Magic Pumpkins and Manic Shoppers

PB220441 My Thanksgiving centerpiece.

They were giving away leftover pumpkins at the garden center on Wednesday when I stopped in for flowers, and this motley colored one caught my eye.  Scooped out the innards, filled it with water and presto.  Harvest style vase.  Carved out the tiny white pumpkins left over from Halloween and stuck in the tea lights.  My son told the girls he cut the top off and flowers popped up.  It’s a magic pumpkin.

So it’s the wee hours of “black Friday” morning, and it’s gone from 60+ degrees on Thanksgiving to windy, snow flurries and below freezing in a matter of hours.  I hope the early bird shoppers dressed warm.  Nobody loves a bargain more than I do, but I don’t do black Friday.  The local news channel posted downloadable maps of all the big stores showing where the doorbuster stuff will be located and encouraged people to “plan your attack.”  TV has already turned into a battle zone—Storage Wars, Parking Wars, Design Wars, Bartender Wars, even Cupcake Wars—and more!  I’m kind of a peaceful soul, and I can’t see topping off my pumpkin pie by taking a run at the front door of Wal-Mart for any kind of bargain.  (Wal-Mart?  Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin.)  Do we really need to start the shopping madness before we’ve finished digesting our Thanksgiving feast?  I’m taking note.  Stores that give their employees Thanksgiving off with pay have earned my business in the coming weeks.

I grew up (in part) in Massachusetts, where there were still some interesting Blue Laws on the books.  The Puritans continued to be an influential bunch.  I’m sure most states have old laws that give us a chuckle—the older the state, probably the more quaint some of the laws—but I remember when some of the big ones started falling, like keeping stores closed on Sunday.  And I remember my best friend saying she thought one day of rest—same day for everyone—wasn’t too much to ask.  I shrugged the idea off thinking most businesses would choose to stay closed because most people would have other things to do.

Not so.  Schools seem to be the only institutions that take weekends off, but what good does that do when so few parents can count on regular days off?  I’m for going back to a day off, and I don’t care what day it is as long as it’s the same for everyone.  For the sake of families and communities, close up shop one day a week.  Go back to setting a day aside .  Study after study has shown that everybody does better in their work, family life, and community life, and just personal health and well-being with a day of rest in common to all.  Not a day of worship—although traditionally, culturally, historically Sunday would probably the easiest transition—but a day of rest.  A day for family and community activity.  You’d have restaurants, theaters and the like open, but most people could count on that day, and those who couldn’t would be compensated.  We could get used to it again.

Okay, yes, that wouldn’t rule out black Friday.  But it wouldn’t start on Thursday.  And what with the internet being open 24/7, the 24/7 shopper would still have options.

I’m spending black Friday taking the girls and dear daughter to Chanhassen Dinner Theater for the “Bye Bye Birdie” lunchtime Matinee.  Kids get in free this week.  Now that’s what I call a fine holiday bargain.

How about you?

Congratulations, Quilt Lady!  Enjoy all those great reads you won yesterday.  Stay tuned for another big drawing Holiday drawing in December!

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
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11 Responses to Magic Pumpkins and Manic Shoppers

  1. Quilt Lady says:

    I don’t do the black Friday thing either! I am not much on shopping any way. I am so thrilled right now that I won the Thanksgiving basket. I am from the US but not sure where to contact you ladies. I haven’t found an email addy on your site to send an email to with my mailing address or who to send it to. My email addy is quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com. Thanks so much for picking my name.

  2. Quilt Lady says:

    I love what you did with the pumpkins I never would have thought to do something like that.

  3. Kathleen O says:

    I love your pumpkin centre pieces.. what a great idea.. We never had Black Friday in Canada, because of course we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in November, we do our in October. But then the Black Friday bug starting infiltrating to north of the border and hordes of Canadians started to head down to the US to shop.. I went once, and to say once was enough is an understatement. I don’t need anything that bad to go through that shopping frenzy again.. And now a lot of our Canadian store, especially those big box stores like Wal-Mart and the like have started offering Black Friday sales here to encourage those Canadians who take their dollars to the US to stay here and spend their money.. But I still would not go to them. I am person who likes to do my shopping at my own leisure. I don’t want to be elbowed and maimed in the name of a bargain.. I don’t understand why we can’t have these type of prices all year round and not just once a year…But what do I know..

    • I hear you, Kathleen. I did it once, too, and all I wanted was a pair of Dayton’s (now Macy’s) Santa Bears for my niece and another for my daughter. They were the wedding bears, and it was one pair per customer. So my then brand new S-I-L met me in the parking lot before dawn (yep, he’s still a keeper after 12 years) and we were there when the doors opened. Oh, my. It’s like shooting the rapids. Fortunately John stands a head above the crowd, so I was able to see his high sign when he scored his, and then I got mine and we whooshed down the escalator and grabbed some well deserved breakfast. A writers needs the experience, but once is plenty.

  4. michelehauf says:

    Black Friday isn’t for me either. I may wander out later this afternoon and see if there are any scraps left over. But only because I need to get out in this brisk, face-peeling weather and soak up all the luscious, bitter chill! (Ha. Not.)
    My daughter was standing in line at Kohl’s (of all places) last night as the temperatures dipped and she managed to get her down comforter. Oh, the things we do… ;-)

  5. Mary Louise says:

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m avoiding everything retail today. I’m enjoying a day off by having a massage, after running 2.5 miles of course. (I really carbo loaded yesterday!) Living in Mass we are still subject to Blue Laws so the chaos did not start until 12:01 a.m. when I was busy watching the inside of my eyelids.

    • Ah, MA, home of sense and sensibility, not to mention my Alma Mater. Holding off until It’s actually Friday is a step in the right direction. The 2.5 mile run is inspiring but the massage is the part I could actually handle.

  6. Just got back from the theatre. So much fun! “Bye Bye Birdie” was the senior class play the year I was a high school freshman, so I’m smiling and looking at my daughter and my granddaughters and lip syncing “Why can’t they be like we werrrre…”
    Oh wait. They are.
    Kids!

  7. Nicole says:

    I don’t do black Friday, I never have actually. When we moved to the state we adopted the thanksgiving family dinner, it’s an occasion we are really looking forward too. We celebrate it with our daughters and a few family friends that are from Canada. It’s our family away from home.

    Great idea on your center piece!

  8. Mindy says:

    I am from Massachusetts too but now reside in the NW Minneapolis metro! How did you like Bye Bye Birdie? We went to see it awhile back and really loved it, especially the scene with the mayor’s wife who kept fainting during Conrad Birdie’s song! Love Chan Dinner Theatre!

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