For years, I revolted against the Black Friday madness. My mom, her sisters, and my grandma would wake up at ridiculous hours to wait in line for $20 off an item. One year my aunt was literally stuck bent over a bin of free snowglobes at a department store because people were swarming to free merchandise so frantically that there was no room for her to get back up after she bent over the bin. (Part of me wishes I could have seen that!) My time is more valuable to me than putting up with that craziness. So I always opted to stay in bed and sleep, like a normal person.
Then a few years ago a friend convinced me to help her secure gifts for her children on Black Friday. The Scrooge in me wanted to say no. But I couldn’t. Not when I thought of her adorable little girls. I caved and stood outside in the freezing cold at four in the morning, listening to people map out their route in the store and have insane conversations about saving 99 cents. If these people paid themselves minimum wage for the time they spent out shopping on Black Friday, they would probably save money by sitting at home and ordering online in their robes, like it should be done. One hour of headaches in the comfort of your own home versus seven in public? That’s my idea of intelligent time management.
That one year was enough for me. A three dollar waffle maker is more important than your dignity? People pushing around rudely, running as if someone’s life depended on it. You are in Target, lady. There was a 5K Turkey Trot yesterday if you are so keen on jogging. You just spent yesterday celebrating all the wonderful things in your life that you are thankful for and now you are out acting as if the only important things in life are material objects? How do more people not see the hypocrisy of this situation?
The holiday season means something much different to me. I honestly could care less about what gifts I receive. I would be content with nothing. It’s adorable and entertaining to watch children open gifts, but I don’t have any in my life right now. My immediate family is lucky enough to have all of the things in life we need and we are all able to purchase a few luxury items here and there, when we want them. Christmas gifts are not necessary for us.
I spent the Friday after Thanksgiving lounging around with my cousin and her family in the morning. She was planning on heading home that day, but decided to spend another night at her parent’s house. We played games with her one year old son and I was able to cuddle with her newborn. While they were sleeping in the afternoon at her mom’s house, we ventured to a local winery and ate a woodfire pizza and drank their Nouveau wine. It was fabulous. No bumper to bumper traffic. No hours in line. No one shouting obscenities because they did not get the last of whatever item was trendy this year. We were simply enjoying each other’s company next to the fireplace. It was so lovely and cozy that we didn’t want to leave. We spent that evening with her parents and my own, sitting around the dinner table laughing. Spontaneous days are often the most fun. We threw around the idea of doing this again next year, but I am positive that it would never turn out as fabulously if we planned it.
This is what the Friday after Thanksgiving should be about. Basking in the company of loved ones. Treasuring the time together. Making memories.
How do you spend the Friday after Thanksgiving?