It’s Thanksgiving Day, so I’ll start by wishing all the Americans out there Happy Holidays. And happy Black Friday, too, if shopping is your thing.
Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Black Friday. I’ve noticed several retailers using this term this morning and I don’t care for it. Not on this side of the Atlantic, anyway. Because really, Black Friday doesn’t make sense over here, where we don’t have the last Thursday of November off for a big get-together, and roll it over into a long weekend. If you Stateside people want to call tomorrow Black Friday, that’s fine by me. But let’s keep our nations divided by a single language, on this point at least. The world becomes a less interesting place every time we slavishly and thoughtlessly adopt the customs of another nation as our own.
And besides, much as I like the odd bit of retail therapy, I really don’t see the need to whip up some kind of hysterical compulsion for all of us Brits to hit the stores tomorrow, rather than any other day. Or for us to make like Walmart – and that includes you, Asda. I know you’re the same company under the skin but frankly, any association with a company that underpays its staff so chronically that it expects them to give tins to each other for a Thanksgiving dinner, sounds like one to play down to me.
Austerity blogger Jack Monroe, who knows a thing or two about surviving a penniless festive season, has some wise words on gifting this morning. If I felt inclined to celebrate Black Friday at all, I’d probably do so by following her advice. If there are people on your list that know or care so little about your circumstances that they’d expect you to give them something they don’t really need when you’re struggling to put food on the table, then they shouldn’t be there. Wal-Mart might not care for that approach, but I’m sure they’ll survive without any further advertising.
Now that’s out of the way, happy Thanksgiving, everyone.