The War on Black Friday
In the span of a few decades, Black Friday has grown from a trivial footnote to a major part of the Christmas season. As such, it is surely fitting that the day not be excluded from one of the most significant holiday traditions. I refer, of course, to warfare. War is only an integral part of Christmas figuratively speaking, of course: people don't actually die in the fights between Christian groups fighting for the right to erect lighted shrines to pagan tree spirits and secular groups demanding that the phrase "Happy Holidays" be substituted for its synonym, "Merry Christmas."
No, the war over Christmas is actually a cold war. Casualties are unheard of.
Black Friday, on the other hand, is no stranger to bloodshed. People have been trampled to death, shot, and stabbed. But, until now, these have been isolated events: more skirmishes than an actual war.
But that may be changing thanks to a new trend: Black Friday Eve.
The day before Black Friday has long held significance to the American people, but until recently, it was mainly a day of rest. Corporate CEO's, far removed from the theater of war, have seen an opportunity, and have begun to roll back the start of the holiday shopping season. It's not dissimilar to the age-old practice of letting children open a holiday present on Christmas Eve to tide them over. Only instead of children, it's a company's shareholders. And instead of a present, you're giving them money, almost certainly in exchange for a widescreen television.
You may recall how we were there at midnight last year, when Target opened to usher in the season. Well, they'll be opening even earlier this year: you'll have the option of heading in as early as 9PM on the night before; 8 for Walmart*.
For some reason, there is opposition to this move: a number of employees at these stores have expressed dissatisfaction at the prospect of having to abandon time spent with family and friends on the holiday - one of the few times in the year workers in retail have traditionally been able to count on a day off. This has led to petitions and even strikes: another brewing war between employee and employer over the holidays.
Ah, it makes me feel so warm inside.
But all is not well. The media has dubbed the disputed day, "Black Thursday," which is dull and uninspired. I'm not sure why Mainlining Christmas wasn't contacted by CNN: clearly we're the world's foremost experts on the subject. If they had reached out to us, we'd have recommended the following names:
- Black Friday Eve (obviously)
- The Blackest Night
- Grey Thursday
Come on, news media: get in the game.
As for the rest of you, I guess we'll see you at Target this Black Friday Eve. Especially if you have the misfortune of working there.
*Technically, most Walmarts will be open 24 hours on Thanksgiving, just as they're open 24 hours every day; their 'Black Friday' sale prices, however, will start at 8PM.