According to the world’s most accurate online source, wikipedia.org:
“Black Friday is a term for the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. The term dates back to at least 1966 and by 2009 it was being used on the local news on television. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.”
“Thanksgiving” itself isn’t a “traditional” holiday for my family. Besides the fact that there’s no “Thanksgiving” in the Philippines, our bakery is open the entire week. I don’t recall my family ever being hella into the whole Black Friday thing (if I’m wrong, my sister or someone can correct me). I only started getting into it a few years ago through the enticement of my friend, Jon-Erik.
Some observations over the past few years of participation:
1) People actually spend the entire Thanksgiving day waiting in line outside of Best Buy
2) Overall, people have been getting in line earlier and earlier. I believe we got to Fry’s at 3 or 4 am and the line was already around the building
3) Folks leave with like two or three big screen TVs. Not that I’m one to judge, but I doubt they need that many for personal use. That’s where our good friend Ebay comes in.
4) If you’re looking to get the really good deals, especially on electronics, you have to be one of the first ones in line. If not, you can go to Fry’s, wait in line, and see what stuff people leave behind. We’ve gotten lucky the past couple years.
Usually, I don’t buy anything huge. I think the past couple years I’ve picked up cheap paper, a 6-plug, and a couple DVDs. But I just like witnessing the insanity. Plus, the bonding time with folks, and you’ll need good folks with you to keep you entertained.
Yes, I do see some problematic implications of Black Friday. A hyped up way to support capitalism. Taking advantage of the illusion of “good deals” to entice working people to spend their hard earned money on things they mostly don’t really need, all the while still collecting a profit from overpriced products. The greatest example of our consumerist society and dependence on exploitation in 3rd World/ developing nations. You can go on and on. By participating, am I supporting? Yes. But then that’s the overall contradiction of living in a 1st World/ industrialized nation isn’t it? Unless you don’t give money to the gov’t and you make all your products, you’re participating in capitalism and the current system. If I can find a way to give less money to the corporations, I’ll do that. In the world that I’m trying to fight for, Black Friday will be EVERYDAY.
With all that said, if you want to know what the deals are going to be this year, here are some nifty websites:
So if you intend on blowing your paycheck(s) next Friday, good luck to you! Be financially responsible and don’t get yourself more in debt. Don’t buy a PS3 when you know you have to pay tuition next semester or you’re struggling to put food on the table. And you know, try to spend “Thanksgiving” with family and/or loved ones. Though “Thanksgiving” and Black Friday are both, at the foundation of it, problematic days, it doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from the rest of society. Use it to your (and everyone else’s) advantage. Better yet, buy something that will help your organizing! (keep a look out on deals for projectors)