Not so long ago, it was easy to think of the week of Thanksgiving as “Gratitude Week.” In fact, I actually did that: back in 2016, Facebook reminds me, I posted an entire week’s worth of “Things I’m Grateful For” to my timeline. It was fun, and certainly provided some positive attitude adjustment around the holiday.
This year, I had a low-key get together consisting of my wife, my mother, and myself. Pretty easy to manage, and no arguments about toxic politicians. What more could you want?
Like many of us, I found myself reflecting on how the holidays have changed over the years. I’ve changed, too. Somehow, though, I think the holidays themselves have changed more.
Then Came Black Friday
Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday. That would be Halloween. But as a boy, I could certainly find some charm in it. Relatives came over—which might mean a few bucks from Nana or Grandpa—and the yearly ritual of turkey and stuffing was a welcome one.
I don’t want to sound like a “get off my lawn” old man, but I never got the appeal of Black Friday, which didn’t even exist when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong: I can understand waiting in line for something of value, something really important. Before the advent of Ticketmaster, folks would wait in line for hours, even overnight, for a chance to score good seats for a show. But that’s a concert. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, perhaps. Big difference between that and a refrigerator or flat screen TV.
Recent years have seen the rise of utter Black Friday insanity here in the US. Bad behavior abounds, and every year at least one astonishing video winds up on social media. The one I saw this year featured a group of people fighting over some boxed item, knocking over the stack, grabbing them out of each other’s arms. An adult actually took one away from a child. Disgusting, ludicrous, tragic. Pick an adjective. You won’t find me there, that’s for sure.
And Now It’s Cyber Monday?
As the holidays have become more and more commercialized, it seems like every business views the beginning of the holiday season as “time to load up.” It starts with Black Friday—which actually begins on Thanksgiving Day itself, somehow—and extends through Small Business Saturday and into Cyber Monday. So Thanksgiving is now effectively a five-day sale with moving targets. Pretty nauseating.
I’m a small business owner myself, with a publishing company, books to sell, freelance writing and editing projects to complete. And I suppose I could be forgiven if I used the holidays to try to get the most bang for my advertising buck. This year, however, I found myself especially reluctant to do so. In fact, I chose the weekend before Thanksgiving for my big one-day marketing event.
It seems to have worked, although I won’t know for sure until I get that all-important Automatic Deposit Remittance from IngramSpark. Whatever the result, I’m glad the holiday worked out this way. For me, Cyber Monday is just another day to write a blog post and make some new connections. Happy Holidays!