We decided to have a simpler Christmas this year. We aren't buying any gifts, we are making them all from materials we already have or from the few materials we will be buying. But every gift and every treat is going to be homemade.
But I was still counting down to Black Friday.
Why? Well, our new house came with a not-so-new stove. Literally it's from the 1970's. And when you cook from scratch (especially during the holidays) you tend to use the stove and oven... a lot. So our plan was to spend a few weeks getting settled then we can use my negotiating skills and the holiday deals to buy a newer one on Black Friday.
Then I saw ads like this:
Maybe I was living in a hole of nesting wonder last year at this time (as I was 8+ months pregnant), but I'm certain this is the first time this has happened.
Black Friday is now on Thursday. And not just Thursday at 11pm. Thursday - right during your family's Thanksgiving dinner.
My initial reaction: This is wrong.
Thanksgiving day isn't about shopping or buying MORE things.
Thanksgiving day is about appreciating the things you HAVE by spending time with your family, counting your blessings, practicing contentment.
My second reaction: If I'm supposed to already be AT stores when I would normally be flipping through the newspaper, shuffling and clipping ads and mapping out my plan of attack - when am I going to prep?
Then I realized something.
Whether you are prepping the day of or the day before; whether you are shopping the day of, or the day after. You are missing the most important part about Thanksgiving.
Centering this week around shopping for Black Friday is saying that Thanksgiving is NOT about giving thanks, being content, and feeling blessed. It's saying that thanksgiving is about needing more.
I can't believe it's taken me almost 23 years to realize this.
I don't want my children to remember or associate Thanksgiving as the time when mom leaves on an important 10 hour mission of consumerism. I want my children to associate Thanksgiving as it is meant: Gratitude, contentment, appreciation.
So, no stove shopping for us.
We may end up getting something more basic when we buy our new stove, but I know God will provide the opportunity to buy just what we need and I am incredibly grateful for that. Honestly I will be grateful for anything made in this century...
(Uh oh, is this when God really tests my heart? I'm not getting a new stove at all anymore, am I?)
If you are able to find a balance in celebrating Thanksgiving and taking advantage of Black Friday deals - it is your choice. But I am a sinner. And I love shopping. And I'm still new to the process of having a content heart. And I know that I cannot be completely present with my family on Thursday if I have the intent to accomplish something as intense as Black Friday.
If you are still going to participate, all I ask if that you schedule your shopping trips around your family time - not the other way around.
Will you give up Black Friday?
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