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Black Friday? Pffft.

It’s only Tuesday and I’ve seen enough ZOMG BLACK FRIDAY posts to last a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong – I love my fellow bloggers – but really?

So let me get this straight. As others have pointed out, I’m supposed to spend all day Thursday being thankful for the things I have, then rush away from my family at 8 PM to go buy a bunch more stuff? Then I get a few hours of sleep before time to fight the crowds for a “discount” on a TV or tablet or Furby 2.0 on Friday morning?

Um, no thanks. (Sidebar: Furby was effing creepy the first time. WHY did someone think it needed to come back?)

Ahem. See, here’s my list of issues with the whole Black Friday thing. Because I know you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering.

1. Are the discounts THAT special? People always talk about the “amazing deals” they get while Black Friday cage fighting shopping. But all I hear about are cheap off-brand electronics, minor increases to existing discounts, or the most random products ever. Look, I got a cheese slice opener for a dollar! IT PEELS THE PLASTIC WRAP OFF THE CHEESE! (Actually I would probably buy one of those. Stop judging.)

My favorite of all? The stores that offer a mega discount on one particular item to get you in the door, except they’re all sold out by the time the doors open. Oh, but don’t worry! There are all kinds of things you can still buy for a significantly less exciting price! Have you seen the cheese slice openers?

2. I like to sleep. If I’m out of bed and dressed before sunrise, I’m probably fleeing the country with the millions of dollars I keep inheriting from Nigerian princes. I do well to get dressed as it is; there’s no way in hell I’m going to make that kind of effort to go to Walmart or Target. I will never understand why sleep deprivation and cool gadgets in limited quantities go together. To me, it’s worth NOT saving money to stay in bed until I darn well feel like getting up. In fact, I would rather pay someone to let me sleep than get up and fight the crowds.

3. Shopping is bad for me. I’ve spent the past 2 years working hard to change my spending habits and get out of credit card debt. The last thing I need is to enter a competition to get the best deals or find the cheapest gizmo or spend the most money in the shortest amount of time. I have never been Black Friday shopping because I already know it would be a disaster. I wouldn’t be able to stop with one day – I could just see me collapsing in mid-December after my credit card broke in half from overuse. Black Friday would be the catalyst for a relapse and I’m not willing to risk it.

There’s Always More

I could write 200 paragraphs on consumerism and the commercialization of the holidays in America. I could talk about the people who complain about everything from taxes to the cost of groceries to poor people with iPhones, then stop whining long enough to drop hundreds of dollars on Black Friday without blinking. I could also discuss all the injuries that occur as people trample each other like animals in a zoo each year to get to the supposed deals. But we’d be here all day and it’s all been said before, so I’m not going to bother.

There are a number of reasons why Black Friday seems stupid to me. This year in particular, I’m disturbed because it takes attention away from the cool post-Thanksgiving shopping day: Small Business Saturday! As a small business owner, I realize more than ever how important it is to shop locally instead of throwing more money at the big box stores. Unfortunately many people miss that because they’re too busy ensuring that the mall doesn’t run out of money.

(Sidebar #2: If you’d like to support my small business and get discounts on website-related items in my store, use discount code SMALLBIZFTW for 20% off between now and Small Business Saturday! /end shameless plug)

Black Friday: Are You Over It?

I’m totally over Black Friday. I think it’s dumb and I secretly judge people who get all excited about it. Or maybe not so secretly since I just said that out loud. I can’t really say much since I know I do things people think are dumb, so I’ll be polite and wish any Black Friday shoppers the best of luck in finding whatever you hope to find. But I’ll be pointing and laughing in my sleep as I imagine some of you wrestling a little old lady for the last George Foreman grill.

What about you guys? Do you love Black Friday? Hate it? Want to call me a Scrooge because of my lack of holiday spirit? Let me know what you think!

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web designer and single mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!

Comments

  1. I've been over Black Friday for a number of years. A number of years ago I got inline at a Circuit City at 10pm on Thanksgiving evening with my brother-in-law to get a super cheap laptop. We camped out in line overnight for the 5am opening of the store. It took us 2 more hours to get out of the store because the checkout line was so effing long. That was my LAST Black Friday. Quite honestly I look at the ads and think "Meh, nothing to see here." Even with 3 and 4am opening, people are now lining up during the morning on Thanksgiving – now that stores like Best Buy are open Thanksgiving evening….when are people going to start lining up – today? Screw that, I've got beer to drink……or maybe something with Vodka in it. :)

  2. I've hated Black Friday since people first named the day after Thanksgiving, and now, even though I'm no longer working in retail and suffering directly as a result of this 'holiday', I hate it even more. It's just people going bonkers for what they think is a good deal and buying shit they don't need, which bothers me any time of the year, but even more so when people get up at 3am and potentially trample old ladies or mow down store clerks to get said "deal."

