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Has Black Friday Made Us More Materialistic?

Black Friday will begin on Thanksgiving this year, allowing shoppers to cram in extra hours of bargain hunting.

Everyone loves a good deal. Everyone. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting half off something you’ve been wanting to buy for eons.

But many believe giant retailers like Target, Walmart and Sears have gone too far in satiating this hunger for a good bargain.

Black Friday—the Friday after Thanksgiving associated with gangbuster deals— will begin not on Friday this year, but Thursday.

Last year, retailers stayed true to the day’s title and waited until midnight on Friday to open their doors, still causing some discontent because employees had to cut their Thanksgiving dinners short and arrive at work.

However, this year, employees won’t even be able to spend Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones and will have to prepare Thursday evening for the Black Friday madness.

Several petitions have been circling the web asking retailers to stop the “Black Friday Creep” and not open their doors on Thursday, but on Friday like tradition has always been.

But aren’t retailers actually giving customers what they want? More hours to get those incredible deals that only come once a year?

Many media outlets and bloggers have decried the holiday season as the antithesis of giving and all about who can hoard the best deals for the longest amount of time.

Note: This calendar year offers the longest holiday shopping season.

 “It has sort of turned into a ‘retail arms race,’” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And consumers are getting caught in the middle, debating whether or not to buy into the commercialism of the holiday.

Tell us in the comments: Is Black Friday increasing materialism in our communities? Or are these extended hours exactly what we’ve been looking for?

Angela Bartlett November 22, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Of course it makes us more materialistic. And those "good deals," even throughout the year, come with high externalized costs, to retail workers who make can barely make it on their wages, to sweatshop workers, to the environment, etc. We don't need this much stuff and research shows that accumulating lots of stuff doesn't contribute to overall happiness and well-being. I'll be spending my day commenting on newspaper editorials, eating six kinds of pie, and hanging out with my family. And then I'm going to do as much of my Christmas shopping locally as I can, which will actually help the community in which I live. Happy Thanksgiving!
Reginia Sam November 22, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I think starting it on Thursday just ruins the tradition.
EZDuzit November 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I am disappointed that retailers insist on hijacking our National and Family holidays. There is far more to life than material goods. Our focus should be on giving thanks for what we have in our lives...not on what Walmart , Kohls, Macys or others want to sell us.
Mariana Zuelsdorf November 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I have never shopped on Black Friday, nor on Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful every day for the blessings I have; family, friends, and of course memories. God given me so much. However, we all have a choice of whether to shop on Thursday and Black Friday but I feel sorry for the employees who have to work on those days.
Ellen Carr November 23, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Materialistic....how about GREEDY!! The corporations which run stores and the consumers are both at fault. If the consumers didn't covet the "deals" they think they're getting and just stayed home maybe the corporations would think twice about "Black Thursday&Friday! This may be a "pipe dream" but maybe just maybe....
Mariana Zuelsdorf November 23, 2012 at 05:12 AM
In this economy, I can understand why stores are open Thanksgiving as well as Black Friday. While there are some really good deals for items people need or want, it also encourages the consumer to impulse shop. But no one is making the consumer shop those days or to buy anything. And quite honestly, if there were two shops with identical items, but one store had lower prices, I would chose the lower price one. Most people would. If someone wants to shop, why shouldn't they? Not my choice, but I have no right to tell someone else that they should stay home.
Washy November 23, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Shopping the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas used to be a fun tradition. There were sales (not door busters or crazy schemes to get you in and trampled) It has been insane for many years in my opinion. I will be stopping by Kohl's later because I have 2 ten off anything coupons and 1 ten off 30 coupon and 15percent off my purchase (multi use) But even with that stack of stackable coupons I would not get up at midnight or wait in line.
Andrew November 23, 2012 at 03:53 PM
It's a certain type of person that are willing to do this..I say it's a push..you bust your butt waiting in line..you get in..get something really cheap..but in the end you pay the price..your time..in my 42 years I have yet to do a "Black Friday"..it"s ridiculous.
Charles Ferrell November 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I don't shop on "Black Friday," but I don't condemn those who do. From what I noticed among those who were lining up for those midnight or nearly-midnight sales, there were a lot of families out there, spending time together on, for them, a sort of "adventure." And if they wound up with a $1,100 60-inch TV set for $600, everybody wins. The stores win for making sales, the store employees win by getting paid, many time and a half, double time or more, the folks win by getting items for their homes at reduced prices, the economy wins because private sector dollars were spent, sales tax was collected and the private sector got a big stronger. Standing, sitting or whatever in line for hours or days just to get a TV set at a bargain rate isn't for me, but a lot of people seemed to be having a good time spending time with family, friends and loved ones waiting in those lines. Sure, a few people acting like idiots caused trouble, and some thugs tried to spoil the "adventure" by protesting at Wal-Marts (that movement fell flat on its face), but there will always be a few people, acting like jerks, or acting like the jerks they are, wherever human beings gather. Overall, looks like a lot of people had a lot of fun on "Black Friday," the economy got a boost and working people earned some additional wages.
Sarah Creeley November 23, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Charles, I agree with you. Black Friday may become a tradition to some, (not a bad thing because it helps local businesses), and clearly we have a choice with how we spend our day today. If you don't want to go, don't.

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