Holiday Shopping: Past Reflections

By Anonymous, Trending Writer

For many, Black Friday is the day of shopping at stores for amazing discounts right after Thanksgiving. The positive and exciting prospect of buying items for the holidays has not always been the association with the day Black Friday.

The history of the term Black Friday came from the shopping spree done the day after Thanksgiving, but was not used with positive connotations. The term was coined by Philadelphia police officers who were describing the chaos of shopping done, from the traffic, to the shoppers, and the thieves. There was an increase in car accidents, shoplifting, and the fact that the Philadelphia officers were not able to get the day off and sometimes even had to take on extra-long shifts before the annual Army-Navy football game the following day. Their intention to use the term Black Friday was to be similarly associated with other days like Black Thursday, which signifies the started of the Great Depression, and Black Tuesday that symbolized the major drop in the stock market, as people panicked.

With such a negative light on a term in place, retailers had the challenge of making Black Friday a positive name. To them, Black Friday was one of the most profitable days of the year and they wanted to capitalize on it by advertising their products and services. To them, Black Friday was a day when they were in the black. So, they adopted the name Black Friday to celebrate their business successes, only furthering the association with Black Friday as a positive day, both for the business and consumers.

Since then, the history of Black Friday and its negative connotations have been lost to the millions of eager shoppers each year. The exciting activity of grabbing great deals on everything from clothes and electronics to cars and Christmas gifts has become to some, a wonderful thing to do after Thanksgiving dinner with family. Some shoppers have even made it a tradition of going out to shop and spend time with the family.

That is not to discount the fact that even to this day, the shopping is considered hectic to say the least. Rushes into stores as they open, fighting over products available, and price heckling still cause the day to be very chaotic, but the excitement and energy behind shopping keeps the day as one of the largest shopping days of the year.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, December 12th print edition.

Contact the writer through the Editor at


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