Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday: The blight of the Holiday Season

Well Thanksgiving Day is a distant memory as consumers woke early this morning, or some like I saw yesterday were already sitting outside their favorite box store at noon, to participate in the annual rat race that kicks off the consumerization of Christmas, or for the politically correct, the Holiday Season. The gluttony of deals offered to the savvy consumer is really a farce and an assault on their intelligence. The kicker is that stores, mainly online stores like Amazon, offer better deals than one has come to expect on "Black Friday" but I digress.

Black Friday is a symptom of the ills our society has fallen prey to over the amnesia to the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is about giving and the magical time of the Winter Solstice. The message of the season is lost with the rise of consumerism and the need, or the feeling to need, to provide copious amounts of items to those within ones social circle. In George Will's piece today, he mentions that the utility of Black Friday is really bad for the economy to the tune of $12 billion. So why do consumers become bedazzled by the "Door buster deals" that have become common for the hours following the feasting on Thanksgiving Day.

Some may argue the intrinsic value of watching a child's eyes light up over the plethora of gifts under the tree or the bewilderment as the wrapping paper is torn to reveal the treasure within. What message are we sending our children by this? People plot their course on Black Friday with the same fervor that a coach plans for the Super Bowl. Kare11 even featured three ladies on their evening news broadcast on their strategies to a successful Black Friday shopping tour; complete with diagrams. So, again, why do consumers feel compelled to rack up debt for an activity that produces little utility when simply another form of the lost meaning of the season can be promoted; giving cash?