A dear friend of mine from Australia reminded me that the rest of the world doesn't share the merchandising nightmare we refer to as "Black Friday". It is a term we take for granted, and it is a stigma that the commercial warlords have imposed on us.
I learned of the term as a very little girl. My grandmother worked for Bamburgers, which later became Macys. She walked around the house with her hands in the air, chanting, "Black Friday is coming. Black Friday is coming."
The look of horror on her face made me want to go hide behind the couch. I didn't know what Black Friday was, but based on the way she carried on, it had to be something awful, and I wanted NO part of it. Interestingly enough, my dear friend said that in Australia they associate the term Black Friday with Friday the 13th.
So all of this got me to wondering where the origin of the phrase came from. To keep it simple, it basically represents the point where retailers start to turn a profit, or are 'in the black'. Grandma will tell you it was the color of her toes after standing in heels all day. :)
Now they have Cyber Monday. That's too new. Check back with me in twenty years and I'll probably have some illustrious tale about it. Although I warn you not to refer to Cyber Monday as something awful while the kiddies are around. They may think a bunch of robots are on the attack.