Black Friday


Growing up, we didn’t have Black Friday here in Canada. It just wouldn’t make sense; our Thanksgiving is in October. However I’ve noticed a weird phenomenon happen in the past 5 years or so; along with all other symbols of unabashed capitalism (like Wal-Mart and Costco), Black Friday has trickled its way north of the border.

In the past, we would don our lumberjack shirts, sit next to our pet moose and swig maple syrup while watching the Black Friday stampedes that were going on in the US. Ok, perhaps everything but the moose – the point I’m trying to make is that this sales apocalypse was once uniquely American; ergo, non-Canadian. We had Boxing Day and that was that. So I find it bizarre that we don’t even have a major holiday preceding  Black Friday but we’ve taken it on and made it our own.

As a recovering spendaholic, I was intending to write a post about how to avoid the shopping triggers that have already started via commercials and emails from retailers. As I came to formulate my thoughts, just one message came to mind: just don’t do it. That’s it: just don’t do it.

Sounds far too over-simplistic, but what I mean is that it may actually be easier to avoid shopping today because it’s broken down into one bite size morsel to chew on. I’m not saying try to conquer your shopping weaknesses forever starting tomorrow (but that would be brilliant and good on you if you do!), I’m saying its one day where you need to conquer the urge to spend. For one day, avoid the shops and don’t set foot in the mall. For one day, don’t click on the emails. For one day, do whatever you can to not log on to your favourite sites. Then once Friday is over, pat yourself on the back, recognize your small win, and have faith that if you did it on Black Friday, you can do it on regular ol’ Saturday. And generic lazy Sunday. And all of the next week to come.

I know this may be easier for my fellow Canadians as tomorrow is still a business day so we don’t have the day off to go empty our wallets out at the mall, but to the Americans and anyone else with a day off on Friday, it is the day to not step foot in a shop. Turn off the TV and the radio and work on a project at home, make a list of fun ways to rework your leftovers, go for a beautiful Fall walk if the weather isn’t crappy. It’s not just about not spending the money, it’s about staying away from the hysteria and not becoming another sheep in the flock.  The piles of bags in shoppers hands makes it all feel normal; there is no disposing of our hard-earned cash or piling on more debt attached to the visuals; it’s just a high energy picture of amassment and the thrill of the deal. I’ve been there, I know how “normal” being around hordes of other shoppers can make spending money I don’t have seem.

If any of my arguments don’t win you over, there’s always the advice below:



Tell it like it is, Kermit!

What will you be doing on Black Friday?


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  1. Kermit speaks the truth! I think a lot of Americans do have to work on Friday as it’s not a national holiday. (I was at work – boo hiss!) But the kids are off school so parents definitely try to take off (usually cheaper than paying for childcare) or if you have to travel it make sense to take off.

    Now while I know that most other countries don’t partake in Black Friday craziness that has built up in the U.S., I do think that technically western countries that celebrate Christmas do (or did) have their own black Fridays although it may have been a Black Saturday. Historically in the U.S. it was the day that retailers books got out of the red (i.e. operating at a loss) and became profitable (i.e. in the black) since households spent so much money in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. I am hugely curious as to whether this is (or was) the case because most western countries do have sales and specials targeted toward Christmas and probably have for decades. (Of course I’m also very lazy and won’t research the point.)

    Either way, TGIF! And hide your wallet this weekend for extra savings! That’s my plan!


    1. Thank you for the enlightenment, Pru! I always thought the day after American Thanksgiving was a stat holiday. Makes sense for it to be just a very common day to take off seeing the kiddies are off school. I hope working with a food coma wasn’t too awful!

      Here and throughout the Commonwealth we’ve always saved the shopping madness for Boxing Day, so my growing concern here is that now we’ve gone ahead and adopted the big American sales day as well! Growing up we didn’t have Black Friday, and now it’s quickly gaining momentum and becoming Boxing Day, the Prequel. Over the course of a month, that’s now two days that people line up at 6am outside of stores and get in scraps with each other…to buy things. Growing testament to how consumerism is bad enough, and just getting worse.

      Hiding the wallets this weekend is a great plan!

  2. I cleaned my house and did a bit of baking 🙂 I very much agree, especially about how Black Friday has crept north. The only reason I would have to venture out to sale would be to get a terrific deal on a must-have Christmas present for someone. But I really can’t do crowds and in that sales atmosphere it is so easy to get sucked in and find yourself spending more than you’d planned. Wise words, here. Thanks!

    1. Perhaps we should replace it with Bake Friday?! I think we’re on to something here, Jill!

      I did also feel the pull to buy a sale item online for the mandatory Kris Kringle at work later this month. However I also fear the crowds so decided against it in favour of baking my KK a batch of homemade dog biscuits for her little pug and putting them in a decorative jar I know I can pick up later on when the crowds die down. I say we start the petition for Bake Friday and see where it goes 😉

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