Pitch Black Friday

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It is that time of year. Nope, not the family-, love-, and turkey-filled time of year we all grew up knowing (at least Gen Y and older). The time of year that every sane person becomes a ravenous a*shole that could care less about their fellow man. You know who you are. You’re ticking off 10% of your holiday gift list and the rest is all for you. No matter how many nickels you drop in that red bucket, you’re still a jerk. We all become the same come that Friday Thanksgiving shopping day.

Thanksgiving. When you hear that word, what does it conjure up for you? For many of those lucky enough to have a job, that word means not spending it with family but being flung into the madness that is Black Friday shopping. Why do we think it’s okay to take these people away from their families? Greed. No matter the rationalization, it is greed.

I used to be a Black Friday shopper myself. One of the best, at the time. I took part in the festivities when they started Mid-Friday, following Thanksgiving, after I’ve had my 3rd turkey and stuffing sandwich. All of the shopping I did was for myself as I would have all of my Christmas shopping done by Halloween. Wow, if only I could still be that efficient. When it started creeping earlier and earlier, I wasn’t interested in cutting into family time. Especially when I would get, literally, run over. Being 5 feet at Black Friday (when the madness started coming out of folks) was a bit too short. Shocking, right?! Ha ha. I know, not so much.

A few years ago the husband and I started going back to maximize the money we raised to give a needy family the Christmas they couldn’t afford. As we froze our butts off in line, 5 hours before the store opened, we chatted it up with our line neighbors. We were all so close; holding spots for potty breaks, sending spouses on hot cocoa runs, and planning team efforts to get the big ticket items. Once the doors opened and we were within 8 feet of the magic, all bets were off. No longer were those people friends and they pushed and shoved us right out of their way. Luckily, we weren’t there for electronics or toys and found ourselves in a quiet parts of the store without a sign of crazy.

This Black Friday we will not be participating in the madness. My husband will be working Thanksgiving day and through the weekend. I will be driving to Los Angeles to sell my art in a Small Business focused event that draws the Non-Black Fridayers out to shop local and purchase hand crafted items. As a small business owner I encourage you to shop small businesses, of course, but what I really want you to do is spend time with your family and avoid the big stores. We all think that they won’t change their ways if I am the only one who chooses not to support their decisions. The thing is, like all things, if we all did what we thought was right- well- we could definitely make a difference. Just give it a thought, that’s all I ask.

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