North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Black Friday deals steal from the true meaning of Thanksgiving

Customers+on+Black+Friday
Tom Silva
Customers on Black Friday

Thanksgiving, the day families gather for one day to enjoy each other’s presence and bask in the feeling of gratitude and appreciation. The smell of pumpkin pie is in the air, and many people’s stomachs feel content and full as they have just been pleasantly filled with trademark Thanksgiving foods. 

Just as you sit down in the living room to begin after-dinner conversations in the most comfortable chair, you hear the door slam, and suddenly the warm, sweet-smelling household is silent and all of the buzzing energy is gone. All of your family, even your sweet old grandma, have rushed out the door to go Black Friday shopping; not even one goodbye was uttered.

 The term ¨Black Friday” began being used by police in Philadelphia in the late 1950s when they complained about the influx of shoppers at local malls and stores the day after Thanksgiving. The term didn’t start being used worldwide until the early 1980s, when a larger population began joining the people who rushed to stores to get crazy deals at all of their favorite stores. Today, we know Black Friday as the day everyone goes shopping and saves ¨tons¨ of money on things they would usually buy at full price. Years ago, Black Friday began the day after Thanksgiving, but overtime, people have become more and more obsessed with the idea of getting the best of all the sales, which means going earlier, even on the day of Thanksgiving.

Since then, the phrase ¨Black Friday¨ has sadly been associated with Thanksgiving, ultimately lessening the meaning of Thanksgiving. What started off as just a group of cops expressing their annoyance with the extreme rise in customers at stores turned into something much larger than what they could have ever imagined. Dating back to 2006, 125 people have been injured and 17 have died because of Black Friday-related activities. Some were shot, trampled to death, or even stabbed during the rush to take advantage of the deals being advertised by large corporations like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Corporations like these feed off people’s desire to jump on any deal by creating ¨Doorbusters,¨ which are sales so attractive that people line up outside the door at crazy hours to get at these deals. 

The idea of people becoming so aggressive and unhinged just for sales is something that we, as US citizens, have become so accustomed to that we fail to realize how insane it is.

The idea of people becoming so aggressive and unhinged just for sales is something that we, as US citizens, have become so accustomed to that we fail to realize how insane it is. When did it become normal to abandon the principles for which Thanksgiving was formed just to save some money? As we sit on our couches and watch our illuminated TVs describe awful stories about people doing crazy things for Black Friday, we don’t flinch.

Thanksgiving began as a holiday for which we devoted one day out of the year to showing our thanks, gratitude, and love for beloved friends, family, and surroundings. We show our thanks through acts of kindness or words, and the feelings of warmth and thankfulness are practically in the air. As some may call it, the ¨Black Friday phenomenon¨ has been integrated into our society. 

Instead of celebrating and feeling grateful for those around us and the plentiful lives we live, we have become obsessed with materialistic things and everything that Black Friday has to offer us. 

These things that we once celebrated have almost disappeared because of the greed and materialistic tendencies that we, as a society, have adopted. Instead of celebrating and feeling grateful for those around us and the plentiful lives we live, we have become obsessed with materialistic things and everything that Black Friday has to offer us. 

This Thanksgiving, focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving: to give thanks. All of the crazy deals will still be there the day after. Take the time to enjoy your family and friends’ presence, let yourself smell the fall scents in the air, take the time to feel thankful. 

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About the Contributor
Lolah Slagg, Reporter
Lolah is a sophomore at Niles North and this is her first year on North Star News. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, reading, or hanging out with friends.

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