Black Friday sales overshadow the point of Thanksgiving

There is no arguing that the day after Thanksgiving brings some of the best sales of the year to many stores. It can be fun to go out in the wee hours of the morning to join the Black Friday crowds, each person searching for special deals.

However, Black Friday is technically no longer the day after Turkey Day, with stores opening while many are still eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Stores compete each year to see who can open the earliest and attract the most customers on Black Friday. Last year, many stores began sales at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Stores this year are opening even earlier. Many are advertising sales that begin as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

This has gotten out of hand.

It’s ironic that a holiday devoted to being thankful for what we  have is being taken over by a day devoted to commercialism and spending money on things we don’t necessarily want or need.

Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to reflect on our blessings. We should use the day to spend time with our friends and loved ones and appreciate the great things in our lives.

In our society, we don’t spend a lot of time appreciating what we have. Instead we focus on what we want and what we don’t have.

Thanksgiving is a day we set aside to be thankful for the good things in life, but with Black Friday sales beginning before it is even dark out, this holiday is losing its meaning.

The fact that stores are opening earlier than ever this year isn’t the only sign that Black Friday is getting out of hand. Each year there are reports of violence between Black Friday shoppers.

People have been trampled by the large, eager crowds that rush stores for early bargains. There have even been instances of shoppers wielding guns or pepper spray to ensure they get their hands on coveted toys, electronics and other products.

Shoppers need to keep in mind that the things they are out to buy on Black Friday are just that: things. They may bring momentary happiness, but they aren’t worth harming anyone else to get.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mania of Black Friday shopping, but people should try to keep their heads clear and realize the world will not end if they don’t get everything they set out to buy.

There are alternative ways to get good deals for those unwilling to leave Thanksgiving dinner.

Many websites offer the same deals available in stores. By shopping online, individuals can take advantage of Black Friday sales without the stress or hassle of waking up early (or leaving dinner) to battle the crowds.

Another alternative is simply not going shopping on Black Friday. Many stores offer similar sales throughout the holiday season, so chances are a product that is on sale for Black Friday will be on sale again before the holidays arrive.

Also, by shopping at locally owned stores that may not offer Black Friday sales instead of chain stores, shoppers can help support local economy.

Black Friday shopping is overshadowing the point of Thanksgiving. People care more about material goods than spending time with friends and family.

This Thanksgiving, we should spend the day thinking about how grateful we are for what we have, not how much we wish we had something else.

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