Black Friday

by Amy Issadore Bloom

If you search Black Friday, Walmart on YouTube, you find some really scary and sad videos. (I’m not even going to post one, because it’s just too dark for me to see all the time.)

They look like footage of countries at war, of people running for their lives. Like people trying to escape gunshots or bombs. Like people fighting for their ration of food.

In one particular video that’s popular, the riots are over phones. Phones.

The people acting this way likely have no means to pay for the expensive plan most smart phones require anyway. They probably can’t afford most of the things they buy, even on sale.

I understand wanting to have nice things, to see your children unwrap decadent and special gifts on the holidays, to pretend for just a day that you can splurge on things.

This just isn’t the way. It can’t be.

And shame on Walmart for continuing this tradition. The 2008 death of an employee by a stampede of  “people” entering the store should have signaled the end of the famous sale. It should not have been a call to simply improve security.

Since then, the violence continues – stampedes, pepper spraying, fights, injuries.

It’s ironic that this day occurs just one day after Thanksgiving. When folks sit down to that big family meal, they certainly aren’t saying grace over an iphone or an Xbox.

We should teach our children the true meaning of the holidays, or just don’t celebrate them at all.




{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


I’m with you, Amy. I love to get things on sale as much as the next person, but leaving home before my turkey has digested just to get a $20 Crockpot for $10? No thanks. I don’t want to belittle people who shop on Black Friday just because I disagree with their priorities, but at the same time, well, I disagree with their priorities. (Besides, I shop year round, so there’s really nothing Black Friday can entice me into buying that I haven’t at one point during the year already gotten on sale).

It saddens me that employees are expected at work on Thanksgiving evening. This is never going to change until consumers decide to put their foot down (although I don’t think that’s likely because ooh, look! $2 scarves!). It is a year-round battle to teach my children about thankfulness and frugality. Black Friday does nothing but show them that buying is more important. While yes, we haven’t had a microwave since May because our 10+ year old one finally died, and though we can afford a new one, we’ve yet to be able to bring ourselves to actually do it because just use the oven. It would have been nice to get one for half off the usual price, but knowing that I’d left my family and the sales person had left his/her family for me to get a microwave? I just can’t.



I know. I just don’t get it either. And, I also feel bad for the employees who give up time with their family, and still only make minimum wage.

I hope you do get that microwave though. Although, we’ve been trying not to use ours as much, especially to re-heat our son’s food.

You are right – it isn’t easy to raise this new generation to be thankful and frugal. It’s nice to know you haven’t given up.




bravo, amy.
(and may i extend a special commendation to you for calling bulls*%! on walmart for perpetuating this and to the consumer culture that drives people to spend money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need? word.)



Thanks so much, Wendy! It is ridiculous, right?




I agree. I’ve never been a black friday shopper, mostly because I’m just not a morning person, but with actual injuries and fighting occurring over material objects, it’s heartbreaking.



I am with you on both. You couldn’t get me out of bed at that hour to shop if you actually paid me.



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