I like to shop, really I do. BUT I shop for the bargain, for the something different, and for that special gift that will make someone smile with pure joy. I don't like to shop just because there's a mega sale. If I don't need something specific it's rare for me to shop just to look. I rarely get sucked into the shopping mode because of a creative commercial or a colorful website ad. Sorry ... that's just not me. No one is going to convince me that I 'can't live without something.'
Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving. We were thankful to sit at a table with family, to have a day or two off of work to relax, and time to kick off our Christmas season. Retailers, advertisers, and those in marketing might have forgetten about the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday, but it's not entirely their fault ... it's their job ... to boost sales and rack up holiday sales. I'm sure the cashiers were a bit disappointed with my purchases on Black Friday, since I didn't spend more than $20 in any store. I will admit that I did stand in line at Kohl's (from start to finish) for a total of 26 minutes, but they had toys on sale for 50% off, and I had a coupon besides. I was willing to stand in line to purchase the items that I did because they were for my children's gift bag for Lighthouse Outreach. I felt good about my purchase.
I wonder, though, what is next. I was very disappointed to see some of the retailers open early on Thanksgiving night ... some at 8:00, some at 9:00 p.m. I felt bad for the workers who had to leave early or skip their family dinners all together. I have to believe that the money the retailers made on Thanksgiving night would have been added to their Black Friday sales if they'd chosen to wait til early morning. I heard a report just this morning that overall Black Friday sales were down from last year, but Thanksgiving night sales were up. Duh ... even I can do the math.
So we've started with Thanksgiving Thursday sales, followed by Black Friday sales, followed by Small Business Saturday, not to forget Cyber Monday, which of course is followed by Cyber Week. Which means what? Next week will be 'Post Cyber Week', followed by the 'Week Before Christmas Sales', concluding with last minute 'Christmas Eve' sales?
In all the hype of sales, sales, and more sales how many people will remember that today is 'Giving Tuesday'? The day set aside to follow Cyber Monday where we can perhaps count up what we've saved and perhaps give to a needy charity. This is a tough time of year for all of those organizations who do such great service to our own communities. It's hard to compete with stuff that is new and shiny and popular. Here's my challenge for you today ... give a little something extra to your favorite charity today, buy that cup of coffee for the person behind you in line, leave some spare change in the red bucket at the exit door, or better yet ... just be extra nice to people today. Let that extra car out of the parking lot, if you have 2 good legs park your car in the further spot leaving the closer one for someone who may need it, or hold the door open for someone. It's really not all about the money ... small considerate gestures can be priceless!