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!