By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
My son Richard is all grown up. He’s got a career, an apartment in Brooklyn and a smart and beautiful girlfriend whom we love. Best of all, he pays his own bills.
But before all of that happened, and even before his sister Jardin was born, he and I had a yearly tradition. We’d go to bed in our clothes on Thanksgiving night, and wake up at 4 AM on Black Friday, brush our teeth and be on our way with our pre-packed breakfast.
But not everyone shares our former level of zeal for the Queen of all shopping days. A survey conducted in early October by BestBlackFriday.com found that 35.13% of those asked “hate” Black Friday! Just 14.7% love it and 50.70% neither love or hate it. They said it’s merely “okay.”
Let’s go back to the 90s, when Richard and I really had a good time on those Black Fridays. We’d bring the store circulars with us so we could peruse them while waiting in line, and ended up sharing them with our fellow bargain hunters. It felt like we were all in it together, and it really was fun! But it’s all fun and games until someone gets killed, and tragically, that is exactly what happened. On Black Friday, 2008 an employee at a Long Island Wal-Mart died after being trampled in a Black Friday stampede. Four people were injured, including a pregnant woman. And literally overnight, Black Friday’s reputation changed.
Either in an attempt at safety, or just for the love of money (probably the latter), this shopping day has now become an industry all its own. What used to fatten up Thanksgiving Day daily newspapers is now also handled electronically with websites like: BestBlackFriday.com, TheBlackFriday.com and bfads.net.
If you do the Black Friday thing, be sure to read Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2016.
But before you do, tell me where you stand on Black Friday. Do you go out with the same family members or friends every year? Do you have a nice warm breakfast at a local diner after you finish up at your first store? Or do you just sit it out at home? Please let me know in the Comments below!
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