Black Friday traditions detract from the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday


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Despite all of the excitement that follows Black Friday, it is extremely overrated and takes away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Instead, Cyber Monday is the better way to achieve holiday shopping and discounts over Thanksgiving break.

Thanksgiving break can be defined by many as a time to reflect, be grateful, spend time with family and indulge in some good food. However,waking up before sunrise, standing in lines for hours on end and spending endless amounts of money is an equally important Thanksgiving tradition for many. 

The Black Friday craze was at an all time high this year as more people have been able to shop in-person after a year of closed businesses and COVID-19 precautions.  Despite the yearly anticipation and excitement for this “national holiday,” Black Friday traditions continue to be overrated, being more stressful than beneficial, and go against all that the Thanksgiving holiday traditionally encompasses. Cyber Monday, held on the Monday after Thanksgiving break, is a much more relaxing and advantageous way to conquer holiday shopping, and get the best discounts possible. 

Although many would argue that the ambiance and tradition of Black Friday is what makes it so unique, I believe that that is what ultimately makes the holiday less appealing than Cyber Monday. To beat the Black Friday lines, it is necessary to wake up extra early to get a head start. Although, waking up at four in the morning could not be less appealing considering it is one of the few days most people have off to rest. 

Additionally, taking into account that the majority of major retail stores now open their doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, the 4 a.m. wake up serves as no advantage. Lines are already long, and items are already gone. Why not just browse online from the comfort of your own home? No line and no wakeup call.

Additionally, after a day of acknowledging all that there is to be thankful for, it is crazy how the worst in people can suddenly be exposed on Black Friday. Some people care about the discounts more than they care about the overall wellbeing of the people around them. 

Whether it be fights about line placement, or arguments over receiving the last items in stock, people can get really aggressive on Black Friday. This goes against everything that the overall holiday stands for. Because of this, independent shopping with fewer competitors creates a much more civil and calm environment for all shopping endeavors. 

Independent shopping with fewer competitors creates a much more civil and calm environment for all shopping endeavors. 

— Julia Leitner '23

In today’s world, where almost all things are digital, it is hard for many people to differentiate work and play. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for people to relax and take time with family, which is all the reason why the hustle that comes with Black Friday seems overly unnecessary. 

Personally, I find it much more appealing to take that day for self care, rather than spending it in hostile shopping environments, resulting in stress and exhaustion. Being that Cyber Monday takes place after the Thanksgiving break has ended, it is easy for people to quickly log onto their computer and click to buy a few items, not interrupting time that they could have otherwise used to relax.