Black Friday: Giving Thanks for our Banks


Cartoon by Summer Aguirre

While we don’t stampede to the stuffing or fist-fight over the fruit salad, we sacrifice the thankful attitude we celebrate on Nov. 22 when we rush to sales hours later.

This Thursday, many students and teachers will be enjoying a break from school and celebrating Thanksgiving with their loved ones. Families will sit around a table, share their thanks and enjoy mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. Besides some small scuffles for the best portions of hot turkey, nobody will be trampling over their relatives for the stuffing or throwing punches over the fruit salad.

So why the dramatic reversal of human behavior just hours after a day of peace?

Unfortunately, my own relatives commit these acts of self-indulgence. Every Black Friday, they wake up at dawn, looking for sales around the city. However, they are but a fraction of the millions of shoppers that participate in Black Friday sales.

I’m sure you have heard about the drastic measures consumers have gone to find the perfect deals. According to, Americans spent a grand total of $691.9 billion during last year’s Black Friday sales. This highlights the appeal of wild sales, expenditures and in general, mad greed.

“It [gets] very crowded, [and] so many people are there that I try not to get crushed… The last time I went, all the televisions were sold out in just one hour,” freshman Annie Zhang said.

It is ironic how people make peace and express gratitude for the whole year, perhaps even a whole lifetime, before abandoning the mindset soon after. They proceed to battle their way to the shoe rack at Macy’s, trying to satisfy endless wants, right on the very next day.

Instead, families could use the Friday off as a perfect hiking day—to walk off a heavy meal, and to spend some quality time. Or even better, decorating Christmas trees could kill some carbs. In any case, prolonging gratitude past a single Thursday should be a minimal human ability.

Maybe it is because people have such a short attention span that we do not even remember what we did yesterday. It would be reaching the goal of mankind if we could maintain our gratitude year-round, for a month, for a week, or even simply for one day after Thanksgiving. The sad reality is that Thanksgiving is over when the clock strikes twelve, and that is when materialistic urge returns.