Today is one of those notorious days in the American shopping calendar. Though it is meant as the day to kick off the Christmas holiday shopping season, Black Friday is more reminiscent of a horse race—complete with gate and starting bell—than a prelude to a favorite celebration.
I opted out of that race long ago. The Thrill of the Hunt is not my way to paint this winter scene. I have a hard time shifting gears from cozy winter hideaway to epic struggles in the big box arena. I’m still in that family get-together mood, remember?
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a simple phrase I stumbled upon online caught my eye: Family Over Frenzy.
That’s exactly what I choose.
In my life-beyond-blogging, I have several interests, one of which is keeping up with what’s new in the non-profit world. In addition to other reading, one type of blog I read focuses on this niche. And that’s where I found this phrase—in this blog here, which explains the phrase further—which fits so well with my focus on family.
Granted, I don’t exactly agree with everything on the website which originated that concept. But I’m willing to grant wiggle room to anyone who can articulate reasons to not go with the flow when the flow is headed over the cliff of shopping insanity. My Christmas holiday means much more to me than who-got-which-gift. I hope it’s the same for you, and you will find the time to extend the mood of the Thanksgiving season through the weekend, putting people before products, and family before the frenzy of Black Friday.
As so many genealogy bloggers have recently been suggesting, make this a respite from that desperate dash by finding time to engage those gathered relatives in conversation. Soak up all the memories your extended family is willing to share. Encourage those of our generation of elders to share what their lives were like—what was special to them, what they endured, what they dreamed and even dreaded. Sharing their memories with you may possibly be the best gift they can grant you this giving season. And showing your appreciation for the time they take to do so may be the best gift you can give them in return.
Above right: Currier and Ives lithograph, "A Brush for the Lead," 1867; from the Library of Congress courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.
What worries me about this frenzy and opening on Thanksgiving is opening on Christmas not far behind. I refuse to go out and shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Christmas.ReplyDelete
I totally agree, Claudia. I keep hoping that if enough people did that, the merchandisers would get the hint, but apparently not. There are evidently plenty of people willing to spend on those days if the price is right. I'd just rather pay my attention to the things I value. There is definitely life after shopping.Delete
Great comments about Black Friday. I had to recommend it to my facebook friends.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the recommendation, Grant!Delete
I'm not one of those who line up to get the deals on Black Friday either. And stores opening on Thanksgiving now? I just think that's ridiculous. It takes away from family time.ReplyDelete
I am much happier to shop online and avoid the fevered pitch that has become Black Friday.
You're right, Jana, about the family time. When my neighborhood grocery store decided to open on Thanksgiving day, I felt so bad for the employees. Yeah, it's more money for them, but that's exactly it: it takes them away from family on one day that is supposed to give us that very chance to be together with family. That's when I decided that, on Thanksgiving, even if I forgot something I desperately needed for our special meal, I'd rather go without than give some store owner a vote of confidence for a decision like that.Delete
I hate shopping and put it off as long as I can..I just want a simple Christmas..with homemade gifts..but no one sees it my way...so I never really enjoy Christmas and don't look forward to the Christmas season at all. I will muddle through..and bake and cook and shop..but my heart is just not in it:(ReplyDelete
I'm with you, Far Side, but I can see others' point of view. Your daughters, for instance, are in a very different place, with young children for whom Christmas is such a magical time. It is indeed hard to strive for the simple approach when there is so much pressure all around to conform to the more complicated, debt-driven way.Delete
Building memories, initiating new family traditions, and yes, baking, may help build bridges over this shopping mania for the youngest generation...but I'll agree with you, it's hard to get people to see it your way when so many are pulling in the opposite direction.
I'm seeing a glimmer of a sign that you are not alone, though. Maybe...