It's easy to bash Black Friday as the unofficial holiday for materialism and everything wrong with America's consumer society. But that's really one side of the story. For many, it's an opportunity to buy gifts for loved ones at prices they can afford. For others, it's an annual tradition that's just as much about family as Thanksgiving.
At the end of the day, most people are buying stuff for other people with the ones they love the most... and isn't that what's most important?
She and her mom aim to be out the door around 3:30 in the morning to avoid the large crowds. "We get the store to ourselves."
While deals abound on Black Friday, for many shoppers the day is more about spending time together. "It's not the deals that make the day, it's our chance to kick off the holiday season and it's a chance for us to bond and spend time alone," said Fobes.
There is no consumerist holiday more obscene than Black Friday. It has perverted the meaning of Thanksgiving, which is supposed to be about family, Instead, Thanksgiving is the last meal before greedy Americans engage in bloodsport with underpaid retail workers for mediocre discounts. Every year people are injured and every year this country loses just a little bit more of its moral fabric.
Black Friday has long been the literal worst. What was once the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season has in recent years morphed into a grotesque spectacle. Just as surely as you can count on racist and inappropriate costumes every Halloween, you can count on a glut of questionable human behavior days before even Thanksgiving itself. People have been seriously injured, shot, and in at least once instance stampeded to death.