My family doesn't have a lot of traditions. By the time I was 18, I had already lived in 18 different homes. Everything is always changing and a little uncertain. (For a while, the closest thing we had to a tradition was getting a French silk pie from a local restaurant-- and then they closed.)
A few years ago, Black Friday became a tradition. My sisters and I would wake up before dawn, shop like there was no tomorrow, and end the morning with a nice breakfast around 10am. Sure it was a little crazy, but it was something crazy that we always did together. A sister thing.
In the past few years, the sales have been getting earlier and earlier, until today, when stores decided to open at midnight. So us sisters, wanting to keep the tradition alive, went.
And it was awful.
I hated that employees had to leave their Thanksgiving dinners to get ready for work. I hated that there were probably twice as many people, because they were more willing to stay up a few hours than get up early. I hated that I was part of a community that was so easily manipulated by mass marketing strategies.
And worst of all, I hated that my sisters and I decided that this was probably our last hurrah. After spending an entire day cooking and then dedicating the evening to our family, the last thing we want to do get in a line of 500+ that wraps around the back of Target.
Black Friday has always been a day for crazies, but now I feel like it's infringed upon traditions and family time. Things that are actually important. So unless Target returns to its original 5am opening time, an era has ended today.
(I'll just keep my new immersion blender as a memento.)