Today, we'll be visiting my side of the family, with the intention of visiting my husband's at Christmastime. We'll pray, stuff ourselves silly, and maybe play some games. Or maybe we'll just sit and chat while the little kids entertain themselves. Whatever feels most relaxing.
I feel like that's the basic Thanksgiving tradition that most people have in this country. It's almost a comfortable routine that we get ourselves into. Although it may feel like a routine sometimes, being with your family and loved ones is the best place you can be.
Then there's Black Friday. After our feasts, we look forward to tomorrow. It will be great shopping day full of great deals on items we may not have been able to afford the day before. Now that it's discounted, we're willing to blow some money on it. Buy it for yourself, or buy it for loved ones. Black Friday sales can pretty useful, too. In the past, my personal tradition has been to get all my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday.
A couple years ago, my best friend and I went on Thanksgiving night to stand in line at Target to get some great deals. We left our family celebrations early to get a "good spot" in line. We waited just over two and a half hours before we even made it in the store.
It was a weird experience. It's almost as if someone put up a sign that said "common courtesy not applicable here". We watched and were subject to grumpy customers crashing their carts into other customers and walking away without so much as passing glance. I guess there was some sort of mutual understanding that "first come first serve" was equal to "survival of the fittest and fastest". We didn't see any major fights break out, but our Target-employed friend made sure to give us the play by play the next day.
You guys, this is ridiculous. Bickering and fighting shouldn't be a part of the holidays. Greed does not make an excuse for rudeness. Didn't we all just spend the previous day of being thankful for what we already have? What's even more crazy is that this is happening not just the day after Thanksgiving, but on the day of.
Don't get me wrong, thrifting is the best thing ever. Whenever thrift stores have a ten dollar a bag day, my best friend and I hit the store hard. Electronics and new technology is so much fun to have and to be amazed by. It's all enjoyable. I love it all.
But, here is where we are going wrong. Many of us are getting into a terrible thinking habit of: "I will be happy when I have [this]." This could be a new iPhone, a new bluetooth speaker, or a new car. Yes, those are enjoyable things to have. They are fun. But they won't ever bring you real satisfaction. This thinking process is dangerous to your everlasting happiness, because it trains you to never be satisfied with what you have. I hope that's clear. If you think you'll finally be happy after you achieve something, you're teaching yourself to never be happy with what you already have.
I believe that the long term satisfaction and happiness comes from being family and with loved ones. A TV can't love or sustain you. People can. And might I mention that nothing material is coming with you when this life is over.
So I ask you to spend this Thanksgiving with your family. Don't give into visiting the malls on Thanksgiving. If not for you and your families' sake, then for the working employee's sake. It's my hope that if we boycott retailers this Black Thursday, then our impact will allow more workers spend time with their families next year. Yes, there are exceptions for some places to stay open on Thanksgiving, such as hospitals and fire stations. Tragedies will happen regardless of the holiday. But buying new clothes on Thanksgiving is not categorized as a tragedy. Far from it.
Boycott Black Thursday. Be with your families. Let others be with their families.