Fair warning, I'm not a fan of what Black Friday has become. If you are of the opinion that it is good fun and great deals then you may want to stop reading now.
I've worked retail during Thanksgiving and actually enjoyed the crazy pace of the day after, but that was before the early openings and lines around the building. I understand the history of the day. It is, or was, the kick off to the Christmas shopping season. It marked the day that retailers started turning a profit for the year (hence the "black"), but you probably already knew this.
I feel like they are sucking all of the fun out of Thanksgiving, and even stealing joy from Christmas. When you go into the stores right now you will not see Thanksgiving decoration unless they are in the clearance section. I really think that if our country wasn't so attached to the food we eat on Thursday then there would be a bigger push to start sales then. After all, it isn't very politically correct to stop in the middle of the week and be thankful to God for the blessings of the year, but frying a turkey and opening a can of gelled cranberries is sacred in the U.S.
A few years ago I did wake up early to see what I was missing. We drove past Best Buy and saw people in a line wrapped around the building. There were hundreds of people waiting for something the store had maybe 6 of. We went into Walmart where there were even more people waiting with police guards standing buy. The clerks had a palette with the cheap giant t.v.s stacked up waiting to be grabbed. They were standing on the counters so that they wouldn't get run down when the sale started. The frenzy and mood of the crowd was frightening. I was glad I was standing back and not there for any of the special items.
There is no Christmas cheer in this bunch. It brings out the worst in people and greed rules the day instead of grace. The stories of theft, violence, and just plain meanness makes me sad. I miss it being a fun day where part of the family watched football and the others went out on a nice shopping trip. I may go out on Black Friday, but it won't be before lunch. I will not be playing the game no matter what unbelievable deal is in the paper Thursday. No amount of discount is worth that scene to me.
I tend to get a little irritated thinking about the number of people standing in line for hours in the cold on a holiday, knowing that most of these people won't stand in line for ten minutes, inside, in order to vote. I suppose we could offer people a chance to buy a computer or television for $100 at the polls, but then again maybe it's best that not everyone votes.