It seems to get earlier every year. Emails from various retailers start clogging up our in-boxes from about November 1, preparing us for the upcoming madness that is Black Friday. A post-Thanksgiving phenomenon originating from that consumer epicentre, the US,  and now a horrible perma-fixture in the UK.

One day is never enough for Black Friday. Oh no, it’s way bigger than that. So big, in fact, it manages to spread itself over an entire fortnight. Black Friday is followed by The Black Friday Weekend ( how does that even make sense?). 

Then when we are fiscally (and no doubt morally) bankrupt we are heralded into Cyber Monday, promptly followed by It’s Not Too Late Tuesday, Last Chance Wednesday, Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss it Thursday and Final Fling Friday – yes, ok, I made some of those up, but you get the picture. We buy things we don’t need because we are told they are never going to be that cheap or available again and FOMO (fear of missing out) duly kicks in, triggering our primordial fears as we furiously hit the buy now button.

I know there are plenty of people who relish this special time of the year, carefully curating wish lists in the preceding weeks (if not months), savouring those bargains. But, for me, the daily chore of deleting all those emails over the Black Friday fortnight then the run up to Christmas and beyond, drives me to distraction. I didn’t know I was on so many mailing lists. It’s terrifying how much data is bought and sold as we merrily tick the accept all button when the cookies notification pops up.

As the holiday season sales start to draw to a close and emails return (more or less) to their usual levels, I feel a huge sense of relief. Yet, I can’t help wondering whether I should have taken advantage of some of those incredible one time only offers? Luckily, the New Year sales are just around the corner and, who knows, there may be even bigger discounts to be had…

Wishing Ham&High readers a peaceful and happy New Year.

Shelley-Anne Salisbury is a mediator, writer and the co-editor of Suburb News,

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