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When Black Friday Was A Family Day

Editor-in-chief, gerontologist

November 2015 then and now then sm
Most spent the day after Thanksgiving relaxing with family.

It wasn’t all that long ago when the day after Thanksgiving was a time to relax, eat leftovers and be with family. While the symbolic meaning to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the unofficial beginning of the Christmas retail season, most viewed it as a reminder to begin thinking about what gifts to buy loved ones.

The term “Black Friday” was created in the 1960s as the day after Thanksgiving to officially begin the holiday shopping season. The term “black” is taken from the expression being in the black which means making a profit. The hope was that getting shoppers out there early in the season, would mean more sales for retailers.

November 2015 Then and Now Now
In order to get deals offered on Black Friday, shoppers need to be willing to navigate through crowds of people.

Today Black Friday is even bigger and stores start advertising their upcoming specials right after Halloween. Customers will wait outside on long lines for doors to open with some people even camping out overnight. Shoppers have been known to make maps of the store plotting the order of which items they will go after first and the best way to optimize their time. Tempers often rise between customers trying to grab items and towards employees for running out of advertised products. This type of shopping is not for the faint of heart.

Some companies are now open on Thanksgiving trying to get a bigger jump on holiday sales. Retail workers are expected to come in and give up their time with friends and family. Recently, we have seen a backlash towards stores and businesses asking workers to show up for work on Thanksgiving. Some companies have come out saying that they won’t be open and asking consumers to boycott retailers that are open. This is in the hope that Thanksgiving will again become a holiday in which retail workers can be home celebrating with their loved ones.

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Cynthia Lopinto

Cyn LoPinto, M.A. is a gerontologist focusing on significant issues affecting older adults and their families. Her areas of interest include lifestyle enrichment, family dynamics, and caregiver support. Cyn has worked in both the recreational and healthcare industries.

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