Black Friday: the Thanksgiving version

Published 10:08 am Thursday, November 15, 2012

Black Friday, it’s a love or hate situation.

For me, I can think of a million other places I’d rather be than crammed with strangers in a long line waiting for the “deal” on the other side.

I’m not a fan of Black Friday, but admittedly I’ve been there and, unfortunately, done that.

One time a few years ago comes to mind; waiting outside in below freezing temperatures at 3 a.m. with my cousin in upstate New York with black ice under our feet and snow banks around us.

We were there, just like the 200 other people in line, for a “door buster.” And when the store opened the doors did bust—with people—pushing, running, screaming and falling.

I couldn’t help but stare in awe at the carnage before me. There was a laughing woman on the floor, another was getting her face smashed against the window and people were fighting over carts. It was comparative to the 1889 Land Rush or at least the bowels of an insane asylum. Every person there was worthy of an exorcism.

I felt embarrassed to even be a part of it; heck, I’m blushing just writing about it.

It’s just down-right sad when you think about what we do for material stuff.

However, no matter your opinion there is no denying it the gates of retail hell will open next week. And if you’re ambitious, it will be here earlier than that, on Thanksgiving as a matter of fact.

Several retailers have decided to open their doors earlier this year, particularly on Thanksgiving.

Walmart, Sears, Toys-R-Us and Target are all opening on the evening of Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Kmart and Old Navy will be open during Thanksgiving day.

Target’s decision to open their doors at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, cutting into employee holiday time, resulted in an online petition with 179,000 signatures asking the retailer not to open on the holiday.

Despite the criticism, retailers say they are responding to demand and intend to move forward with their early openings. And you can bet there will be lines of people waiting at their doors. Black Friday, in essence, is a reflection of what society has become—materialistic and greedy.

Thanksgiving, what does it mean to you?

Family, friends, really good food, being thankful for what and who you have in your life are just a few that come to mind for me. And I fully intend on spending Thanksgiving the way it’s meant to be.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.