First it was the January Sales. I remember watching the annual news items of hundreds of people queuing up outside places like Harrods.
Then suddenly, by the time I was an adult, there were the Spring Sales, Autumn Sales and any other excuse the retailers could drum up to generate more revenue.
Now, we have Black Friday, encouraged by the likes of Asda since 2013 or perhaps earlier.
Black Friday is an American invention, where since 1932, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, all the major retailers open very early in the morning with the sole aim of moving as much merchandise as is humanly possible.
Perhaps it was a good idea at the beginning? You know, help people get some bargains for their Christmas shopping…
In many ways, I suppose the shameful behaviour of people so desperate for the latest “must-have-items” that they will kick and punch anyone who gets in their way, is merely symptomatic of a generation of consumers who have sold out to the lowest common denominator…
Namely, “I want it, I must have it (especially at that ridiculously low price) and no one can stop me.”
It reminds me of a case I heard about years ago, where a young father tried to justify his crime of stealing a child’s bike – simply because he couldn’t afford to buy one for his own child – and they (the victim or rather, their parents) could obviously afford to replace it, with or without insurance.
Black Friday is the very epitome of a materialistic society gone wrong.
Very wrong. But what to do instead?
Well, the obvious thing to do is simply nothing. Don’t get involved in the madness of retail mayhem. As we all know, there are so many other “Sales” that avoiding this one isn’t going to leave you worse off. In fact, you will be better off by not getting sucked into bargain, impulse buys of stuff you don’t need and maybe had never even heard of before.
Remember the time of year that the retailers have tried to infiltrate. We should be thankful for what we already have, not demon-possessed by the thought of either grabbing or failing to grab what we so desperately demand.
Okay, I know Thanksgiving is an American thing. It is a shame we don’t have something similar here in the UK.
But wait, if we did, maybe Black Friday over here would be bigger than it already is…
Either way, be content with what you already have and don’t be seduced by big discounts that aren’t always what they seem.