Christmas Crisis

For most people it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  For others it is the most chaotic time of the year. The average American family spent  $578.10 on Christmas presents in 2014. Families with four children or more, spent an average of $877.22 in 2014 on Christmas gifts. However, there are always those parents that feel their child deserves more. One mother said, “I spent about $1,000 on two kids and wasn’t working at the time. On Christmas morning they opened them as fast as possible. They had at least 20 items apiece and they actually said, ‘Is that all?’ I was hurt and actually cried and cut back the next year.”

The amount that some people spend a year for Christmas is absurd. There are those special people that are smart shoppers, and use Black Friday and Cyber Monday to their advantage. In 2014, Black Friday brought in roughly $2.72 billion. In 2014, online shoppers spent about $4.45 billion on Cyber Monday. I interviewed Hannah Herron, a sophomore at Ipswich High School, to see what her thoughts are on Black Friday. During the interview, we learned that she actually went Black Friday shopping this year. Hannah admitted that the deals weren’t that great. “It was more about the experience of going shopping at 12 am than anything,” Hannah said. I asked Mr. Downing if he thought Black Friday was worthwhile. Mr. Downing said “Yes, but it definitely depends on what you buy.” Mr. Downing has been Black Friday shopping multiple times in the past.  “If you are buying household appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, lawn mowers, or televisions, you can get some really great deals,” Mr.Downing stated. Hannah and Mr. Downing both believe that certain stores have better sales. Those stores being Best buy, Home Depot, American Eagle, and Finish Line.  

I actually went Black Friday Shopping this year as well but had a bit of a different experience than what I thought. I went to multiple different stores throughout the night, and came across some crazy people. One instance that really sticks with me was when I went to Wal-Mart in Seabrook, NH. While there, two mothers were fighting over the last iPad Pro. It started off with them arguing about who got there first and who deserves the iPad more. After a little bit of screaming, one mother grabbed the other and pulled her head down by her hair. They started screaming, both in pain and anger, and began throwing punches. Both women were on the larger side, so you could tell people were a little nervous to get between them. Finally, someone came between them and was able to break them up. After both women were able to calm down, they received the news that neither of them would be allowed to purchase the iPad because of their behavior. This little instance goes to show how crazy Black Friday shoppers can be!

Black Friday can be a little nerve wracking. In 2014, seven deaths occurred on Black Friday, and ninety-eight people were injured.  Injuries could be anything from getting into a physical fight with another shopper, to being hit by the car of another shopper.  From my own experience, shopping at the Northshore Mall, there is no violence.  There are big crowds of people which could be dangerous, but no physical violence. More violence occurs at Best Buy or Wal-Mart, because those are where the best sales are.  

Overall, many people are forgetting the real meaning of Christmas: to be surrounded by loved ones.