Resuming Life & Black Friday Madness

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

It's been a great holiday weekend here in the Toy Box Household!

My Marine came home late Tuesday night after a slight flight delay! Grrr!! But he made it home and into the waiting arms of his excited wife and daughters. There was nothing I loved more than hearing Nani shout "Daddy!" and run into his open arms. I know he loved it too! That night, Nani talked non-stop! To her, 6 weeks is like 6 years! She started telling him about things that happened months ago -- while he was still home. My Marine was so incredibly patient with her....listening to every single story all over again....and again....and again!

Thanksgiving Day dawned bright and warm. It was in the 60s here....a great day to go outside and play while the turkey cooked. Ever since My Marine returned from Iraq - we cherish our holidays as a family. We never travel and we never invite family to visit. It's our time as a family. It may sound a little selfish to some people -- but both of us grew up with large family holidays, and it's kinda like - "Been there, done that..." We like having our own traditions and our own way of doing things. One thing we do on Thanksgiving is eat early -- anywhere between 1-2pm. The rest of the day is spent napping, watching Christmas specials, parades and football while grazing on the leftovers. I love it! When most people are sitting down to dinner, my dishes are put away and I'm in comfy clothes ready for round #2!

On Friday, we avoided all the shopping frenzy. I completely understand the thrill of getting a great deal -- but I'm not crazy enough to stand outside in the cold just to get into a store at 3am to buy $3 pajamas.

Is it me - or has society totally gone commercial? What happened to remembering what Thanksgiving was all about. It seems that it's become an afterthought -- Black Friday Eve I heard someone say. How sad is that? Families are losing jobs, homes, and can barely put food on the table and others are running up more personal debt by walking out of the store with multiple flat-screens and vacuum cleaners.

I've seen first-hand what this madness can do. As a compulsive shopper, I live it every day. That's part of the reason I avoid going out on Black's too much temptation. To easy to spend money that I don't have.

I'm trying to teach my daughters to be grateful and to give to others. Starting in January, every month I purchase a toy and put it aside. At the end of the year, we gather up all those toys and donate them to Toys for Tots. So, instead of shopping on Friday, we gathered up our toys and went to the local Toys for Tots drop-off. As we put the toys in the bin, we explained to Nani what we were doing and why we were doing it. As much as a 4.5 year old can understand, she was very happy to be able to give a toy to "another little girl who didn't have any toys."

And THAT my friends, is what it's all about......


Ioana November 30, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

boy, are you one clever lady.
glad you had / have a great time together and that Your Marine is home.
Hope to hear from you soon

Erin @ Closing Time November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

I have been contemplating that this year too. It seems that the focus is less and less on being thankful, and more on Black Friday. And often, it is really being greedy for the best bargains. I'm all for a bargain, but it has gone too far, in my opinion. Of course not everyone who shops on Black Friday falls in this category, but it still makes me sad.

Helene November 30, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

What a wonderful idea to donate toys on Black Friday!! I think you're right about some people focusing too much on shopping the day after! One of my friends has a friend who actually gave up having dinner with her family on Thanksgiving to wait in line at Toys R Us! That's sad to me.

We always spend the day after putting up our Christmas decorations and our tree. Then we hit the stores on Saturday, when the crowds have died down!

Buckeroomama November 30, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

That is such a wonderful idea about giving away toys. We have been doing that, but we haven't really involved the children, beyond telling them to pick out some toys to give away. I really must sit down and explain more and maybe even take them with me when we bring them over to the Salvation Army crate.

Glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving. :)

Dan November 30, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

As the economy continues to stagnate, it seems that the push towards commercialism just gets more and more overbearing. It seems that as the years go by, every holiday becomes more and more an opportunity for sales rather than for thanks and joy.

Here's to hoping that the pendulum turns back soon.

Too Many Hats December 1, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

So glad your Marine is home and you all had a wonderful Thasgiving. I love your idea of setting aside one toy a month for Toys for Tots and then donating them - that is awesome!

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