To shop or not shop …

toy drive

When I still worked in an office I ran the company toy drive (and food drive) annually.

I meant to post this last week. Before the full holiday shopping frenzy began. But I forgot to post it.

So here it is now.

Before Thanksgiving I read some stories about businesses that wouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving for the big start of the crazy shopping season.

Here is a list of the stores that stated they would not be open on Thanksgiving.

REI is among the companies that were not open on Thanksgiving. They are also gave their employees Black Friday off with pay. That’s pretty awesome.

Back in the day when we only had Black Friday I never participated. I am not a fan of crowds. And I refuse to wait in line for hours to get a few bucks off a TV.

When I did buy Christmas presents I made it a goal to get it all done BEFORE Thanksgiving. Then online shopping became a thing and I had a goal to get it done by a certain time (can’t remember my deadline). But enough to mail out stuff I needed to without paying a fortune for shipping.

For years Curt and I haven’t been giving Christmas gifts. At some point we decided with our families that no one needs anything. But there are others who really do. So we do charity giving instead.

Within our own little families we still give. Curt and I just do stocking stuffers.

This time of year is already so stressful and expensive.

Think about charity giving instead. You could pay off someone’s layaway at Toys R Us or Kmart or Walmart, etc. You could give to a food bank or volunteer to serve a meal. You could donate to a toy or food drive.

One of my favorite ways to charity gift is charity gift cards, like Charity Choice. The buyer pays for the gift card, whatever amount you want. And the recipient gets to pick where the money goes. There are more than 200 charities to choose from. So whatever you are passionate about it’s likely there.

If you enjoy shopping during this crazy time, you should do it. And I don’t judge those who go shopping on Thanksgiving night or Black Friday. I personally hate it. I don’t like crowds and would rather avoid all that chaos.

I made an appearance at Athleta on Saturday. And I have to say, there are LOTS of people who like to shop the weekend after Thanksgiving. When I arrived for my gig I parked far away and walked into the mall. It was busy but not insane. I had a quick lunch and headed to the store. When I left about 3:15 I felt like a fish trying to swim upstream. There were so many people walking toward me.

As I left I felt relieved that I don’t have to endure that to get my Christmas shopping done. The stocking stuffers I get for Curt will mostly be purchased online. And I am still figuring out our charity Christmas giving for the year.

Either way, happy shopping in store or online OR happy not shopping!

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