    I'm over Black Friday, and I openly judge people who participate, even my boyfriend who got up at 5am two years ago to get us an off-brand flatscreen that I personally think is too large for our living room. Boycott Black Friday/Thursday night and celebrate Buy Nothing Day, which is one of my favorite holidays.

  3. It has to be something AMAZING for me to go out into that mess. I do most of my shopping on-line, and typically what I buy isn't part of the Black Friday deals. I would rather spend the day decorating my house.

  4. I hate Black Friday. I just don't see the point and the deals are really never that good. It's just not worth my time.

  5. I love black friday, but I don't go to Walmart. My mom and I usually hit the mall, we go to the Disney store and pick up stuffed animals to donate, we usually get an angel from the angel tree and shop for that while we are there. Plus, one of the only clothing stores I shop in usually has really amazing deals, so its a chance for me to stock up on jeans and tee shirts. We usually top it off with a trip to half price books to hit their sale. I do plan to spend money on Small Business Saturday, even if it just means having breakfast at a locally owned restaurant.

  6. You can bet your bottom dollar that I hate black friday. I hate that day and I hate that those dumb sales have slowly been pushed back to Thanksgiving day itself. Friday wasn't enough? Now you have to make low wage earning workers skip being with their family and go to work on Thanksgiving so people can get their 'door busters savings' a day earlier? I hate it. I've never done black firday. My wife does sometimes, but it's always because we've been waiting to buy a specific product and there's a sale on it on black friday. So my wife will go and try to get it. If it's gone when she gets there, she turns around and comes home. She's pretty good about money.

  7. I went Black Friday shopping once, and was extremely disappointed. I live in Canada and took a trip last year because of all the hype. Most times, they increase the prices and then discount the increased price. Is that really a discount. I don't think so.

  8. I've never been under Black Friday… I don't think I even knew what it was until after college because it would never occur to my family to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday. And I'm definitely sick of all the posts!

  9. Last year I accidentally came upon a secret regarding Black Friday. While driving home at 3am from a late night out with friends I rarely see, I stopped at WalMart to get a couple everyday groceries. I'm not into BF at all so it wasn't until I was in the parking lot I remembered it was "officially" Black Friday. Surprisingly though, the lot was rather empty so I forged ahead. Once in the store, I was literally one of three shoppers surveying the destruction that had occurred a few hours earlier. Every aisle was filled with employees restocking EVERY item on the sales list. The other two women and I formed a little group and started hunting items for our children, which we all found very easily. Turns out, according to that store's employee – they can only stock so much at one time. So everyone runs in at midnight and if, say the TVs are gone, the shoppers assume they missed the deal. All the BF shoppers, we were told, were now over at Target, waiting in line for that store to open, while the store we were in was busy restocking pretty much everything they "ran out of" during the earlier blitz. As the employee explained, there is simply no way to restock anything when that many people are in the store, so they are not purposefully lying – they are just so busy they don't know how much of something is left and can't get to it during the chaos. I didn't plan that to shop that night, and don't plan on it this year, but if I ever do want to shop on BF, I'm hitting the store four hours after the midnight sales.

  10. I don't do Black Friday. I worked retail during HS/college and that was enough of a turn off to keep me from going. I don't have kids, my nephews get their gifts way after Christmas (we live 8 hours away from them) so my SIL tells me what to get them and I get it on sale after the holiday. I've never seen anything worth getting up in the middle of the night for.

  11. My daughter started working at a retail store last year and needed to up to start work at 4:00 am, needless to say she is not really quiet when she gets going in the morning so I was up also. I left the house shortly after her and finished all of my Christmas shopping right away. The longest line I stood in was at Victoria Secert for some yoga pants my daughter likes. I was finished by 10 am.
    My list is complete and when my daughter leaves this year to be to work by 5:00 am, I will leave for the places I want to go to and be finished again before noon. Small business Saturday will see me at the small pet store to get treats for our furry friends.

  12. therandompath says:

    I hate Black Friday. I went once (to buy a coffemaker) about 5 or 6 years ago, and that was enough. I worked retail all throughout college, and being forced to work that crazy day is enough to scar you for life. Nothing is that important, seriously.

