My children and I always refer to days with the word “ever”. “It’s the best day ever mom.” “This is the worst day ever.” Anyway, I have been building some resentment these last few years over the glorification of Black Friday. Not to age myself, but I remember not being able to buy anything on Thanksgiving. If the market was open it was only for a few hours in the morning, and many gas stations closed as well. Yes, gas stations! I know this because in my early twenties I remember having to pee on the side of the road on the way home because nothing was open and it was like 8 o”clock. I also worked retail, although not in sales, I still had to be in the store on Black Friday morning. The sales would have started at least two hours before my arrival and I would hide in the back until I was called to the sale floor to remove a garment from a display. What I though was crazy then is nothing compared to now. Now, these merchants have gone and stolen my holiday! Stores are opening on Thanksgiving and people are camping out to get the “best” deals. Last year I had someone send me photos from our local mall security cameras. I couldn’t believe the amount of people waiting in the parking lot for the doors to open. My favorite is that the store was playing a movie in the parking lot. Are they trying to spark a new holiday tradition? Or maybe just trying to calm the crowds so when they get inside and that great deal is gone they won’t get killed? This doesn’t sound like a good time to me. Neither does spending Thanksgiving going through the sale flyers and trying to come up with a plan of attack.
Let me take you on a trip to my world. It’s called Un-Black Friday. When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to Un–Black Friday. In my house it meant the Christmas decorations are coming out, Christmas music, leftovers, soup and hot chocolate! As a child this was my favorite part of Thanksgiving, the anticipation of Christmas. The big suitcase filled with glittering balls, the stockings to hang by chimney with care, the wreaths ,the garlands, I was so excited. It was magical, at least to me. Now, I’m trying to do the same with my boys. Since we get a live tree we usually wait on the tree, but we start to turn the house into a Christmas wonderland. Both of my boys have a tree for their rooms and they’ve already told me how excited they are to put up their trees this weekend. I’ll be pulling out all the Christmas music and movies. I’m excited to NOT leave my house and enjoy my little ones. Although I won’t have any leftovers I will have soup and hot chocolate. I can block out the rest of the world, but my heart still aches for world. It seems like the silence and peace is gone. For what?
Consider how nice it would feel to wake up on Saturday and shop local. That’s who we’ve been fighting for isn’t? The small business owner, that mom or dad that you sit next during a school show that runs their own business. That same parent or neighbor that sponsors your child’s soccer team? That’s where I want to put my money. Sure, sometimes you have to buy a few things from these big box places, but start thinking out of the box. Build new traditions with your family and talk to your children about it. They listen. My children are 8 and 6 and they know that we have a farm share because it’s good for us, the farmer and the environment. This year they are going to learn why it’s important to shop local.
Enjoy your holiday! Love your families! Keep the holiday spirit alive!