Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday

I remember a time before Black Friday.

Once upon a time, back in the mists of history, Black Friday was not a thing - for many people, they simply went to work on Friday like any other day (much like those in retail do now).  Then, someone realized that so many people were taking the day after Thanksgiving off it probably made more sense to give it and take away a different holiday).

Then, on the fateful day somewhere, someone decided they could use the extra day off to start shopping for Christmas.

I am not sure where this precisely occurred.  In the 1980's I do not recall it being a thing; by the late 1990's it was in full swing.

Then, of course, things started to expand into Thanksgiving.  First it was 'We are open at 6:00 PM", then "We are open at 2:00 PM", now "We are open all day."  The counter-shopping movement has been somewhat interesting, but to be honest many of those companies also maintain electronic stores fronts - and somebody, somewhere, is manning those.

As you would probably guess, I seldom venture out on Black Friday.  There are some good deals to be had so I am selective:  one trip, three stops, and then I am home.  I will spend my time before looking precisely for the things I want, which allows me to be as quick as I can about actually being there.

Eventually of course, Black Friday will become another relic of Retail Age, done in by the continued march of on-line retailing (after all, who wants to fight the masses when you can shop from home).  The shops will go back to being closed (because who wants to pay the salaries of workers for no business?).   And once again, the Friday after Thanksgiving will simply become another day of vacation, with grandparents telling harrowing tales of "The Great TV Rush of  '08".


  1. Who wants to fight the crazy people when you can shop from home.
    Frankly, there is nothing that anyone can discount enough to get me out on Black Friday (remember when that used to mean that you had finally made enough that your taxes were paid up and you were in the clear?); not even something for free.

    Hubby has reached the age where if he wants something, he buys it. Makes it hard to buy for birthdays or holidays; but he has always been a bit 'bah humbug'about holidays.

    I do try to shop local (which is tomorrow, by the way), but I don't need the day after Black Friday for that. I do it whenever I can.

    Supposed to be near 70 this weekend. Maybe rain on Sunday. Time for the flea market. :)
    You all have a blessed weekend, TB.

  2. I remember that time before marketers created the retail nightmare they call "Black Friday." The day after Thanksgiving my great-grandmother (when she was alive), grandmother, mother, and I would walk down to the train station from my grandmother's house and take the train into the city to have lunch at Marshall Fields. First, we would view the Christmas window display to see the mechanical animals and toys. The adults would do a little shopping, we would stand in a long line to see Santa Claus, and then we would have lunch near the giant Christmas tree in the Walnut Room. A visit to the toy department always topped it off before the train ride home. It was one of those traditions that defined my childhood with loving memories.

  3. Linda, no sane person wants to fight the crowds.

    And yes, I think it becomes harder to buy for us with age. We generally buy the small things we desire, and the other things are far too expensive (at least mine are) for a Christmas gift.

    For what it is worth, I made one trip out on Black Friday to my local Used Book Store. It sits amidst a strip mall with some very large national names, including Box Mart. The parking lot was easily accessible and the store not at all crowded.

    Good weather here this weekend, but back into Winter tonight.

  4. Leigh, that sounds like a very wonderful memory and the actual sort of thing that such a day should be about. The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Na Clann now go out every Black Friday as part of their own holiday tradition (I dislike shopping on the whole, so it is a win all around). It would still seem to be slightly less than the one you describe, though.

  5. A good used book store would be nice for me. Hubby, not so much. But the closest one is in Lafayette. Not a drive for Black Friday, either, haha.
    I am glad you had a good experience.

    Yes, back to the Winter roller coaster tonight. Be safe and stay warm!

  6. Linda, a used book store is about the only thing that will get me to go driving to a store.

    Talk about the roller coaster: mid-30's at night tonight, low 80's during the day by Friday.

  7. That's the kind of weather we are having, too! Crazy stuff!


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