Let's just for the moment forget the other meaning of Black Friday (referring of course to the 1987 Edmonton tornado), and instead think about Black Friday the shopping event. Putting aside the fact that while I definitely prefer Boxing Day sales, and the fact that I ACTUALLY like January shopping the best of all, Black Friday sales can be entertaining. For the past 7+ years I've gone to the Buy Nothing Day Free Market to help declutter and find some items too, but that hasn't meant that I haven't spent money on Black Friday.
I know that the whole ethos around Buy Nothing Day has a lot more to do with not buying UNNECESSARY items than anything, and well, most of the actual purchases I've made over the years during this particular day have been either holiday shopping related (though that's actually unusual for me — traditionally I don't get a whole lot of that done until the Butterdome Craft Sale in December) or more commonly the purchase of more essential types of things like groceries or lunch. And I can't really feel bad about that — I mean as great as chocolate peanut butter sandwiches are, I can't live on those alone (I've been eating a lot of those lately, actually).
Over the years Canada has gotten more and more onto the Black Friday bandwagon. Which makes some sense in that it is a reasonable time to start Christmas shopping, but realistically it's a much bigger deal in the USA. And that's led to retailers who choose not to participate (like REI) by being closed on Black Friday (it is afterall the day after American Thanksgiving) getting media attention. Similarly Cards Against Humanity have had great success with their anti-Black Friday sales (one year CAH was MORE expensive on Black Friday, last year they sold actual Bullshit (poop!) to their American customers only, and this year their store is closed but you can give them $5 for nothing in return). These types of promotions always bring a smile to my face, even though I don't participate (instead I spend my money on CAH in so many other ways on their other promotions/expansions/cards).
This year, I've seen some tempting sales on items that I might actually want from places like the DFTBA store, or the LEGO shop, but it's pretty hard for me to buy myself anything that unnecessary on this day, especially when I still have Christmas shopping to do (I haven't started, not even for my gift exchange recipients) and know that I'll have other expenses coming up in the coming weeks and days. Besides, fiscal responsibility is pretty important to me and I really don't NEED anything that is on huge sale today anyhow (WANT is another story… but job hunting takes priority).
So happy Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day to all of you — I hope to see some of you take advantage of the Free Market, and if there are some legitimately good deals to be had on things you actually need/want/should have I'm not judging you for the purchases. But as reddit tells me, some of these crazy deals are less than actual deals so do your research (many are good deals but others aren't), have fun and be safe. I cannot imagine the search for material goods being so important that one should get injured stampeding through store doors etc.