What Does Black Friday Mean in 2021?

By Lori Perkins


I have never been a big one for running to the mall the day after I’ve prepared the family feast to save money on gifts, so Black Friday was an abstract thing when I was younger. When Cyber Monday appeared, I would browse, but I rarely partook, because I’m the kind of shopper who makes a list and buys half of her gifts online with direct shipping to the recipient and the other half in a one day marathon shopping at one of the outlet meccas. But I always looked.


This year, so many of my friends and family have casually remarked, “I don’t want anything.” That is not an invitation to give them money. They have been throwing stuff out all year. Everyone is taking stock and stream lining.


This year I have bought experiences as gifts. Right now, many of the Broadway plays that were closed for year and a half have returned, and I can get discount tickets (but not for Hamilton).


I am taking one of my friends on a shopping excursion – she’s shopping, I’m driving – but it is more of a way to spend the day together.


I am having friends over for elaborate dinners.


And movie nights.


Even game nights.


And I have absolutely no desire to fight for the best price on a gizmo or gadget.


I’ve noticed that for the first time in years many of the big retailers, who used to herald Black Friday, are closed for Thanksgiving this year—Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot. I am hoping that means that they too understood the assignment.