Nov 21, 2012

Tis' the Season for Black Friday and All That

So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And all around Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere, people are doing daily thanks and all that. And yes, I am thankful. But to be honest, I've be kinda feeling "bleh" this year. Not about being thankful because yes, I realize I have A LOT to be thankful for. But you know that someecard that is floating around that says, "Black Friday: Because only in America people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have."? Yeah, that's how I'm feeling this year.

Don't get me wrong. I am an equal opportunity consumer. I have happily and willingly participated in Black Friday in years past. I enjoy shopping (mostly) and can get as excited about a good deal as the next person. But this year? I'm just not feeling it. My husband was quick to point out that it's because, It's not even THANKSGIVING yet! He is a firm believer in no Christmas before Thanksgiving. And while he makes a good point, I know that this is not the reason for my feelings this year.

My heart is sad for all the commercials about buying and buying and more buying. It gets harder and heavier every time those all-knowing advertisers tell me that I need something new, something sparkly, something anything and pretty much everything I don't have in order for me to be happy and fulfilled.

What happened to this season? What happened to simplicity and peace on earth and joy to the world and holiday magic? How can I teach my children to be excited about the lights and cookies and traditions just as much as (and even more than) the presents? Where did the spirit of Christmas go? Because it feels like it's lost somewhere between the five dollar fleece zip-ups, the hundred dollar tvs, and the thirty dollar Barbie houses.

Trust me, I am not on a high horse. I'm about as high on my horse as a ten foot hole in the ground. And maybe that's partially why it's bothering me so much, because I have thoroughly gotten swept away in the material side of Christmas before. And I really, desperately, do not want to take my raft down that river again.

I am excited about the gifts we have chosen for our daughters. And just to prove to you how not-high on my horse I am, I will admit that we are getting our daughter, who will be five one week after Christmas, an American Girl doll. I am happy and excited and have put a lot of thought into the gifts our girls will be receiving this year.

But I am so already annoyed and irritated and mostly just sad by the commercials and advertisements and bombardings of buy this! and you need this! and this is what's most important! The holiday shopping, especially Black Friday? It's not filled with happy and considerate shoppers spreading the joy of the season and looking out for each other. No, we are all out there to grab that great deal before the person next to us does and look-out-because-I-will-use-my-elbows-to-get-you-out-of-my-way. Where's the holiday spirit in that?

It's true, it's not even Thanksgiving (quite yet) and I am already bemoaning the loss of a simple and traditional and non-consumer driven holiday season. But I guess that's why I'm feeling so Blah right now. It's already started. And I am all for starting some Christmas excitement before Thanksgiving. (I have most definitely had Christmas music on in the house already.) But not because I want to get the greatest deal or have the newest thing, but because Christmas only comes once a year and I want to get as much of that deep-down goodness of the season as I can.

Happy Thanksgiving, from my holiday-filled heart to yours.


photo credit


  1. Yes, Christine: what are our children learning while they watch US and what we do??


    1. Exactly! I love your idea of filling a grocery cart with our kids to donate.

  2. Yes to all of this. It reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas and how he stands up on stage and yells, "Can anyone out there tell me what Christmas is all about???" The consumerism is crazy and like you said, so ironic given that this is the season of giving and giving thanks. It makes me sad that my kids are already starting to think that it's all about the presents. But then, there are those moments when I see the sparkle in their eyes and I see that they believe the magic - that's what I want to try to preserve for them.

  3. Absolutely, Christine! We watched Charlie Brown Christmas last night and agree with you completely. My older daughter is only four, so I know it's normal for her to only think of the presents, but I just want to get into good habits and explore all the exciting parts of Christmas with her (and her sister) too.


Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!