Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I haven't. Mentally, I am still on Halloween since I am enjoying a piece or two (or three, let's be honest here) of my kids' trick-or-treating candy haul. And really, it's not even Thanksgiving. Shouldn't the question be, "How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?"
After the trick-or-treating is done, we seem to skip right past Thanksgiving and move directly into the Christmas shopping season kicked off by Black Friday. You know-- the busiest shopping day of the year where you can get deals on just about everything as long as you're willing to scour the Thanksgiving Day newspaper for coupons and ads, get up at the crack of dawn, drive like a you-know-what to the big box stores or mall, circling and circling for the best parking spot, to storm the doors as soon as they open so you are sure to get your whatever-at-the-lowest-price-ever before they sell out. Or if you're what I will call a "Black Friday Super Freak," you spend the weeks prior to Turkey Day scouring for deals on the Internet and mapping out your Black Friday morning route to get this, that and the other thing. The thought of it is completely exhausting and entirely unnecessary to me.
But, let's back up to Thanksgiving. I recently learned a new saying from my Southern cousins-- "Slow Your Roll." It means to slow down, calm down, and stop freaking out, according to the Urban Dictionary. In the grand scheme of things, most of us have plenty, and there is always something to be thankful for. I think we would serve ourselves well to slow down and reflect on what is truly important in life. Buying more stuff will not make us happy. We've been mass-marketed to and nearly brainwashed into believing that things can make us happy. Sure, getting the best possible deal on whatever-it-is will save us some cash. But overall, it is the quality of our relationships and the connections with our family and friends that truly sustains and fulfills us.
Personally, I am very thankful this year. I have a wonderfully large, diverse and interesting family. Over Thanksgiving dinner, I look forward to hearing neat stories from family elders about days of yore, sharing ideas and discussions of current events with siblings and cousins, and watching my children playing, laughing and enjoying.
If you are a Black Friday-aholic, I have probably offended you. But maybe, just maybe, this post will give you pause and will help you "slow your roll" to spend a little more time with your Aunt Bethany this Thanksgiving, even if she does put cat food in the jello mold.