Meaningful Friday: Get the Most Out Of Black Friday Without Driving Yourself Crazy

Michael Cerreto, MS, CPCRT, CSC, LDR, Edu-K

Black Friday can drive even a serene Buddhist monk crazy with disappointment, anger, frustration, and exhaustion. You may have high hopes Friday morning, only to return home questioning “Why did I do that to myself?” The fake sales, crowds, rudeness, and fight for parking space can melt the holiday spirit in anyone.

So, how do you get the most out of Black Friday without driving yourself crazy?

You must first see Black Friday for what it really is, and then keep the day simple and meaningful.


Understand That You Are Pavlov’s Dog

Black Friday is based on the same rules of a classic con game. It is also organized manipulation to keep the retailers’ and governments’ hands deep in your pocket. You are conditioned like Pavlov’s dog to salivate at the sound of the word “sale”.

Classic Con Game— In the Black Friday con game, the retailers is the con artists. A con takes advantage of your greed by promising you a once in a lifetime deal that has significant value for very little or no cost, such as a door buster sale on big screen TVs for next to nothing. The con artist comes across as honest and forthright such as your trusted big box retailer. The con keeps you rushed for time to take advantage of the opportunity before it ends or before you can figure out it’s a con, such as a limited time sale. Read more about how you are being conned on Black Friday HERE.

Organized Manipulation— Black Friday’s origins date back to 1869 when retailers and governments discovered that placing Thanksgiving on a Thursday and giving people off work the Friday after can jump start holiday shopping with a gusto. Thanksgiving was consciously made into the setup day for mass consumerism. The government and retailers also realized that by simply creating consumer holidays, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the masses will plan their lives around that one big day to get instant gratification. The retailers and government are putting their hands deeper into your pocket at times they designate each year. It’s crony capitalism between government and business at its best and worst. You can read more about the evolution of Black Friday HERE.


The Solution: Meaningful Friday 

The solution to keep Black Friday from driving you crazy is to not participate. You can create a new purpose for the day after Thanksgiving, a day of meaning. Call it Meaningful Friday.

After using Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks for your family and life, you can use Meaningful Friday to give small expressions of deep meaning to more people in your life. Here’s how.

Wake up Friday morning, grab a cup of coffee, and make a list of everyone who adds meaning and value to your life. Have your kids make their own lists. You should then call, email, or text each person expressing how they add meaning to your life. You will no doubt receive the same expression of meaning back as they reply.

Meaningful Friday gives you the annual opportunity to share meaning with others and warm everyone’s soul. There will be no stress from crowds, sales gimmicks, cons, and manipulations played out in the plastic world of commerce. You will have a day of true meaning, thanks, and giving. It will reconnect you to the true purpose of a life well lived. 

If you need help rebounding from adversity to create the life you want, contact A Talented Mind Clinic at 804-337-1884,