Black Friday always leaves me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I don't want to begrudge anyone who wants to save money on their holiday shopping. On the other hand, I feel like Black Friday is nothing but a tribute to out of control materialism and a me-first mentality. Not a good start to the holiday season.
A few years ago, I started my own little Black Friday tradition. Ok, maybe "starting my own tradition" is overstating things a bit. I found that somehow I wasn't working on that day and decided that it would be the perfect time to clean out a few closets. Since then, it has become my Black Friday activity.
On Thanksgiving, we are supposed to get together with family and friends and take time to be grateful for all the things we have. It doesn't make sense that the next day we focus on what we DON'T have and then scramble around wildly to get as much as we can. Something as simple as cleaning out closets can take that grateful mentality and extend it one more day.
First, I take a good look around the house and really appreciate all that I have: the clothes in the closet, the food in the fridge, the books on the bookshelf, the toiletries in the bathroom, the knick-knacks and electronics and sporting gear and hiking boots. This is all stuff I am lucky enough to own; stuff that makes life a little nicer.
Then, I look things over a second time to determine if there are things I'm holding onto that AREN'T necessarily making my life better -- just a bit more cluttered. Do I really need 2 rain jackets? How did I end up with 5 navy blue T-shirts? How long have I had that scented candle that is still in the wrapping?Two years? Three? Why am I holding onto these things? Did somebody give it to me as a gift and I feel obligated to keep it? Am I afraid I might need it someday? No reason?
Now is when the real fun begins. I take stock of all the "extras" I have identified and ask: can I pass these things along to somebody else? Maybe the scented candle would be perfect for Secret Santa or a Yankee Swap. I know exactly who would enjoy that book that I've already read. I could part with a couple navy t-shirts (thrift shop). My niece has been saying she needs a raincoat -- the black one would look great on her!
Appreciating what you have and sharing it with others has a wonderful effect. I always end the day with fewer possessions, yet feeling way richer than I did at the start of the day.
I have yet to encounter a door buster sale that can do that!