Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday

I must admit, I never really got into the spirit of Black Friday.  I would scan the sale ads half-heartedly during the free moments on Thanksgiving Day to see if there was anything worthwhile that justified trekking out of my house super early the next morning.   Most of the time, the answer was a big resounding, "No."  Even when there was something appealing, I was never moved enough to brave the pre-dawn hours of the morning to go get it.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.

One year, however, while I was still young and foolish enough to consider any challenge a fun bit of sport, my friends talked me into participating in the whole Black Friday shopping ritual.  We made our game plan of which stores to attack and in what order, we rendezvoused in the pitch darkness under the glaring lights of a nearly-deserted parking lot, we huddled together bundled up in our coats, hats and scarves with a thermos of hot chocolate to share between us, and waited impatiently in the freezing cold for the doors to open.  "Open, open, open!"

Once inside, we each scrambled for our targeted goodies, elbow-to-elbow with all the other Black Friday triathletes who showed up that morning.  Luckily, it was not nearly as competitive (nor violent) as some Black Friday scenes aired on tv would have had me believe.  But, then again, the most coveted items on our shopping list that year were snuggly body pillows and throws, not the latest hot electronics or must-have "it" toy.

We were in-and-out in a flash of store #1, and heading to our next targeted retail location in no time.  Before we knew it, the back of my friend's jeep was jam-packed with goodies.  While three of us headed to the next store, she made a quick run home to unload, and swung back around just in time for us to throw in the next stash of stuff.

We had hit a number of shopping centers and stores before 10:00 am, gotten everything we were interested in, and it was now time for brunch.  We had omelettes, pancakes and bacon before heading back to my friend's house to sort and wrap our gifts.  I left with a car full of beautifully-wrapped presents ready to put under my tree, and the wonderful memory of a day spent laughing and hanging with the girls, drinking mimosas, and giggling at the choices we made.  I remember a day of pure fun.

That's not what most people picture when someone mentions "Black Friday."  These days, the focus is all on greed, and shaming people and corporations into abolishing the practice.  I neither agree nor disagree.  To me it isn't about that ... it's about whatever we make it.  And that year, it was all about quality time spent together with my friends, and something we still talk and laugh about years later.  It was a great day.

I will probably never do a Black Friday like that again:  a) that's a sport for younger folks; b) I like sleeping in too much when I have the opportunity to do so on a day off; c) there's nothing I want badly enough to justify losing sleep over; d) my friends are in different areas and points in their lives, as well; and e) we have long since established a new family tradition on Thanksgiving weekend that leaves no room whatsoever for Black Friday sales anymore.  So, for me, that was definitely a one-shot deal.

But I'm certainly glad I did it.  It became a fabulous memory that I will treasure always.  The girls and I laughing in the car, rocking out to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, enjoying each others' company, sharing a cup of hot chocolate in the dark, relaxing over breakfast in complete camaraderie, and spending some quality time with each other in the purest way possible during the Holiday Season.  It was an adventure, a joy and a beautiful thing.

In recent years, Black Friday has been starting earlier and earlier, even before Thanksgiving Day is over, and that is just taking things too far.  It's no wonder so many people do not have particularly positive feelings about this yearly tradition.

But this article isn't really about Black Friday.  It's about the spirit of adventure, meeting a challenge with friends, and the sheer exhiliration of taking joy in the moment.  It doesn't have to be Black Friday ... we can go shopping with the girls any time we want, have fun doing so, go out to brunch afterwards, and celebrate just being together.  We often don't, because we need an excuse to do so.  Black Friday provided the excuse.  The mood, the singing, the joy, and the attitude ... that was all ours.

We decide.


Enjoy previous seasonal blog posts:

Honoring Those Who Served
On Veterans Day and every day, this special group of people have much to give.
Supporting our Military Neither rain nor flood can keep many from supporting our men and women in uniform.
A Difficult Anniversary
Last year, we lost our Mom.  It feels like it was just yesterday.  The anniversary of a loss is always hard.
It's All About Family
Giving thanks and honoring those who came before.
Brandied Fruit
The perfect dessert topping for fall, and so many ways to use it!
Caring for Holiday Guests
Breakfast burritos can make you a winning host!
Pumpkin Pie
Have you ever made a pie from fresh pumpkin instead of canned?  Do it!  It's not at all difficult and so worth it!
A Rustic Tart for Fall
A free-form tart or galette with layered wine-poached pears is a perfect dessert for fall.
Pies for Fall
It's time to dust-off our recipe file for our favorite fall pies and treats.
Can't stay out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving!

No comments:

Post a Comment