Why Did Black Friday Leave My Holiday Travel?

I would love to say that Black Friday travel this year for me was just as stressful as I remembered it being from the years when I was a teenager.

Despite the Black Friday ads flying around, that is most definitely not the case. I received no more calls, traffic tickets or baggage delays this year. So, I’m a little confused as to why Black Friday remains the “gift with purchase” I’ve always seen it as.

I’m not writing this because I’m going on a vacation this weekend. Even if I did make my travel plans, it’s been brought up a million times during the six weeks since the Thanksgiving holiday and I can’t put my finger on why Black Friday is still a hot topic in this day and age. It makes me angry and I feel like I’m swimming upstream in a huge river.

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I understand that we have a booming economy, with more people than ever before being able to afford to travel, but I can’t help but think Black Friday shouldn’t be as important as the holiday season. We still refer to the holiday season as Black Friday because once the election season was over, so was the holiday season. How does this make any sense?

I was raised on the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 and took to calling Black Friday the “Makers Dream of Doom”, because by December, we got over the Black Friday frenzy and moved on to the Christmas time holiday (think Christmas Eve of Christmas, right after the blackout which is when Black Friday started to be popular). Now, instead of the names implying the chaos of a shopping marathon or the danger of going into a store for a mediocre 40% off deal, the name has unfortunately been changed to “Black Friday Travel” or as some like to call it, “Black Friday Travel Madness”.

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In some ways, I do understand why companies like Walmart and Best Buy make it so important. It’s no secret that retailers have trouble getting people in the stores on Black Friday. The retailers would need to do Black Friday sales every day if they wanted to make it worthwhile to go in stores.

I remember seeing people on Black Friday like my dad or my uncle would ever post on the Facebook page before us. Black Friday also made Christmas travel worse because people would cram those trips together. As an added bonus, people also saw that if they went on Black Friday that year, they could qualify for a free $75 gift card or $50 gift card to use next year.

However, this year, Black Friday travel was just another holiday and Black Friday was not part of that. The families who I was visiting over Thanksgiving were all able to stay at home this year, and the reason why had nothing to do with fighting the hordes of people.

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I’ve always felt the post-holiday surge of poor decisions and blind purchasing that happens in the weeks after the holiday. A couple of years ago, I bought a Christmas tree over a year ago and saw that it was a really chewy one. I had been waiting to finally get my hands on a Christmas tree in the fall but instead, I was spending the next four days helping my friends decorate their homes. I was distracted by the decisions I wasn’t making and the people around me who were being making. I guess my tree wasn’t the one on the top of my shopping list this year.

I’m not totally putting myself down, since buying your first Christmas tree is always an exciting time. Sometimes you just buy your first tree and then you get into the habit of buying every year after. So, if that’s what happens, don’t beat yourself up too much about having to wait a year.

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