  13. I definitely don't want to stay up late or stand in line or fight crowds. In the past couple of years, I've appreciated the online sales (especially at Amazon) on Black Friday weekend. Last year I stocked up on clothing essentials for myself at an outlet store (2 hours, max). I've usually managed to get all my holiday shopping done by the end of November, which makes me feel accomplished and able to relax a bit during the busy December schedule. But this year my wife and I have about $25 per person to spend, on average, so Black Friday isn't really in the plan. With a little help from Amazon credit and SwagBucks, we'll still be ordering most stuff online and either having it shipped to the recipient or to our home, so we can wrap and bring presents to the family gathering.

  14. momoneymohouses says:

    I'm not really down for standing in line all night to get some deal at a store when most likely the same deal will be online. Plus it does seem crazy to have family time for Thanksgiving then immediately afterwards buy a bunch of crap because it's on sale. Sometimes this consumerist society really makes me sad.

  15. Black Friday is the one day of the year I'd never go to a retail establishment! Instead I observe International Buy Nothing Day. Google it and check it out…

  16. saveearnlove says:

    I am not a black friday shopper. I would rather spend time with family or sleeping than running around these stores and risk getting trampled to death. no thanks.

  17. Budget & the Beach says:

    I'm surprised no one else mentioned small business saturday. I think that's way cooler than black friday. If I was buying, uh, anything this Christmas than I would try to buy local. This year it's homemade gifts. :)

  18. @blondeonabudget says:

    I've never experienced Black Friday but Canada has Boxing Day on December 26th and I've been over that for a long, long time. First, it's the day after Christmas! You should still be curled up on the couch with your family pet, nursing your turkey hangover. Second, the deals aren't even that good. The deals on Black Friday are way, way better, or so many of my friends have told me. If you only shopped for "things" once/year, I can see that it could save you money. But if you are just buying into the hype of it all, you'll probably end up spending money you never planned on spending in the first place.

  19. I don't enjoy shopping in the first place, & I'm darn sure not going to a store on Black Friday! And I need to weed out some more of my stuff instead of buying more junk, no matter if it's "good junk", and "cheap" too.

  20. We need people to spend. It's a great way for those with investments to make money!

  21. I've always thought that Black Friday was to get a head start on Christmas shopping – has it changed over the past few years? Either way, I'm always completely finished with my shopping by Turkey day, so it has never had any appeal to me. If I'm shopping for myself, I find the post-Christmas sales to be better, anyways

  22. As one small businness owner to another, thank you for mentioning Small Business Saturday, even if it is just a way for American Express to try and make more money by making themselves seem sympathetic to small business, in my opinion. The bosses at Walmart, Target and the other bix boxes have no respect for their workers and their Thanksgiving holiday, or Labor Day, for that matter. Every holiday just becomes an excuse to have sales so people will spend money. Like Presidents' Day, for crying out loud.

  23. Agree with Cait, don't have it in Canada but our comparable-boxing day- is just as nuts and I've always hated it.

  24. I'm Canadian, and still partake in Black friday. You don't even want to know the crazy things we do to get our stuff across the border.

  25. Kristina86 says:

    I personally think its pathetic to camp outside (rain sleet or snow) to get the "best" prices of the year… Im not going to lie, I take liberty in glancing through the ads every year. All the time and effort spent grasping those deals is not worth losing time with my family.. I think its even more disgusting that the large corps are profiting, but bless every single employee who has to sacrafice their time with families (and rest).. Its a shame how greedy some (not all) us are.. We have so much to be BEYOND thankful for.. The time, prices, gas, and energy is not worth it.. If you couldnt afford it then $50cheaper doesn't mean you can afford it now…

  26. Also hate black Friday. I hate retail shopping altogether.

  27. I did the international buy nothing day this year. In years past i've done black friday i can see how most people with tight budgets get excited about discounts which to me are pretty good. Like this year i seen ipad 2 with walmart gift card $50.00 now that's not a discount but $50.00 more than you would have had without black friday but i also think you should only buy a few items that want and not go overboard and buy just because it's on sale. If you need a new tv but all means replace it but like my coworker where there are only 2 people in the household and they have like 4 TV's that is wayyyyy to much.

  28. I am so over Black Friday. I am even more annoyed that it has crept into Thanksgiving Day. Amen for bloggers who argue against it. I am all for cyber Monday, though. No brawls. :)

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