I think that the most annoying ads on television, now that the elections are over, are the Target Ads. They've done away with the insane woman, (who gave me the distinct impression she smelled like pee), and now have two younger insane people. They are still using the same perverted renditions of the Hallelujah Chorus and miscellaneous Christmas carols all with words about how they are so excited about Black Friday (that they might pee themselves).
Not I. I will not be getting up before 9 am, mind you forget about going shopping at 5am. Do they think we are crazy. Yes! They do!
I resent the assumption in all those commercials: that buying tons of STUFF will make you happy. That we are all just that greedy. That we would rather go shopping on Thanksgiving (yes, some stores are advertising that their Black Friday begins on Thanksgiving) than spend time with our families, friends, loved ones. Really? Are you really that greedy? I don't think you are.
I've never "done" Black Friday and I never will. The most exciting (though nothing could make me pee myself) present I could get would be seeing three special people step down those stairs at the Fairbanks International Airport: my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandbaby. That would be the best Christmas present ever.
Christmas is about love, whether you celebrate a religious holiday or not. It's all about love. So ask yourself, is buying some Chinese factory-made electronic gizmo or sweatshop clothing really showing love?
Make the love go further than the box. Buy something locally made. Here are some ideas:
1. There are multitudes of arts and crafts fairs going on these days. Attend one. Discover the talent that lives in your city, and find something unique and lovely to give to someone.
2. Buy a gift certificate for a local restaurant. Not only is this a great present, but you might be invited along!
3. Hire a local band or musician for an hour or two of music. Make that dinner together really special.
4. Have your loved ones car detailed. I'd love it if someone would buy this for me!
5. How about music lessons? A month's worth of music lessons is a creative and fun gift.
6. For the person who "has everything" you can make a donation in their name to whichever local charity they appreciate, whether it is Planned Parenthood, Association of Retarded Citizens, Fairbanks Arts Association, Red Cross, Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption, KUAC (local public radio/TV), an animal rescue or Animal Control, or, if you can't figure out which organization would appeal to him/her, donate to United Way. They spread the donations around in your local area.
7. Bake something wonderful, or buy some lovely baked good from a local bakery. Or even buy a gift certificate from the bakery. Yummm!
Once you start thinking "out of the big box" you can find oodles of lovely ways to show someone you love them. And at the same time, you can boost your local economy in a big way. Buying locally also spreads the love both ways, to the seller and to the recipient of the gift. Let's kick Black Friday to the curb and stand up and hug each other, whether it is an economic hug, or a real one, it has real impact.
Show the love. Shop locally, shop American-made this year!