A happy hour that lasts all night is one thing, but a Friday – and a black one at that – that stretches all week is just not on. Add to that the fact that it’s entirely manufactured and cynical effort to separate you from your hard-earned and you can see how it’s an entirely unsatisfactory start to anyone’s festive season.
I hate Black Friday, it’s gone right to the top of my list of things I hate about Christmas. We do not need more pressure to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need at discounts that, almost certainly, don’t exist. The only people to benefit from the early spend-a-thon are the organisations big and pushy enough to pay marketers to fill your in-boxes and accountants to reduce their tax bill. And don’t get me started on the environmental impact…
It’s not as if I’m sitting around with a tinsel halo feeling smug about how well I’ve Christmased this – and past – years. I’m not. I’m just as likely to be found flinging pointless plastic novelties into my shopping basket in a last-minute frenzy as the next woman. God knows I’ve spent enough years on this to be able to pinpoint the exact date that a gift becomes problematic clutter… February 3rd, since you ask. It would save a lot of effort just to give the money to the charity shop/PTA fund or, if I’m honest, just chuck it into the fire.
Then onto the bonfire of the novelties, I’d also add:
- Christmas jumpers – a poor use of man-made fibre
- Gin/prosecco scented things that aren’t gin/prosecco – it’s designed to be drunk not smelled
- John bastard Lewis and his adverts – they don’t create feel-good, they create feel-inadequate, feel-panicked and feel-tired
- People who ask ‘are you ready for Christmas yet?’ – I’m not
- How bad the festive season makes some people feel (especially if it’s not their turn to have the kids)
- The apparent requirement for several new outfits (last year’s will be fine)
- The actual requirement for a new outfit (last year’s has shrunk)
- Nice lists and naughty lists – we want our children to think there are only two ways of being… really?
- The perpetuation of the idea that women must work very hard for Christmas – sexist and wrong
- Santa – implausible or scary in grottos
And, at the very top, like a malevolent fairy, is Black Friday. Maybe if we all try really hard to resist while spending our money in local businesses or charity shops if we must, it might go away. (OK, I know it won’t, but at least we can stick together to ignore it… like the nasty kid who called you names.)