By George Flynn | Opinions Editor
The holiday season was one of my favorite seasons as a child. I loved eating Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family. I adored celebrating Christmas with my sister and parents. Opening the gifts underneath the tree was the glorious moment I waited for every single year. As I got older however, it became quite apparent to me that the gifts the holiday season brought came at a high price.
The day after the wonderful Thanksgiving feast, the darkness of Christmas financial issues occurs. Black Friday rears its ugly head at midnight. Mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers creep into shopping malls and retails shops and aggressively shop and purchase as much as they can.
I always found this tradition to not only be ridiculous, but dangerous. However, thise year’s shopping festivities were pushed up a couple hours and people had the ability to leave the dinner table and shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Many stores such as Target, Toys “R” Us and Best Buy opened their doors in between the hours of 5 and 8 at night.
Although this appeared to be a good idea for retailers to open their doors early, it was quite the opposite.
According to a New York Times article by Elizabeth Harris, foot traffic in shopping centers plummeted 13.2 percent. Last year it dropped only 11 percent. Many reasons can be the cause of this. According to the same article, this is a smaller shopping window than usual, as Thanksgiving and Christmas are only 27 days apart. Another reason might be that people found online shopping to be more accessible.
However, probably the biggest issue of all, is people avoiding crowds. An NBC News Business article by Patrick Rizzo provided statistics for people not shopping over the holiday weekend.
“A Consumer Reports poll this week found that 56 percent of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend” Rizzo said. “The most common reason — named by 70 percent of respondents — was a desire to avoid the crowds.”
Consumers are choosing to not shop over the holiday festivities. It has become too popular and insane with crazy crowds.
Another reason Black Friday is not as desirable is because of technological reasons. Why enter a crowded retailer when you can get excellent deals online. Cyber Monday offers this option?
The online version of this festivity has been getting quite large over the past few years.
According to Rizzo’s article, an American Express survey expressed that more shoppers planned to do most of their Christmas shopping online this year instead of in shopping centers. A Gallup Poll said that 53 percent are more than likely to shop online.
According to a South China Morning Post article by Karen Pittar, many individuals are turning to online shopping to avoid the busy shopping malls. The article cites mother Margaret Yeh and her preference for online shopping.
“Yeh says that while she likes shopping, her goal at Christmas is to spend as little time as possible buying in stores. ‘I hate dealing with the crowds and the queues and online shopping eliminates all that,’ she says. ‘I do almost 100 per cent of my Christmas shopping online,’” Pittar said.
Shopping online appears to be an easier approach to Christmas. Instead of going to a store, one is able to find items from near and far and order them. Along with avoiding crowds, one has the chance to score some amazing deals. The only downside is shipping fees.
Black Friday shopping is a dark day and we might be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. People are starting to avoid the large crowds. Others are starting to see online as the new Christmas shopping nirvana. Hopefully, the stress of Black Friday will reach its end in our lifetime.
George Flynn is a senior English major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.