Black Friday. A holiday that has really become black Thursday in many cases. One of the things that make us the saddest is that we find more and more families are not having Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, they are having a pre-Black Friday meal. Conversations are not about what we are thankful for and the gratitude for all that blessings we’ve received. Everyone is discussing what deals they are going to be getting after we are done with our meal.
[Steph: As someone who worked in the retail industry and then watched my mom work retail for several years, I feel resentment towards Black Friday at this point. It got to a point where my mom would have to leave dinner early to go to work and then she would come home so exhausted that I didn’t get to spend much of our time visiting with her, and I found it ridiculous. Thanksgiving is meant for us to spend as a family (blood or chosen). It’s a time for us to put our hearts in a grateful place and reflect. If you’re working at a restaurant or gas station on Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful for you so that we can make our travel to families. But shopping on Thanksgiving, or even midnight to 6 am Friday, has got to stop at some point. Our consumerism as a country is not something I want as our legacy.]
Steph and I, are joining in R.E.I’s Opt Outside. This establishment is closing its doors on Black Friday. While still paying all its employees. This company is putting people first. Instead of opening Black Friday or on Thanskgiving., They are blocking out that time to promote families, nature, and gratitude for the Earth we live on. Their employees don’t have to have Thanksgiving breakfast, so they can get the store ready to open at 6 pm. Instead, they will be enjoying the holiday weekend however they choose. While this is maybe just a P.R move to get bloggers like me to write about them, it’s a movement our family can get behind. [Steph: It’s one of the reasons I love shopping at REI, not to mention all the cool classes they offer! My mountain biking skills need some serious work! But that’s another story for another day]
What is opt Outside? Well, it's just that. Go outside. Instead of being in stores all day shopping, go for a hike and see something in God's creation that you can be thankful for. This year our plan is not to go for a hike, but we will be going for a bike ride along the river. Packing a picnic lunch and maybe a bottle of wine. We are taking a journey along the Savannah River, taking in God’s creation. It’s something we look forward to every year and we make it a priority in our marriage to really focus on gratitude and setting an example for Auggie.
So, instead of buying something you probably don’t need this Black Friday, just because it is on sale, head out and have a good time.