by Amy Williams
The anticipation for Christmas Day is looming and the anxieties of gift wrapping are ever approaching. Black Friday entitles everyone a break from the expensive spending and provides discounts to prevent the wallets emptying as quickly at the end of the year.
The tradition originates from America where, on the day following Thanksgiving, retailers would sell their stock with high reductions. The concept of Black Friday has spread over the world, and here, it gives the British a chance to grab a bargain in shops at a reduced price which always takes a slight weight off the shoulders where money and Christmas is concerned. That’s wonderful, right? So why is it taken to such extreme lengths that include violence and conflict?
Chaos is inevitable in sales and in busy times of the year, but when physicality is taking over privilege, it gives us time to reflect. Figures prove that there have been 7 deaths in violent encounters on Black Friday in the world; instead of what is supposed to be an enjoyment, in the festive time of the year, it has turned into some kind of deathly competition. Through violence and fighting in the crowds, the craving for materialistic goods is prioritised over the welfare of fellow shoppers, and that’s when we start to forget the real meaning of Christmas. Last year in 2014, police forces were called out across the United Kingdom due to crowds becoming out of control, and reports of assault. Despite the monumental profits that shops receive from this massive shopping spree, it has even made some stores non-participate in result of the terror that this day provokes. Christmas is the time for love and peace, and commerciality is subverting this and taking over from the beauty of festivity.
In our desperate need to see the smiles from our friends and family opening their gifts on Christmas day, last month’s Black Friday lived up to its expectations yet again. The scenes of desperate shoppers in Bradford and Leeds on Friday 27 November were manic and quite ridiculous to say the least!