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Opinion Black Friday gobbles up Thanksgiving

Black Friday gobbles up Thanksgiving

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You’re standing in that’s a line a mile long and waiting to purchase a $3.99 waffle maker,when you could be at home watching football and seeing Great Aunt Edna sleep off the last of the holiday feast.

It’s perfectly acceptable to swap the American holiday of Thanksgiving to get an early start on the rat race that is Black Friday. What will you really miss out on?

You’re not alone. About 28 percent of the 139 million adults participating in Black Friday in 2012 were in the stores by midnight on Thanksgiving Day, according to the National Retail Federation.
In 2013, K-Mart and Old Navy retailers are starting their sales earlier than ever, at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m respectively on turkey day.

The deals and door busters can be enticing. Eyeing that waffle maker? How about this collection piece of 100 tupperware you will never use? All for just $5.99.

We are pressured to spend more than we can afford and buy our family the perfect gifts for Christmas. Black Friday promises to give us the best deals.

Christmas decorations and merchandise seem to go up earlier every year at chain retailers. Soon, maybe the Easter Bunny will be competing with Santa for room on the shelves. Stopping in to buy Independence Day? Why not get an early start on your Christmas list while you are in the store.

Maybe there is some level of displaced selflessness in trudging through Black Friday. A parent waiting in line all night for a toy their child has been having tantrums over does deserve some sort of recognition.

But when Black Friday shoppers have a mindset about getting the deal before someone else does, they should remember to be thankful for what they have.

Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for the uncountable things in our lives. It’s important to be grateful for material things, but not the long-forgotten presents from a previous year’s Christmas haul.

The roof over our heads, being able to afford to prepare a delicious feast and having the small comforts that make our lives easier are things we should be grateful for.

But the real reason for Thanksgiving is to stop and appreciate things that are most precious in our lives. Seeing the sparkle in our grandparent’s eyes when they laugh; reminiscing with our cousins about the days when we were still sitting at to the kid’s table; watching a dish you spent hours preparing disappear in minutes.

It’s about being thankful for the love in our lives and the moments that only come once. It’s about holding them in our hands and appreciating their beauty, if only for a fleeting moment.

In this mad race for cheap, imported goods, we are forking over more than just hard-earned cash.

When we are more focused on getting the best deal possible on a piece of plastic we will forget about in a year, these moments are never appreciated for what they are: priceless.

That’s the real price we are paying.

April Garon
Senior news-editorial and photojournalism major. Interned at the Natchez Democrat summer '13. In love with coffee, culinary adventures, and National Geographic. Follow me on Twitter @aprilg321.

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