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Black Friday: then vs. now

By Kylee Weber
On November 24, 2019

Photo Illustration by Kylee Weber

Black Friday, the day that millions of people go running from store to store. They waited for three hours to get in a store where they knew they needed something, and they spent hours and hours fighting over the last toy in stock.

At least, that's how it used to be.

Black Friday traditions have been changing as the years go on. Now, it’s gotten to where stores are opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, or not opening until 6 a.m. Friday morning. Black Friday encourages  moms to fight over the last television, sweater, a pair of boots and even last American Girl doll. However, now all the Black Friday deals last a week long and they have a time stamp on when they can get the specific gift they want. 

Black Friday then: 

    Growing up, I watched my mom bring an extra pair of comfortable and warm clothes to our Thanksgiving dinner. She began throwing around ads all over the floor trying to figure out what stores have what and the “game plan” for the night. This was a family tradition, many people in my family gathered on the living room floor sharing ads and coupons with each other trying to figure out what everyone wants for Christmas. 

My mom began the hunt with leaving thanksgiving dinner in time to make it in the camp out outside of Toys R Us. My mom had a group of other moms that stood in the line. They all shared their lists and whoever could find it first would grab it for that one mom. These stories that people hear about Black Friday were very true back then. People did argue and curse each other out when they spotted what they needed and then saw another mom took the last one. People did get pushed and shoved as hundreds of people are trying to pile through the door to the store at the same time. The lines in the store for checkout ran all the way to the back of the store, and sometimes wrapped around the store. Millions of people traveled on their Black Friday and didn’t stop until 7 a.m. the next morning. 

Black Friday now: 

    Black Friday now is drastically different from what it was a couple of years back. We leave Thanksgiving dinner extra early because stores open at 6 p.m. and close at 1 a.m. The stores take away from a national holiday that is meant to be spent with loved ones. Instead of standing outside in the cold, people stay in the warmth of their own home and shop online. The lines in the store begin to shorten as well as the night. Customers across the world find their Black Friday’s to be changing as each year goes by. Every year brings a new tradition to Black Friday shopping. This could range from opening their stores earlier on Thanksgiving day, and later on Black Friday.  

    The whole fighting for toys, clothing, and other miscellaneous things we believe we need, is simpler by going by and picking it up. Their are specific times where certain objects open for Black Friday. For example, Walmart has specific sales every half hour to ensure that it isn't all taken at once. TV’s can be on sale, and then gaming consoles 30 minutes later. The long lines outside the store don’t occur as often as people believe. The younger generation hears these terrifying stories of what Black Friday used to be, and then make the decision not to go out because they don’t want to deal with it. 

Black Friday has been a constant changing tradition over the years, the long lines begin to shorten, the sales begin to vary throughout Thanksgiving week, sales begin online. The big picture here is that the original tradition of Black Friday is the tradition of standing in the cold sacrificing your sleep to get that one toy your child has asked from Santa; this tradition has vanished completely. This Black Friday try to get yourself out there and see for yourself, it is not as bad as it use to be, but some of the fun is taken out of as well. I’m not going to tell you that it is not stressful and overwhelming because it is; there is very little organization when it comes to Black Friday sales. But hey, that's what the holidays are for, try something new, get yourself out there. Who knows, maybe you'll treat yourself to something that you may want and never thought about.


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