Monday, November 30, 2015

'Tis the Season to...Get Rowdy? What Are We Teaching Our Kids

So, here's the example we are setting for our kids...people running to the stores the day after everyone shouts out their "I'm so thankful for..." spiels, grabbing boxes out of the hands of children and acting a total fool.

Black Friday. Yes, it's a wonderful, beautiful, touching example of how people should not act in the season of "giving."

But, wait!

My 15-year-old (as of December 1, happy birthday to her!) daughter just came to me a few hours ago and asked if I had heard the news about Black Friday. Her friend in Canada had told my daughter that she wouldn't want to live in the U.S. if people were fighting in stores the day after we were supposed to "be all thankful."

Which is what inspired me to write this.

This year, people couldn't wait until the day of thanks was even over before the battle of the Christmas sales began. And it just happens to be that the most wanted gift for 2015 is....

A vegetable steamer! Or so, the rest of the world would think, listening to the U.S. top news stories, like the one about the lady who grabbed a box out of a young boy's hand at an undisclosed store.

Now, rumor has it that this particular video that went viral is a hoax, however, it's not the only story about shoppers going stupid on Black Friday. Every year, it seems, there is one brawl or another or at least shoppers grabbing boxes from each other.

Not all of them are hoaxes. This is how people act the day after Thanksgiving. About an item that they are buying during the season of giving.

This is what we are teaching our children.

I had to laugh when I read that the Daily News called it Black-eye Friday. People are even fighting in the food malls now, not necessarily even fighting over gifts.

I'm sure this makes Santa happy.

Security is urged to ramp up by the police. Black Friday is no joke anymore. The best thing we all can do is enjoy our Thanksgiving and relax the day after. Matter of fact, relax the entire weekend!

A billion less was spent Black Friday 2015 for a reason.

It's no secret: Black Friday is usually not the best deals, but rather a teaser for the sales to come. Besides, Black Friday has a much darker connotation than Cyber Monday (named after those of you who sneak and continue to shop at work after the long weekend), for example.

Don't lie, 85% of people asked said they would be shipping Cyber Monday, according to a survey by DealNews. Go ahead and pretend you are one of the 15% of the people who won't.

People ran out to spend $10.4 billion a few days ago, on Black Friday 2015, which was actually down over $1 billion as compared to last year. Makes you wonder what the outcome of Cyber Monday will be. Adobe is predicting their online sales for Cyber Monday will be over $3 billion for their company alone.

Honestly, I find this all quite outrageous. Yes, it's the season to give! But, are we merely fulfilling shopping lists and wish lists or are we actually giving? To me, there's a huge difference, and I find that we are not truly focusing on the fact that it's giving from the heart, not shopping from a list.

You will not find me shopping on Black Friday and even though you will find me online on Cyber Monday, it won't be shopping that I am doing. It's all about manufacturers making money (I'm sorry, but it's true), and we "consumers" have been falling for the trap for decades now.

But, anyway, I'll get over that.

What I can't get over is the entire concept that we're teaching our children. Because they are learning by our actions. If we're shopping on Black Friday as a tradition, that's what they are going to think they should do.

That's not teaching them to give - from the heart. Cyber Monday isn't teaching kids to give from the heart, either, although if you're sneaking at work, how are they ever going to find out. Black Friday is passing on to our children a tradition of shopping, not giving. A tradition of shopping from a list, no less.

It's truly not one of the things that I want to make a tradition in our family. My children know that mom relaxes, and quite possibly decorates for Christmas with daddy and the children while Christmas tunes are playing. Not shopping. Never shopping. I refuse to commercialize Christmas.

It's the season to spend with our loved ones. 

Memories and special moments like decorating for Christmas far bypass any gift that can be procured on Black Friday, in my opinion. Don't you agree?

Sure, the media, and quite possibly your friends, act like if you don't run out shopping on Black Friday, you will be the only one totally missing out. But, we all know that if you sit tight and spend time with your family that day, another sale will pop up before Christmas on gift must-gets.

Those hot items that were on sale on Black Friday will surely see a dip in price again before Christmas. You just have to be patient and keep a watchful eye.
I mean, they're your kids, but mine sure won't be feeling the tradition pinch when Black Friday comes around.

Black Friday has always been a family day in this house, a day to continue to be thankful. And, giving has come from the heart more than from the wallet. (Sure, the kids receive certain things that they really want for Christmas - maybe not all, but they also understand the true meaning of Christmas is giving, not receiving.)

I hope my children keep up the same traditions for their own children.
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