IS BLACK FRIDAY A HOLIDAY TRADITION TODAY

IS BLACK FRIDAY A HOLIDAY TRADITION TODAY

Wow..in no time Thanksgiving will be upon us. My brother and his wife are planning to host the dinner this year and she sent a message to us asking who was going to be there. That got my head churning and remembering all the Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters we had with family when we were growing up and the memories we have due to it. Call them traditions…they use to be. I’m not sure families honor traditions like they use to as I can barely get my family all under the same roof without issue, but perhaps some do. Today Black Friday seems to have become a TRADITION.

What family traditions have you carried on when it comes to the hoidays?

What are some of the memories that come to mind when you think of them?

One of the Thanksgivings that stands out to me the most is the time that we all went to Omaha to my Uncle Martin and Aunt Mary Blums. Mom and Dad went somewhere…I think with Uncle Martin, and meanwhile us kids stayed with Aunt Mary as she was getting things ready for dinner. I’m not sure how long they were gone, and kids don’t pay attention much to what grownups do, but apparently Aunt Mary was having a little nip as she was preparing the meal. She got drunk and fell down in the kitchen as she was getting a pot out of the cabinet. I don’t recall thinking of it as anything but an accident. She got up and carried on and dinner went on as planned as far as I remember. But perhaps there was more to the story than I remember, as I recall Herb and Una Jean driving us kids back to Grandmas, and discussing it on the way how deplorable to do such a thing in the presence of all these kids, and I remember Aunt Mary telling Mom and Dad that Marty was mad at her.

We almost always went to families for a holiday dinner back in those days unless Mom and Dad hosted it that year and they came to us…but tradition then was to get together with family, and cousins grew up knowing each other familiarly. I’m curious as to how many families still do that?

I mean it was nothing for someone to drive 8 hours or more to spend the day with the family. Heck, I remember loading my kids up and driving from Colorado to Missouri to spend the holiday at my parents or the family of my husband. It was more or less expected of you.

ONE OF MY WORST THANKS GIVING MEMORIES

One time I took the bus.. seven months pregnant, with my 2 boys, 9 months and 3 years from Dodge City, Kansas, to Springfield, MO.  to have Thanksgiving with the family. That was just one of the most miserable trips ever with my kids. On the way home the bus stopped in Joplin and I bought the boys a hamburger. (my kids, all three of them, had a tendency to get car sick) We barely made it out of Joplin when Joey got sick and puked all over my pregnant stomach, and then Stevan did too! The bus driver scolded me for cussing. I stripped Stevan down to his diaper, but I was stuck wearing my puky clothes until someone on the bus asked the driver if he would stop and let me get a clean top out of the suitcase. Never the less I had to deal with the ick until we got to Witchita.

But my point is…you just did it. You didn’t think about how long the drive was, you just knew that that was what was expected of you for the holiday. Does anyone do that anymore?

As everyones family grew, Mom would plan Thankgiving dinner as our once a year family get together and we were just more or less expected to be there. I remember one time my dad sending me gas money so that I wouldn’t miss it. As the families grew and more and more of the children became parents, the tradition more or less faded away. Mom didn’t expect them to come at Christmas, as she felt the kids should be able to stay home and play with their new toys, and  to be home on that day. However, Thanksgiving was one day a year she wanted her kids together.

Then when the kids kids started having kids, the family seemed to just split up and the only ones that came were the single ones that had no where else to go. I haven’t had a holiday dinner with my three kids and all the grandkids together since 2000. I’m still invited of course to the homes of other family members, but it really isn’t the same, as when the whole dang gang was together and there were kids running around everywhere, hanging out with cousins, and most likely doing something to get in trouble.

BLACK FRIDAY

Now of course,  the tradition is what is called “Black Friday”. Who does that? I did ONCE back in the 80’s and that was once enough for me. Yet there are a lot of people who do it. Heck, I think the last Thanksgiving dinner we had a bunch of them planned ahead to put it on the agenda. So that got me thinking (oh dear watch out when I start thinking) when did all this “Black Friday” start anyway? Have you ever wondered that or have you just got caught up in it? When I lived in Washington, I knew people who would get together with family members and take the train to Oregon for Black Friday because there was no tax in Oregon they figured it paid for the train trip.

So here’s the Scoop

According to wikipedia:

“Related to Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas, Buy Nothing Day
Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term “Black Friday” did not become widely recognised or used until the early 2000s.”

Can you beleive that?

Since 1952…heck that was before I was born!!! I don’t recall it being all that popular until perhaps the late 80’s, but then time flies doesn’t it?

“Most major retailers open very early, as early as overnight hours, and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday.  Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.”

I actually know people who will go the night before or get up at like 3 in the morning to go stand in line or camp out just to be the first one in the door! ARE YOU FOR REAL?! I for one do not want anything that bad!

Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005, although news reports,  have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.”

“In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. Christmas creep (you know where they keep creeping closer and closer to SUMMER!) has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.”

It is crazy to see Christmas gearing up before Halloween is even over with. 

I for one HATE shopping with a passion and steer clear of the stores during the holiday season if at all possible. I find people rude and grouchy and pushy and shovey and they don’t act to me like people with the spirit of the holiday in their hearts.

“The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.” (makes sense right?)

For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day.Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to what critics refer to as blue laws.

BLACK FRIDAY GOES ONLINE

“There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 10 reported deaths and 111 injuries throughout the United States.It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items. This poses a significant safety risk, such as the use of propane and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes, causing at least one city to ban the practice. Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States to introduce a retail “Black Friday” to other countries around the world.”

With that being said, it’s no wonder many have chosen to steer clear of the stores during this holiday may ham and find a better alternative, that being Cyber Shopping. And notably the online shopping malls are aware of it and  giving the shopper what they want by offering the same savings online without the push shove hustle bustle of going to the physical store, and in some cases you can get next day shipping.

Some of your online shopping stores are opening up deals earlier this year.

Walmart, for instance is opening up “Black Friday” savings on the 21st of NOV at 6 p.m.

Target Black Friday deals will start online on Thanksgiving morning. Time limitations: Doors will open at 5 pm local time on Thanksgiving, but deals will be available online before then.

Best Buy is opening it’s doors online at 5 pm Nov 21 to 1 am Friday the 23.

Amazon is already promoting it’s Black Friday deals as their deals started the 1st of Nov.

If you are like me and want to AVOID the death of BLACK FRIDAY click  here and lets  go shopping! I know this is where I will do mine!

Thanks for sharing a few memories with me! I hope ya enjoyed it and perhaps it stirs up a favorite memory of yours. If it did I would love to hear it! Leave me a story in the comments below and lets have a laugh together!

As Always

Happy Hunting

The Pierce Family Historian

 

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