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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wait Your Turn

The Christmas catalogs started arriving in early October. I am always a bit perplexed as to why some of these glossies are sent to me. Like the Double L Bean catalog. I think I ordered something from them once while we were living in Germany. That was over 11 years ago. I haven’t needed their cold weather offerings since then. I feel as if they are wasting their time and paper on me.  But that catalog has  plenty of friends. Some of the friends I have never even heard of. Yet they somehow show up in my mail box. I keep tossing them into a perfect holiday pile. I just know that these large stacks of potentially unnecessary seasonal goodness are soon going to slide all over the floor at any given moment.

Living in Europe was so good for me. It really stripped me down. The majority of Europeans are not wasteful. Things are fairly expensive in Europe so you buy only what you need and not what you want. The other trait I absorbed is that Sundays and holidays are spent at home with friends and family members. At the most you might enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood or countryside.

That’s hard to do in the land of 24 hour superstores. But I have tried to continue this tradition while living in America.

So when this button began to float around on Facebook I posted it on my timeline. The last part is my favorite.

Now longtime readers know that I really love Thanksgiving. While I try to be thankful every day of my life, there is something so great about participating in day filled with a history of thankfulness. I can still remember a time when people and stores actually decorated for Thanksgiving and the Christmas d├ęcor did not go up until the day after Thanksgiving. For me, that particular tradition has never fallen by the wayside.

To be honest I have trouble transitioning from being thankful one day and then mere hours later fighting over a toy or even worse, watching people being trampled to death. I just have no desire to be a part of the second portion of the program. 

Those who want to argue will say “But there are amazing deals to be had!” Yes, there are. But I want to tell you a secret. I worked in retail from age 17 to oh, 23 I think. I worked for three separate companies that are all still in business. I endured six years of amazing deals and black Fridays. Do you want to know what I took away from that experience? I remember in early November changing every single price tag in my department. A blouse that was $20 dollars in October became $30 in November. Then signs were placed above the racks proclaiming a 25% discount. I’m not a wiz at math, but I know that the blouse was a better deal back in October.

Retailers know all the tricks on how to feed the greed.  

I refuse to fall for them.

Tomorrow I will be talking about Christmas, which is sort of hypocritical, given what I have just written. I have to share something that is hard to talk about but at the same time I am excited to see just how our family will grow from this new, albeit scary, experience.


“A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.” ~ Proverbs 28:25


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I have NEVER shopped on Thanksgiving or Black Friday -- it always bugged me that movie theaters have ALWAYS been open on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I have NEVER gone to see a movie on those days either ... I am a bargain shopper - so I look for deals throughout the year and shop for Christmas presents all year long - so by Christmas, I have a nice little stash already built in the closet and usually only have to get some stocking stuffers at the Dollar Store :)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Bravo Laura. I too have never given in to the Black Friday & now the Thanksgiving Day shopping madness. When retailers starting opening Thanksgiving afternoon I was appalled. I even worked for J Crew for a holiday season and the feeling of having to be at work at 10pm was horrific. I was one of the few that didn't have to work through the night. It's not worth it and it cheapens the holidays. The twinkle just goes out of the holiday season and we lose all reality of why we are celebrating.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I have never shopped on Black Friday either and have no desire to start. I think it is a shame that Retailers can't observe this one day. Hugs, marty

GSGreatEscaper said...

I thank heaven that in Massachusetts we still have blue laws that prevent retail stores from opening on Thanksgiving! Hope we can continue to hold the line.

Personally, I blame football. With all the men watching in a stupor from 11 am to 2 am the next day, women are left forlorn, having spent days preparing a meal that the men just rush through to get back to the TV, and more hours cleaning up. Shopping is an easy excuse to say 'you take care of the kids, I'm leaving because I have to start Christmas shopping.' Instead, we need to present alternative activities to our families - playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, walking in the woods picking up pine cones, crafting - that focuses on the treasure of time together, rather than the tawdry trinkets of traders.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I don't even shop the day after Thanksgiving.

I will say that it has been helpful to me to have grocery and drugstores open on holidays, but I understand if they are closed.

openid said...

It's gotten even worse than Black Friday, stores open Thanksgiving Day -- Macy's, Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Sears, The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Michael's, ToysRUs, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods -- to name a few. I understand there are less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and that the economy is bad. however, I can't help but feel it is another loss of our culture by degree.
Your Friend,

Karen said...

I grew up in a state (North Dakota) where the stores were all closed on Sunday. They have since changed their policy. We have all traded in that simpler time for a more fast paced society. I think we are the poorer for it. Having said that I also remember one Thanksgiving that we unexpectedly hosted a last minute dinner because of a family emergency. In the midst of feeling low and blue it was a small comfort to be able to wrestle up all the fixings for a full blown turkey dinner at the local grocery store.

Auntie Em said...

Our Thanksgiving is a little earlier in Canada. We celebrate in the middle of October, but stores are not open (other than the odd pharmacy and only for a couple hours in the afternoon).
I figure there isn't any bargain worth the hassle and frustration of standing in long lines or being scared of being trampled for a few dollars off something that probably won't even be used or appreciated after the first of January!
Even the big dinner isn't the most important part the day for my family.
I just love the time of year that makes us all pause and be thankful for all we have been blessed with. No matter your belief or religion or ideas, you can still feel thankful.

And as I sit here on this unusually mild late November evening, I heard a large flock of geese flying over and looked out the open screen door to see two large V's of the beautiful creatures flying by.
Gotta' love this time of year! :)

Karena Albert said...

It is so sad to me Laura. During this move I have come to realize as I am surrounded by boxes that I do not need a THING! I love beautiful furnishings; however All the stuff we accumulate to what end?

The Arts by Karena

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I won't shop on Thanksgiving or New Year's Day. I never shop the day after Thanksgiving. I basically hate malls.
I prefer shops with used goods. It's too bad that they are going to ruin Thanksgiving.

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Amen, Sista! I won't be shopping on Thanksgiving either. I will be taking a nap after lunch because I will have been preparing for hours and loving every minute of it!