Elizabeth Entenman
November 28, 2014 5:00 am

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never woken up in the middle of the night and thought, “I NEED to be at Old Navy RIGHT NOW!” Black Friday shopping is one of those things we love to say, “no way, not me” about, yet it’s still a serious thing. So much so that in 2012, 247 million shoppers partook.

Black Friday is a day of doorbusters and deals, and there are some great ones out there, as long as you can manage the influx of people. But in recent years, things have gotten a little out of hand. I remember the days of stores being considered crazy for opening at 6 a.m. Then it was 4 a.m., and now it’s Thanksgiving night — which I take issue with. Do whatever you want on Black Friday, but leave Thanksgiving alone. Are you people not in tryptophan comas?

Whether you’re a Black Friday regular, only doing it for the flat screen or abstaining altogether, here are some pretty extreme Black Friday facts to digest with your pumpkin pie.

This is how Black Friday all began.

Since the early 20th century, department stores like Macy’s have sponsored parades — parades that originally occurred the day after Thanksgiving. They served as holiday advertising campaigns for the stores. When the parades were over, a lot of people would go directly to these department stores and shop, creating the tradition that the Friday after Thanksgiving marked the start of the holiday shopping season.

Here’s where the name “Black Friday” comes from.

The name “Black Friday” likely comes from the Philadelphia Police Department. It was not a clever nickname for the day, but rather a reference to the traffic jams and mob mentality the city and stores experienced from shoppers. It’s earliest documented reference dates back to 1966, but the term didn’t catch on with the masses until the ‘90s.

21% of shoppers say they’ve never missed Black Friday.

Like . . . ever? That’s intense. I know shopping on Black Friday doesn’t automatically mean getting in a line at 4 a.m., but stores are still crazy and generally unpleasant the entire day. It’s okay to take a year off, friends!

Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year.

It’s usually the Saturday before Christmas. If Christmas happens to fall on a weekend, it’s a few days earlier. We chalk this up to procrastination and/or forgetfulness.

Likewise, Cyber Monday is not the busiest online shopping day of the year.

Nope! The busiest time of the year for online shopping is around the second week of December. I will say from personal experience, though, that Cyber Monday is the busiest day for deleting emails.

Almost 1 in 5 shoppers will wait in a line, no matter how long it is.

Even though it’s freezing cold? Even though many of the same deals are available online? Even if you aren’t guaranteed whatever merchandise you want will be in stock? Pro tip: Know your limits and your breaking point before you step in a Black Friday line.

Holiday shopping dictated the day of Thanksgiving.

Read that one again. No, it’s not the other way around. Thanksgiving used to fall on the last Thursday of November, but this had a tendency to cut the shopping season short — which retailers did not like. In 1939, they encouraged FDR to change the day to the second to last Thursday in November. Naturally, this caused some controversy, and two years later, Congress compromised by deciding on the fourth Thursday of November we’re used to today.

16% of in-store Black Friday shoppers would be willing to leave family and friends to ensure they get the best deal.

Arguably, Thanksgiving is one of the least commercial holidays we have. Please keep it as such. If you’re looking for an after-dinner tradition, I don’t know, watch football or bond over your weird cousin’s Facebook posts or maybe SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.

The deals on Black Friday aren’t necessarily the best of the season.

Later in the shopping season, it’s not uncommon to find prices that are 10 to 15% less than the “deals” advertised on Black Friday.

Shoutout to the people reading this from the line they’re already waiting in.

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