For the first 35 years of my life, ‘Black Friday’ never existed – and things were better then.
I have never celebrated the pilgrim’s feast .. except under duress from school administrators. It was always about family.
Thanksgiving in my family was different before November Amazon deals, online early specials and videos of Wal-mart black Friday shoppers getting trampled. Truthfully, I never knew Thanksgiving was a retail thing until lately.
My memories of turkey day were always playing with cousins I hadn’t seen in a year, doing some deer hunting and graduating from the kids’ table.
I remember conversations on politics, economy and family around the fire. Four generations of males solving the world’s problems while four generations of females may have actually been solving them inside the house – we’ll never know.
As kids, we played, as adults, we watched our kids play. How have things gone so wrong:
- We decided to take the Retailers’ idea of Santa Clause and magnify it so much so that it became the symbol of Christmas (anyone know why we actually celebrate this day?)
- Thanksgiving has turned into football, food and Christmas – whether you give a crap about the pilgrim story or not -family and tradition has gone south. This holiday is about family and thankfulness, not really great deals at Bestbuy.com
Thanksgiving may not be the birth of Christ, but it is an important family holiday. It is 4 days out of 365 where families can slow down and consider how thankful they are to have their crazy uncle Joe, a caring aunt, a close cousin, an amazing grandma or .. whatever. It’s the time we all realize that our lives are successful because of those around us.
This year, I’ll be continuing a tradition. Multiple generations of my family’s males will be outside at a fire discussing how we think we could fix the world while a similar age-diverse collection of family women will be doing the same inside. The separation is not intentional, but nature overrules man.. ever .. single .. time.
Gratitude is what Thanksgiving is about and Melody Beattie nailed Thankfulness when she wrote, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Instead of rushing out to add more stuff to your collection on Friday, you should consider being gracious .. for the things already in your life.
I own a retail store and I will be spending Friday at home with family, as will my employees. Family before “stuff.” It’s not hard to figure out why. Do you even remember the gift you gave or got last year? No? I bet you remember who you got to see or didn’t get to see,
It’s time to re-focus. Family is what matters. Take Friday off from shopping and find a way to strengthen your family.