Well, I made it through Thanksgiving, virtually unscathed albeit a couple of minor burns on my fingers and that all-too-familiar bloated feeling. I hope all of you enjoyed your turkey day and managed to stay away from those horrible stores who dared to open their doors to bolster their bottom line and fleece America of yet another chance for quality family time.
Black Friday is not something of which I care to participate, either. The possibility of being trampled by a greedy shopper juggling a 40% off flat screen on one hip and a screaming toddler on the other is not my idea of a good time. I’m appalled that people out there haven’t figured out by now that most of those big sales are merely discounted markups. Discounted Markup? Oxymoron much?
Small Business Saturday, however, is a shopping day worth the effort. There are so many good things about this whole concept; I cannot begin to list them all. Buying from small, local businesses not only helps our local economy; it also keeps the big guns such as Wal-Mart and Sears from taking over completely. Unfortunately, those retail giants do seem to be building up steam. I worry about the future of small business and those precious ‘Moms ‘n Pops’ establishments that are truly the foundation of our country. Please keep frequenting small businesses and encouraging your friends and families to do the same. And, buy “Made in America” products whenever possible.
Cyber Monday is my very favorite of all the ‘special’ shopping days before Christmas. I am a huge proponent to buying online. I have mobility issues, and being able to purchase online has given me back some of my freedom. If you’re not careful, however, you can end up spending more on delivery fees than the actual items purchased are worth. Keep that in mind when you absolutely have to have that life size nativity to make your neighbors jealous or that 60” flat screen TV when your living room is only big enough for a loveseat and standing lava lamp.
You need to keep things in some semblance of perspective, people.
Shopping can make or break your holiday, which is really sad because it takes away the real reason for the season. For me, the Christmas holidays are all about being the person you should be all year round. This time of year, you remember those you love with gifts and pledges of your love. If you are anything like me, you sing Christmas tunes, you smile more often, you watch silly Christmas cartoons classics with your kids and/or grandkids, and you overlook relatives’ short-comings and instead, welcome them with open arms. You even manage to choke down some of Auntie Gertie’s home-made fruitcake while wondering what that was you just crunched down on, and whether or not you’ll lose that tooth. It’s a small price to pay for family, don’t you agree?
I joke around a bit, but I am serious when I say the holidays need to be less commercialized and involve less social media. They need to be experienced in person, with hands-on, featuring real-time conversation and hugs and kisses that are not represented by Xs and Os and smiley faces.
My sister is very worried that the world has forgotten the Christian side of Christmas. I understand why she feels this way. Prayer is being taken out of schools and people are greeting others with “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. But not to worry, my sweet LIL Sister, the believers are still out there, and Christmas will be what it is meant to be to each and every one of us, if we just let the wonder and beauty of it in without reservation and with an open-mind and, most importantly, an open-heart.
I think we should proclaim today as No Shop Wednesday. No shopping. No pointing fingers. No doubt. No worries.
Just enjoy this season in your own unique way, and let others do the same. Embrace the freedoms and bounty that we all have if we just take a moment to reflect.
You have choices. You can be Scrooge and be unhappy and ruin the holidays for those around you. Or, you can let people live their lives without judging them for their religious beliefs, political affiliations, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or financial status.
Life goes on. Time goes on. Things change. For now, enjoy the fact that there is no special shopping day proclaimed for Thursdays. Before you know it, they'll be calling it The Future of Shopping Thursdays, and a little drone will be dropping off your packages in the driveway. Of course it will happen just when you are leaving for the mall, and you will back over said package with your SUV, smooshing all the contents inside.
I'm excited about the future, aren't you?
Now, if you will please excuse me while I indulge in a few of my favorite holiday traditions.
- A nice cup of coffee loaded with Bailey’s.
- Watching A Christmas Carol. The one with George C. Scott.
- Enjoying my partner's smile when she hears her favorite Christmas song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. Pure joy.
- Packing the Christmas boxes for my kids and grandkids.
- Daydreaming of Christmas wishes that may be a little bit out of reach!
Sing it to me, JLo!
What? You celebrate your way. I'll celebrate my way.
Merry....er, I mean, Happy....er,