The juxtaposition of Thanksgiving and Black Friday is somewhat of a conundrum for me. I just can’t wrap my head around it. One day we’re gathering with family, toasting time together around a table – sharing laughs and joy, stories of our lives over tryptophan-filled turkey, only to dissolve into the couch for football and a well deserved nap before stuffing ourselves yet again, for pie. Much of this time has now been replaced with the circling of ads and strategically planning out a plan of attack for Black Friday.
Many Americans will navigate stores like war zones, taking a “no-holds barred” attitude the day after Thanksgiving. Some even forget the time spent the day before, and lose the spirit of the season. We even have a “Black Friday Death Count” website, tracking all injuries and deaths obtained by collecting the last Tickle-Me Elmo or whatever the seasons hottest toy is. Too quickly, we abandon our spirited sentiments for a good deal.
Now, I would be quite the hypocrite to state that I have never or will never go Black Friday shopping. I do, and still do plan on going this year. There’s nothing wrong with going shopping. Some consider it a quintessential part of the holiday season. The problem arises when individuals take this as a life-or-death situation, and forget the human element. We’re all human, and this Black Friday, let it bring out the best of us. Use this as a chance to spread those random acts of kindness, pay it forward and purchase an extra coffee when you’re waiting in line at Starbucks (we’ll all need it at this point), strike up a conversation in those lines you’ll be waiting in, spread holiday greetings with flair – leaving notes on shoppers cars, or even sharing those extra unused coupons you may have with someone who left theirs at home. All of these simple acts will not only brighten someone else’s Black Friday experience, but also increase the fun and spirit for the season.
This year, spread the kindness – be mindful about those around you this holiday season.