Friday, November 25, 2011


The bird is thawed, stuffed, and roasting in the oven. The pie is made.  Matt Lauer is reporting that Sponge Bob Square Pants is floating toward Macy’s. The Nutcracker is playing in the background.

As for me – the blogger who just yesterday posted a diatribe about Excess and Gluttony and Too Much Stuff -- I am sitting here, well caffeinated and content, perusing the Black Friday sales papers.
How do you spell hypocrite?

I have many thoughts about Black Friday, few of them positive.

I love Easter and Thanksgiving because they are unique among American holidays in that the ambient culture does not push an over-the-top approach to them.  On Thanksgiving I cook, I snack, and I watch the parade with the kids. I cook some more. I dwell on the fact that I actually don’t hate cooking; I just hate cooking under pressure. But on Thanksgiving, for me, there is little pressure.
I pull out a nice tablecloth, and the decorating is done. No lights, no gifts, no pageants. No daunting expectations.

Yes, I invariably stress about whether the bird remains slightly frozen. I engage in a few bleak and colorful thoughts about botulism (or is it listeria?). This necessitates a call or two to my mother-in-law or to my dear friend Anna who patiently walk me through, once again, the steps to ensure the turkey is indeed adequately thawed. This year I call both of them. Fears of food poisoning allayed, I go back to cooking and snacking and watching the parade.

Yes, I usually run short of some needed ingredient (poultry seasoning seems my perpetual snag). This necessitates yet another call to my friend Anna. How’s my favorite grocer, I usually say. She laughs and invites me over to raid her well-stocked pantry.

I cook some more. I snack some more. I rake a few leaves. The kids run around the yard. We relax. We play cards. We watch Miracle on 34th Street. We don’t do the impossible. We don’t try to be in three places at once. Half the time we don’t even get dressed until noon.

I see Black Friday as a plot to undo all that is simple and restful about Thanksgiving. That being said, I invariably read every last sale paper as I down my second or third cup of Joe.

I won't forego pumpkin pie to get a good spot in the line at Best Buy. I won't rouse myself from bed to hit Walmart at 4:00 a.m. I have plenty of friends who love all this, and I hope they have a great time doing it and save a bundle.
If I'm inspired and the traffic's reasonable, I might even shop. But I refuse to feel to compelled to shop no matter how thick the collection of sales cirulars. When our long, restful weekend is over, I suspect there will still be Stuff out there for the buying.

1 comment:

christinelaennec said...

Dear Kelly,

I hope you all really enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration.

I'd never heard of the term "Black Friday" until last year at this time, and I had to ask a blogger what it meant. I thought it was to do with a Wall Street Crash or maybe the bubonic plague, but she said it's just the first day of Christmas shopping. I think I also heard that some people were doing a Buy Nothing day last year? That would be my approach, I think.