Consumerism corrupts holidays

Matt Murphy

I’ve never been that big of a Thanksgiving fan. Let’s not sugarcoat it — turkey is by far the blandest of the edible birds and could probably use a good sugarcoating.

Thanksgiving is really just a stepping stone to Christmas. We are celebrating that our ancestors didn’t know how to farm, after all.

It can’t be that big of a deal because a significant amount of families won’t even have a Thanksgiving dinner. They’ll be too busy clipping coupons and formulating an attack strategy for Black Friday.

I wish “attack” was an overexaggeration for humorous effect, but throughout the last three years, at least one person has died in the process of Black Friday shopping.

In recent years, Black Friday has practically usurped Thanksgiving in anticipation and importance. No longer the sidekick or the added bonus of this holiday, Black Friday is now the front-and-center star of the show.

There really is no better snapshot of America than the wee hours of the day after Thanksgiving. This country’s pursuit of “stuff” has taken all precedent over anything else previously considered important.

People will trample, kick, bite and scratch to get the best deals possible. “Trample” is also not an exaggeration. I even read a story about a woman who pepper sprayed fellow shoppers to get to an Xbox game last year.

Is this what this country has come to? Have material possessions really become so defining that the pursuit of them have overtaken a centuries-old holiday?

We’ve created this monster. We judge people on the cars they drive, the clothes they wear, the phones they use. As a result, people will do whatever they can to improve the perception of themselves. Stack that much insecurity on top of some good deals and Frankenstein is alive.

I will not be participating in Black Friday. Never have, but honestly not prepared to say that I never will. I will wake up the morning, possibly afternoon, of that Friday, have breakfast, and laugh as I imagine people tripping over themselves in department stores while I place an order for a new Xbox on Amazon.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @mattmurphy93 on Twitter.