I am writing these words on Black Friday, although I know that many of you probably won’t hear or read this until Saturday or Monday, or whenever. American Thanksgiving has been observed on the third Thursday in November since shortly after the first pilgrims arrived in North America aboard the Mayflower, but it was late in the 20th century that big retail created the phenom of Black Friday.
Falling less than one month before Christmas, and a non-working day for most Americans, it quickly became the busiest shopping day of the year. When the Loonie was close to even strength with the Yankee dollar, it also became a great opportunity for Canadians to head south to places like Grand Forks and Minot, lured by the promise of great savings. All you had to be prepared for was standing in line in the cold and pushing through the doors of a shopping mall when most of us would prefer to relax in our pyjamas.
Ever the copycats it seems, a wide variety of Canadian retailers, including government liquor stores and internet providers, are now appealing to our patriotism with what they say are Black Friday bargains. I remain very skeptical, and I choose to NOT participate.
But if I change my mind a few days from now, it doesn’t really matter because I won’t miss anything. It seems that once Remembrance Day is over, every remaining day in November is Black Friday. There probably are some bargains out there but beware. What’s this I hear that Sears stores, which are soon to join Eaton’s in the museum of Canadian failures have actually jacked up prices for the dwindling number of items that they have left?
Here’s another not-so-secret thought to keep in mind. If you miss out on Black Friday bargains, it won’t be long until we’re into December, when almost every day is Boxing Day!
It’s enough to make a man say Humbug as he fires up his computer .
I’m Roger Currie