Opinion

Holiday shopping steals family time

Melissa Taylor
Copy Chief

image from theonion.com

Image from theonion.com

Fall: a part of the year when spending time with family is the common theme. It’s a time where people go around the dinner table saying what they’re most thankful for. It’s an occasion where kids make little turkeys with their hands and the house reeks of spices and flavorful dishes. It’s also a time when people whip out their wallets and coupon books and shop at absurd hours thanks to Black Friday.

It’s no surprise that the typical traditions of family gatherings start at the dinner table on Thanksgiving, but they often end up the next morning before the sun rises in the lengthy lines of the mall, Walmart, Best Buy, and other spots offering deals that are hard to pass up. Crowds line up between the hours of 3 a.m. – 5 a.m. typically for the best doorbusters.

Lately, the prime sale time keeps starting earlier and earlier. This year, Walmart is stepping up their game and offering “pre-black Friday” sales. Kohl’s plans to open up their doors at 8:00 p.m. on the evening of Thanksgiving. Trying to one-up many other stores, Best Buy will be open at 6:00 p.m. with a plan to have “Midnight Mystery Doorbusters” beginning at midnight and a third round of sales at 10:00 a.m. on Friday.

Opening earlier than practically all its contenders, Toys “R” Us announced its Black Friday sale that will begin at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, usually the appropriate time for Thanksgiving dinner. The store is offering more than 300 doorbusters and other sales that run all the way through Saturday. Parents wanting to get their children a special gift for Christmas use this opportunity to make their children happy while saving a reasonable amount of money.

English: DC USA, Best Buy, Black Friday

English: DC USA, Best Buy, Black Friday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With parents’ budgets sometimes being tight around the holidays, the sales are exceptionally appealing, stretching the American dollar just that much more.

Naturally, people enjoy getting a good bargain for any item, but it’s the unclear line that separates quality family time with the incentive of a good deal. There have been instances where people have entirely missed their family dinners on Thanksgiving because they’re too focused on getting a flat screen at half-price. Wsiltv.com even writes that “[Walmart] is offering a ‘1 Hour In Stock Guarantee’ on select featured items. If a featured item sells out within the first hour, Walmart says customers can instead purchase a “guarantee card” that will ensure they receive that item before Christmas at the advertised Black Friday price.”

A price break sure is handy, but there’s got to be more to life than materialistic things. Alumnus, Nick Vlahos, a psychology major, said, “Thanksgiving is more about family than things. If you strip everything away, what’s left is family.”

Even violent crimes such as burglary and a rare shooting have made an appearance during the unofficial national day of shopping. It hardly seems like the time to steal during the holidays, but thieves take advantage of stealing during the season as shoppers pounce on steals in the department stores.

The holidays are a time where family values are practiced more versus any other time of year and Black Friday takes away the valuable hours that are traditionally spent around the dinner table.

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