‘Tis the Black Friday Season: Looking Beyond What’s Expected
Excitement rolls around this time of year — have you already felt it? This is due in part to the cooler weather that has us breaking out the scarves and sweaters, the shorter days, and the anticipation of parties and family traditions. Also, Black Friday sure does stir up a lot of anticipation and excitement (and really, who doesn’t love a good deal?)
We all know the risks and the rewards of Black Friday shopping: we don’t sleep; we stand outside in illogically long lines and we wait for stores to open so that we can go inside and scurry about collecting everything we can carry.
‘Tis the season to give, yet something about the Black Friday craze is backwards. Even if most shoppers are out selflessly buying gifts for their loved ones, isn’t something forgotten?
Our holiday season has become less about giving and more about TV’s and iPods. So this year, let’s think about why we give.
Giving is a selfless act. We give because we love. We give because we are grateful. We give because we appreciate those around us. We give because we may be more fortunate than others and want to fill a need (not to go into debt). We give to be charitable. Yet sometimes we give simply because it is expected. We pile our coworkers and our neighbors with cookies, candy canes, and greeting cards that are personal only because we have written our name on them.
This IS the season to give; no one can deny that. But maybe there is more we can do.
Let’s hand write a note in all of our Christmas cards this year. Let’s smile more. Let’s hug. Let’s compliment. Let’s knit a few scarves. Let’s search Pinterest for easy handmade treasures. Let’s tie some festive bows around the usually lackluster office chairs. Let’s greet the Salvation Army bell ringer before they greet us.
This year, let’s realize that we don’t need Black Friday to make Christmas special. We need what we already have. We need cheer. We need song. We need one whole day with our family. We need to put kindness and enjoying each others’ company ahead of tackling a stranger to get the best deal on something that will be in next year’s garage sale. Focusing on all that we already have, rethinking the giving out of obligation mentality and simply finding new ways every day to be kind will have ripple effects that last a lot longer than most of the stuff that’s purchased on Black Friday.
Who knows; maybe we’ll start something. Doing good doesn’t have to be seasonal.