Black Friday falls on the day after Thanksgiving, a holiday about gratitude and sharing. It’s considered to be the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US and the shopping truly starts in earnest. On Black Friday items are heavily discounted, news outlets portray hysteria, stock shortages, stampedes, and other mayhem. A few years ago retailers imported Black Friday to the UK.
Black Friday is a pretty recent phenomenon, beginning unofficially in the 60’s and steadily gaining momentum since until in the 2000’s it became the biggest shopping day of the year . Philadelphia policemen named it, using the term to describe the crush of people.
Hundreds of millions of people go out to shop. Unsurprisingly this huge day gives retailers some pretty serious receipts. Last year in the US the four-day Thanksgiving weekend saw sales of $51 billion.
People queue up early in the morning—or the day before—and wait in the November cold until the shop doors open. People hey pile in, grabbing discounted goods, packing trolleys and bags, shoving each other out of the way for the best deals and, ultimately, making their way to the checkout where the long-suffering staff ring their purchases up.
Does this orgy of purchasing, this physical and mental ode to consumerism, benefit us? Does it make us happy? Study after study suggests not. Buying a bunch of stuff you neither need nor really want, discount or nay, gives you a thrill at the time, lighting up a few pleasure centres in the brain. But these feelings dissipate very quickly indeed, and quite soon you’re left with unnecessary products that fail to give you lasting pleasure, clogging up your life and your home.
But good things can be drawn from this peculiar holiday. The first point to make on the benefits of Black Friday is that it is good to give gifts to people. Generosity is one of the most powerful displays of love and affection, and it tends to spawn more generosity. It’s also a great benefit to the giver’s inner peace. It’s not crazy to hope that some of those products might find their way to charities too, and end up benefiting the world.
The most important thing to do with Black Friday, though, is to not let it be about accumulation, but let it be about improving your life. Rampant consumerism doesn’t bring us happiness, but objects certainly can. A piece of art in your house, a book that you love, a favourite scarf, a jacket that you look forward to wearing every year. Items that are guilt-free (unlike much of the mass produced objects that will be fought over this coming Friday), items that are made with love, items that are truly beautiful, or useful, these things actually make us happy.
If, on Black Friday, you choose an item that you really love, that will bring happiness or meaning to your wardrobe and life, then why not buy it at a discount. Instead of joining the freezing queuers and manic shoppers squabbling over inconsequential items, you can sit at home, enjoy a good deal, then wait for that genuinely special item to be delivered to your door. Instead of draining your energy, time and money, you can pick up something special. And if it’s with an ethical company, then you’re benefiting other people too.
This makes even a day as mad and strange as Black Friday a plus, and we’ve got a generous offer for you on Black Friday too. Use BLACKFRIDAY2015 on checkout for our limited edition range and get 30%OFF. If you sign up, you get a special code for 50% OFF.