Black Friday for Dummies: It’s Just A Misunderstood Friday

Oh, no! Black Friday is coming. Batten down the hatches! Hide your children! Expect dark skies and creepy cloud formations and perhaps, locusts. Run, run for your lives! Wait…oh, sorry. Black Friday is actually a good day. Oops. My bad.

Black Friday is special because it’s the very first shopping day of the holiday season. And if that means nothing to you, think of it as the first steaming hot Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Now I know it sounds sinister like a black cat or a black hole, but it’s not. You see, in the crazy world of finances (and media) black is actually a good thing. “In the black” means turning a profit. Who knew!

To avoid some of the implied gloom and doom, if I were Black Friday I’d consider changing my name. Fantastic Friday, Yummy Friday or Purple Polka-Dotted Friday sound much more fun. According to Wikipedia, the gloomy Black Friday term was coined by employees who had to work on that hectic, long day. I feel sorry for the person stuck in the sweater department that probably had to refold the same cashmere sweater over and over again. You know, the one with the sleeve that doesn’t quite match up with the other sleeve, so the sweater doesn’t fold right and every time it looks decent some idiot picks it up, carries it around and doesn’t buy it. Ugh! Stupid sweaters.

As far as I’m concerned, Black Friday is simply the day after Thanksgiving when most people feel guilty about eating everything they ate the day before and will continue to eat until the leftovers are gone. It’s a great day to sit around and be lazy. And eat. Is it “the” day to shop? Not in my book. It’s just another Friday.

Do people really line up outside the stores at 5 a.m. for special Door Buster sales, rush inside and shop? If so, why? The sales typically go through January so there’s really no need to rush. Why shop in the crowds at all when you can buy everything you’d ever want online?

When I was a kid, I was always so excited to see the new holiday displays with the mannequins all bundled up in turtle necks and tacky argyle sweaters playing in a tiny heap of cotton balls. And there was always one mannequin that got stuck in a reindeer hat, sitting askew on his head. Poor guy. Shops have ruined that small delight because now holiday decorations start appearing in October. Just like bathing suits mysteriously start appearing in January.

Anyway, you’ll be hearing a lot about this Black Friday for the next week or so. Plenty of talking heads will appear on television blabbing about it. Do yourself a favor and treat it like any other Friday. Rest easy knowing you can join millions of procrastinators by doing your holiday shopping the Sunday before Christmas, also known as Scrambling for Something Sunday.

Agree or disagree with MommyQ?