Entire industries have been built around couponing and the incredible amount of money it can save you. Television shows like Extreme Couponing give the impression if you don't get in on the coupon craze, you're nuts. And I'd have to agree, one of us is crazy.
Merchants basically get it -- to many of them, Groupon looks less like an innovative advertising mechanism than a loan broker, arranging bundles of small loans from consumers, and taking a substantial cut... Consumers don't often see this side of the equation.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are stark reminders that Christmas has become the most wonderful time of the year... for retail. When the main focus of the holiday is on, 'What did you get?' we miss out on the true spirit of the holiday season.