If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Readers' blog: We should give thanks we are not like the US on Black Friday

As US citizens tuck into Thanksgiving Day dinner on Thursday, the conversation around the table should be interesting. Uncle Sam is still deeply divided after last year’s presidential election.

What will temporarily unite polarised Americans this coming weekend is their slavish devotion to consumerism.

Thanksgiving Day was sacrosanct, a non-denominational national holiday that gave thanks for the year’s harvest. Regrettably, the deeper meaning has been eclipsed by an undignified rush to a frantic shopping spree, with Americans queuing up overnight. The spree, which marks the start of the Christmas shopping season, begins with a dawn dash on Friday, and so is called Black Friday.

Many Americans take Black Friday off work, thus making it a weekend of idolatrous extravagance. Marketing companies have also contrived ‘Cyber Monday’ to add another shopping day to the Thanksgiving weekend and to encourage online shopping.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the busiest shopping days in the US. In 2016, $55bn (€47bn) was spent during the four-day Black Friday weekend.

Many people were left wallowing in debt in January, having lost the run of themselves during Black Friday.

This narcissistic materialism offers nothing to our Christmas season other than huge debts, maxed-out credit cards, and unneeded goods.

The self-indulgent Black Friday shopping frenzy is alien to our core values of altruism, moderation, community and inclusion. The US can keep its Black Friday.

Let’s prepare for a traditional Irish Christmas, by sharing some of our time, our company, and our resources with the needy, the lonely, and the homeless.

Billy Ryle


Co Kerry

Related Articles

High street retailers suffer as shoppers favour online Black Friday deals

Black Friday exposes the dark heart of consumerism

#BlackFriday sparks chaos around the world as shoppers fight for deals

12 tweets that perfectly sum up what Black Friday is really all about


Read an excerpt of 'My Coney Island Baby' below

Bernard O'Shea on hitting the road with old pal Karl Spain

Learning Points: My wife is having a baby and I’m stressed at work

Your guide to luxury - but affordable - spa experiences

More From The Irish Examiner