When the girls were younger, I was all over Black Friday. In a few short hours, I could knock out a significant chunk of my gift giving for them. The older they've gotten however, the less motivated I am to endure it. I'll still hit the half price socks sale, but I've become less patient with donating a significant piece of my time to stand in line after line in order to pay less money. Especially since I have so many things I'd rather be doing over the holidays. So while I did go out for a few minutes yesterday morning, as my friend Tammy observed (while we were sitting in the theater waiting for Twilight to start), it was really more a matter of my insomnia (I was up anyway) rather than a rabid search for the ultimate bargain.
I think my other issue lately is that it's easy to buy what retailers are telling you is desirable. For instance yesterday, it seemed to be all about big screen TVs. I guess that's what the retailers want or need to sell this year... But if you aren't in the market for that, there's certainly a reduced sense of urgency to get in there and tussle. As well, I'm really focusing on the practical this year. And that means I was pretty un-inspired by much of what was on sale yesterday morning. Even if I had been, the lines I saw prevented me from browsing even a little bit!
And finally, while I'm willing to do my part to stimulate the economy a little this holiday season, I'm eternally optimistic that there will be an increase in meaningful giving... the kind of giving that brings benefits to others, particularly in this year where people are so very hard hit. It's difficult to watch the news and see the empty shelves at the food bank and think about someone not having a holiday meal.
Although I'm not in a position to make a huge impact, I try. Each year, The Old Goat laughs with me because he knows I cannot pass a red kettle without sticking money in it... sometimes it's folding money, sometimes I'm scraping change and lint out of the bottom of my bag, but I can't seem to help myself... The other tradition I've started is buying all my gift baskets from a charity. I feel better knowing they're using the money for the things they need. I don't know if my recipients know or care about the source, but it matters a great deal to me.
Hopefully, I'm not coming off as a nut-job. I think people should totally celebrate the holidays (or not) in a way that works for them. For me, I'm just trying to find the balance this year.... the balance between giving to others and giving to my family. With our economy so far out of whack, it's going to be more of a challenge than usual.
I had another post planned for today, but this one seemed to kind of write itself, so I'll do the other tomorrow.