Split Decision: “Black Friday” a great deal or risky business?

Pro: LeShea Munoz

Gone are the days of the early 4 a.m. openings on what was appropriately deemed “Black Friday.” Stores are now opening on the evening of Thanksgiving or even earlier, just so that people can take advantage of the early bird specials or pre-Black Friday prices.

Items are slashed significantly and if you can be one of the first in line, some stores will cut prices even more and those lucky few may feel like lottery winners.

Also available to those who want to avoid long lines are online deals which may even benefit those who miss getting to stores in time.

The online specials typically start at midnight, often on Thanksgiving Day, and will even offer expedited shipping or steep discounts to assure that you receive your purchases in time for the busy Christmas holiday.

Those of us that are discount hungry may even be able to multitask by shopping for deals online all the while standing in line waiting for admittance into the store of your choice. Two deals are better than one.

Walmart had sales this year starting one week before Thanksgiving night including a wide variety of things for every person on your wish list. making it that much easier to find savings.

I’m sure that Dad could use those tools he’s been looking at, and he’ll never know the price was slashed because you won’t tell.

You know for a fact that Mom would love the brand new Kitchenaid mixer with all the newest attachments and the fact that you may get it half-off is just an added bonus.

All of that can be acquired during your Black Friday shopping trip if you can pick out your stores accordingly, and maximize your time.

It’s become a changing tradition now to bundle up on Thanksgiving night, tummies full of dinner, and pile into the family SUV with coffee and hot chocolate in hand, then heading to the store in a frenzy.

Starting on Thanksgiving day, Old Navy is opening at 4 p.m. and giving the first 50 people in line a chance to win $1 million, no purchase necessary.

Best Buy and Toys R Us open Thursday at 5 p.m. for “Black Friday”, Walmart and Target open on Thursday at 6 p.m., and Game Stop and Lowes open at 5 a.m. Friday. With most of these stores being local, many don’t have to drive far to stand in line and eagerly wait for doors to open.

Some people actually get a jumpstart at the stores a few days earlier, camping out in tent lines for days before the sales actually start. By being first they get the chance to get everything that they want while walking away with money to spare.

Stores have seen a drop in sales for Black Friday in recent years, so this year they are pulling out all the stops by starting sales earlier and having a wider variety of things included in the ads.

Many even send out preview ads up to a week before so the public can have their merchandise out ahead of time.

According to the National Retail Federation’s latest survey “135.8 million consumers plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend, averaging around $805 worth of spending per person.”

Who doesn’t love anything that you can get on discount?

If Black Friday sales is the time that you can pick gifts up at the deepest discount, then so be it. Why not go out, have fun with friends, get in some shopping and save money as well.

Con: Sean Pastrana

The Thanksgiving holiday has and always will be about spending time with family, consuming good food and being thankful for your life and the people who are a part of it.

However, I think it has become less prevalent over the years since “Black Friday” came into existence, which keeps taking place earlier and earlier every year, and is an interruption for those who’d much rather continue to stuff their faces on turkey day.

Just like the upcoming winter storm El Nino, people will start migrating like fierce storm clouds to their favorite stores, waiting to strike down like lightning.

I guess setting up lawn chairs and pitching tents outside of Best Buy is the best way to gain that camping experience and break away from the monotony of work for a brief winter vacation.

But, prepare for frigid outside temperatures as you wait with other hopeless souls for that somewhat great deal.

The term Black Friday, meant a financial crisis involving stocks collapsing that occurred in 1869, according to The History of Black Friday.

By the 1960’s, it represented the start of the Christmas season. Back then, stores kept track of their accounting records by using red and black ink. Red meaning loss and black meaning profit, according to The History of Black Friday.

Aside from discount deals, Black Friday is notorious for the outrageous things that people do to each other.

In one case, Police were called in to forcibly remove customers who were laying on top of Samsung flat-screen televisions and refusing to get off at Texas Walmart, according to the Daily Mail.

Two people were shot due to a disagreement of a parking spot outside of Walmart in Tallahassee, Fla. in 2012, according to NBC Miami.

Brawling, crushing and stampeding over other people for materials that will eventually be replaced and outdated is ludicrous.

It reminds me of when the Joker from the movie “The Dark Knight,” played by the late Heath Ledger, said “When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they will eat each other.”

I find it disgusting that people are either killed or severely injured to get items for just a little less.

Is being that materialistic worth shooting another human being over a parking space or pepper spraying others to get that Wii game console?

Some retail stores are now going to be open even earlier to lessen the crowds and appease those who want to get a head start.

Although there are some fortunate employees that have the day off, others have created an online petition to have the day off.

Ryan Zeilman, a Target employee, made such a petition which had over 70,000 supporters, according to the New York Post.

My respects to the employees who work on this hellish day. They have to deal with wave after wave of people waiting to be serviced.

It may look like scenes out of “The Walking Dead” as employees are backed into the corner by the horde awaiting their demise.

On top of that, the employees that work retail have to cut their holiday festivities short as they prepare to clock in early.

Ultimately, it can be the time of the year to be jolly and get a head start on the early Christmas shopping for your friends, family, significant other or for your lonesome self.

But ask yourself, as you wait with others in the dark blistering cold, is it really worth it?