As Thanksgiving has come to an end, and all the turkeys have stuffed the stomachs of people all over the world, many are hoping for at least a few seconds of calmness before the storm hits. And by storm I mean Black Friday and hectic Christmas shopping. The one time of the year where the thought of ‘giving’ goes out the window because people are not generous when it comes to giving the last TV or last pair of jeans to a stranger who also has their eyes on the prize. It’s quiet ironic how people go out-of-control to get the best deals on the most things, and then on Christmas day they put that joyous smile on when their gift recipient says ‘Oh! You shouldn’t have!”…because really, you shouldn't have tackled the old lady just to get the deal…but thats not the focus of this post.
Before the turkey is even carved, commercials and stores are getting prepared for the biggest holiday of the year. As I have grown up the past few years and moved out of the adolescent stage, I have come to realize that I am no longer a target for commercials. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I truly had to think hard because I had no idea what I wanted…and it’s not just that college has taught me that I miss the simple things—like not having to wear shower shoes when I’m home—but TV ads are no longer trying to sell me, an 18 year old, their products. The main things that are showcased are leapfrog pads (2-3 year olds), barbies and nerf guns (7-8 year olds), video games and play stations (14-15 year olds), and cooking supplies and jewelry (30+ year olds). My age group has sadly been left out. I know that I’m a unique case for an 18 year old because right now I want to have my own little house to decorate for christmas and a trip to Bora Bora, but I know that many other college kids are probably trying to think of things to ask Santa for besides money and gift cards.
Media has a huge impact on the choices of the young because if you asked a child what they wanted for Christmas each of the four weeks before Christmas, their wants would change because they would see something new on TV and would forget what they wanted before. This can be helpful for parents at times because it shows that their child will be happy with whatever they get, but it could also be frustrating especially when a parent already bought a gift, and then the glorious TV ad shows something new and changes the child’s mind. Maybe its a good thing that the TV isn't trying to target me as a buyer because I would have absolutely no money in my bank account right now if I saw all the amazing deals. This is partially why I try not to look at deals that pop up in my email.
Black Friday is just as it sounds—a scary day of shopping because people are crazy, deals are going to suck the money right out of your wallet, and most likely you wont get everything you want in one trip because half the stuff will be taken by the avid black friday shoppers. Now, Nebraska is an exception because we all have good, common sense so if you go to the mall on Black Friday, it won't be out-of-control and packed. I was actually disappointed when I didn't see anyone fighting over a product last year when I went Black Friday shopping for the first time. Maybe some dissoi logoi can be attributed to the serenity of shopping in Nebraska.
The media is only doing its job when it advertises all the deals, but maybe they could target everyone a little more equally—I promise I’m not hard to please. Heck, I want a Snackee (cup and snack holder all in one) for Christmas! They could potentially get more money too if they targeted my age group because we college kids are prone to blowing our money. Parents would be forever grateful if less toys were broadcasted to their young ones. Another thing that I think could make the season a little more true to the aspect of giving is not having the main focus on deals and gifts. Christmas should be about giving quality time to your loved ones—and food!— and I think college is the time when teens finally realize this. I know that Christmas will be the same as always this year and that Black Friday will always exist…so instead of changing it, may the odds be ever in the favor of the crazy shoppers!