What Cheer a Virtual Black Friday Brings
By Corinne S.
As I sit on my comfy couch in my candy cane themed pajamas and reindeer slippers, next to a crackling fire, sipping my steaming hot cocoa containing mini marshmallows, I ponder this year’s Black Friday event. My laptop rests comfortably on my lap, with multiple tabs opened to purchase the gifts on my list. My holiday shopping this season will be done from the comfort of my home. All gifts will be purchased by a click of a button, and deposited on my front stoop. These gifts will arrive wrapped in specific colored tissue paper and placed in holiday themed gift boxes. No need to buy decorative bows or shiny curling ribbon, as those will be perfectly measured, cut and taped to the gifts. The gift labels will come prewritten with a season’s greeting or stamped with a Santa signature. All will come ready to be placed under the tree. While waiting for the clock to strike midnight for the virtual Black Friday sales, I recall the previous year on the Friday that is referred to as the, ‘Give Thanks and Trample’ day. My family patiently waited in the frigid cold outside toy shops, retail stores and shopping malls, only to almost be trampled by the mob of shoppers rushing in for the doorbusters. We witnessed shoppers stripping the shelves clean, while also leaving a string of discarded items in their wake. Aggressive duels broke out in crowded aisles over the last available popular toy, electronic, appliance, or apparel item. Such a sight to see, knowing that most were sitting around a dinner table expressing gratitude for others only hours before. Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday season. The employees working on Black Friday refer to it as a shop and shove affair. Most forgo their Thanksgiving dinner with their families as their shift begins late afternoon on Thursday. They work through the night to appease impatient shoppers. Restocking and organizing shelves, and refolding destroyed clothing displays, is assigned to the “lucky” employees as their only tasks. Even when employees are refilling the empty shelves with coveted items, shoppers accuse them of hoarding such products in stockrooms. Waiting to enter a store is not the only waiting one does on Black Friday. All registers are open with frantic employees attempting to check out shoppers as fast as they can. Only to be met with irritable shoppers wanting even more of a percentage off their already discounted purchases. Or the waiting that is done in the lines that snake around the entire store, where a family member is designated to hold a place in line. Waiting in line to enter a store, or waiting in line to complete a purchase, are how most Black Friday shoppers spend their time. I check out without a single concern or worry. I celebrate the success of my holiday shopping by toasting with my hot cocoa. I peacefully sigh as I close my laptop, experiencing for the first time a relaxing Black Friday..
Our short story contest is over for November, but you can check out all the November submissions on our blog!