Dark Days

If there’s one American holiday I can really appreciate, it’s Thanksgiving. The concept, the tie-in with history, the tradition of families getting together to share a meal – it’s all good stuff. (I should break here to wish my faithful American readers (even though they’ve gone rather quiet of late) a very happy (if slightly belated) Thanksgiving.)

But I have a bone to pick with Black Friday. What’s the deal with that anyway? How can you spend one day going “I’m so thankful for everything I have”, and the very next go “Get out of my way so I can get more STUFF!” It so completely destroys the whole premise of the holiday that it makes the crass commercialisation of Christmas and Easter look positively benign.

Now, ordinarily, I wouldn’t make much of a fuss about this – what the Americans get up to on their holidays shouldn’t (and doesn’t) affect me at all. Unless you’re online looking at American retailers you wouldn’t notice it at all. But this year, it’s suddenly everywhere. As though all the UK retailers have got together and said “Oi, this Black Friday thing – seems to work a treat in the US, let’s do it here too!” Almost every single major (and minor) retail group has an advertising drive based around it.

This irks me – if they’re going to copy the US holiday, at least bring over the good bits, rather than the bad bits. Black Friday deals make little sense when there’s no holiday on the day to go shopping. And scenes like this just don’t belong in the UK, where people are supposed to know how to queue. Not to mention that there are numerous accusations of stores hiking their prices in November just so that they can make a big fuss of dropping them now.

So I’ve boycotted Black Friday. Not that I was going to buy anything anyway, but still – it’s the principle that counts.

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