i am all for good deals. in fact, i often wait to buy the new scarf, adorable sweater, and bright red boots until they go on sale. i buy the cheaper version of basically everything i want and make myself justify the majority of my purchases based on their value in comparison to price. it makes sense then, that i am already counting down the days until black friday. in case you aren’t counting, it’s only five days away.
to be honest, i have actually never participated in a black friday. not because i haven’t wanted to, but because i was usually on an airplane on that friday, flying back to school or home from wyoming. this year however, i realized that for the first time, i have the opportunity to be part of this seemingly newly created holiday.
i am pretty excited about this day.
except that i am absolutely not participating in the commercial black friday that we are encouraged to dedicate Nov. 23rd to.
from what i understand about black friday, we are encouraged to spend our thanksgiving night waiting (and watching) for upcoming television advertisements about the incredible deals and bargains that will be available at midnight. our christmas shopping is then kick-started by an early day of spending, of pushing other customers around as we try to grab the ‘hot items’ for the lowest prices. we are encouraged to buy, buy, buy. trust me, i understand the benefits of doing so. i am already planning and budgeting for all of the gifts i would like to purchase for friends and family. and yes, presents are expensive. a good deal is hard to beat. and understandably so, we want to buy the best gifts for the people we love. i get it.
but i also believe that all of this focus on gift-buying too easily takes away from the memory making, the family sharing. it overlooks the simplicity of spending a day to celebrate and be with your family. i feel like it makes my christmas be something its not.
so, consistent with my goal of making this holiday season different i’ve decided to participate in my own black friday. i’ve decided to take it’s name literally. for me, this means making everything black. i’m referring to technology here; and to be more specific, what i really mean is a black screen. in just four days i plan to turn off the t.v.- no television advertisements, no movies, no commercials, no temptation to buy. i plan to turn off my computer- no social media, no email-checking, no googling, and no blogging. and yes, i (shockingly) will be turning off my cell-phone (with exceptions for emergencies and necessity)– no texts. no phone calls. no instagram, and no internet.
i want my black friday to be simple. i’ll spend the day with my family, talking. i’ll entertain myself through reading a good book, working on my scrap book, or creating something. i’ll write out my holiday cards, i’ll look through my closet and book shelf to find things that can be donated. maybe i’ll take a nap or go for a run. i’ll eat another meal with my family.
my black friday might not be as exciting as yours; in fact, my black friday will be a regular day but with intention. because the fact of the matter is, i just don’t want my holidays to be overshadowed by the message of gifts. i want to spend my family holidays with my family. focusing on being together instead of on what i (or we) want to buy the next day. and while i understand the benefits of participating in the ‘traditional black friday’ i hope you’ll reconsider. and i know plenty of people that will probably continue to participate in this day, and that’s okay too. if you do however, i sincerely hope you’ll consider other ways to shop (including shopping locally, consider the packaging of gifts to reduce waste, and treating other black friday shoppers with kindness and respect).
as you know, the holidays are what you make of them.
make yours different this year. start a new tradition. spend your day differently (yes, literally and figuratively).
i hope you’ll join me.