A brief history of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

(AKA: stuff to talk to people about around the dinner table this weekend).Written by your Canadian friends at Hippy Pits

Where did all this shopping craziness come from anyway? I'll tell you where....

Black Friday:

The official kick off to the Christmas shopping season (observed since 1932), and the day after American Thanksgiving. Four day weekend anyone? Over this long weekend retailers open their doors and keep them open at the most insane times, offering the best deals of the entire year.

What's in a name? Originating in Philadelphia, it started out as a term to describe the crowds, foot traffic and vehicle congestion in the streets. Another explanation for this name can be coined from a financial standpoint. For many retailers it is common to do business 'in the red', where operating at a loss happens throughout the year. As soon as the end of the year hits and an abundance of sales are made, accountants use black ink to represent positive profit amounts, therefore operating back 'in the black'.

I'm not here to bore you with number crunching, just fun stuff! So what was Canada's most popular day for gathering gifts for loved ones before Black Friday?...Boxing day (December 26th).

Small Business Saturday:

Well, we can thank American Express for this one. Conceived in Massachusetts in 2010. The emphasis is put on supporting local and small businesses and reducing your carbon footprint. The first event was sponsored by American Express in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Am-Ex bought advertising space on Facebook, gifted it to small business owners to promote their goods, and incentivized new shoppers with rebates to smaller online stores, how nice. Small business Saturday is an awesome concept. It's how commerce first started, o.k. minus the internet, people sold their goods, and others who needed, bought or bartered.

Cyber Monday:

Or is it cyborg Monday, I dunno. This cutie robot holiday is 11 years old, created by marketing companies to encourage online shopping. Let's face it, it's safer than actually leaving your home and fighting through traffic, crowds, people who are hangry, grumpy, need their 'Hatchimals', and statistically with 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries since 2006, just stay home!

Bam - internet connection is all you need and in some countries it will be the biggest cybershopping day of the year. Wait to shop until this day and avoid: supporting unreasonable demands on mall staff, health and safety risks associated with insufficient security, and just plain crappy products pumped out for this weekend only.

Be mindful this weekend while gathering your gifts for gifting to your friends, family, neighbours, kiddies, acquaintances, secret Santas, and pets.

Some cool gift ideas are experiences like local plays, concerts and comedy shows. Homemade crafts, and baking. Gifting your time at a food sorting facility for the less fortunate, or soup kitchen. Adopting an older animal. Spending time with people. This warms my heart.

Happy weekending.

Love, Hippy Pits.

I want to credit Wikipedia for the above information about Black Friday, Small Business Saturdayand Cyber Monday.