell me how bad it is for employees, I know. I worked many Black Fridays in my time, so I feel I’ve earned the right to shop on that day.

But yes, I love shopping late into the hours of the night, finding deals on things I don’t need and watching people do the same. This year, though, I spent less than $20. On top of that, the only thing that really brought a smile to my face on Black Friday was the eggnog latte I drank while shopping (basic, I know).

As fate would have it, I read a lot about the implications behind Black Friday this year in testimonials on Reddit, op-eds in papers, statistics in online articles and more and man, was it depressing.

I learned that more and more items saw their prices rise days before Black Friday, only to go on sale for the price they were originally sold for just a week earlier. I learned how many of my favorite stores failed to give employees holiday pay. I learned how that stores opened earlier than ever this year, too.

One of my favorite stores, GameStop, opened at 3 p.m. I love a good 8 p.m. opening on Black Friday. I don’t even mind a 5 p.m. opening here and there, but for the love of god, 3 p.m.? Seriously? I hadn’t even finished eating my lunch by 3 p.m., let alone my Thanksgiving dinner.

To make matters worse, they closed at 10 p.m., which is the normal time they close and quite early for Black Friday. Why not open at a normal Black Friday time and close later? At least then, employees would be able to enjoy some of Thanksgiving (although again, it’s a d-list holiday at best).

I guess these realizations have always been there and I’ve just failed to pay attention to it. Perhaps I’ve come to the realization that just because I struggled through the torment of a Black Friday shift, doesn’t mean I’ve earned the right to fuel the machine that causes others to endure shifts on this day.

I’m not really sure which one it was, and it very well could be a culmination of all of this, but I don’t think Black Friday is for me anymore.

That’s OK though because I’ve got Cyber Monday to find deals on all of the things I don’t need. And even better, most of my Cyber Monday money goes to Amazon which totally isn’t going to take over the shopping ecosystem in the United States, and then the arms trade not unlike Stark Industries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and then the nation and maybe the world.

But hey, if that happens and Papa Jeff Bezos rules the world, maybe I’ll finally have same-day Amazon Prime shipping available to my home address.

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