November 24, 2017 Black Friday Philosophy

So we go from my favorite holiday to the dreaded day after activity I detest the most. I’ve never understood the infatuation with going out in the wee hours–and they’re getting even wee-er in the past few years–to save a couple bucks. (Read previous posts from each of the authors about the value of our time.) I don’t actually know if retailers are helping themselves any by opening earlier and starting sales even earlier than Thanksgiving Day. I would be curious to see if anyone has studied the spending habits of consumers over the last three months of the calendar year to see if there has been any substantive influence on overall amounts spent because of Black Friday–or Cyber Monday–sale activities. It seems to me that although overall spending amounts should have increased as our standard of living (GDP) has increased, the increase in holiday shopping might not deviate much from the GDP increase. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may focus the spending at certain times during the holiday season. Or maybe I’m just too ignorant because I don’t even pay attention to either of these gimmicks.

I don’t know why we don’t do something like the British Empire’s Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) for the day after Thanksgiving. The only difference would be that rather than box up the holiday decorations, we could box up all those leftovers and take them to a shelter.

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