We have passed black Friday and are on our way to cyber Monday. It gives me pause. All the commercials, the advertising, the hype. It totally infuriates me that more and more stores are opening on Thanksgiving. And what drives me crazier still is that shoppers run to these establishments in record numbers.
When I worked in the stores customers would look at me and say, "too bad you have to work the holiday." And I so wanted to scream, "if you weren't here I wouldn't have to work." I run my own personal boycott of shopping on any holiday weather I celebrate it or not. I get gas before hand so I don't even stop at a gas station.
What to do about the holidays and gift giving. My family only gives gifts to the children (under age 18). After that gift giving stops. We get together, we eat, we talk, we laugh. This is what the day is all about. My parents and my children look forward to our Christmas Eve breakfast. Biscuits and gravy, baked french toast, sparkling cider, mimosas and coffee. And no matter my hubby's work schedule it fits. My brother hosts an open house on Christmas day. We may head over then or the following week end. My niece and nephew open presents and we visit. And some times we go swimming. With an indoor pool it's kind of neat to say you went swimming in New England on Christmas.
A few years back MIL asked if we would like to stop the family gift giving and just get together. At this point we were buying gift cards for our niece and nephews and my BIL and SIL were doing the same. It was the gift card shuffle. I thought it was a great idea and so did my kids. They just wanted to see their cousins. Of course MIL didn't stop gifting everyone. Instead of shopping she handed out crisp bills instead. I don't mind her doing this for the grand kids but I feel really awkward accepting it. I know how happy it makes her feel and yet I struggle.
But, for the few people I do buy gifts for where should I shop? I want to support the small business person yet often times the gifts wanted are not offered. So, I buy local as much as possible. I buy from local crafters or Etsy if I can. And I try not to get too caught up in all the hype.
Instead of heading to the in-laws for the holiday last year we invited them over for a more intimate dinner and a family night of board games. This year we are doing the same.
And I must confess I did shop on black Friday. It was mid morning at the local hardware store for my son's big gift.