I have never been a Black Friday (aka Day after Thanksgiving Sale) person. (I hate that now we don't even call it the Day After Thanksgiving Sales now.) I used to work retail and I had no choice but to be there. One year, with Roby, he decided we should go to Clackamas Town Center after work and instead, we ended up in a 3 hour traffic jam. When we got through it, we found out there had been a horrible accident with a fatality on I-205. That night, we found out that his cousin's best friends had been in the car - one died and one suffered a traumatic brain injury.
So, it is natural that I associate Day After Thanksgiving shopping with pain (the traffic jam and working as a retail clerk) and tragedy (the accident and the aftermath as a result).
This year, I arranged a Toy Drive which has been something of a failure. I was trying to do something good at work because I thought of how privileged we are and how much need there is in the community we work with...but I guess I didn't sell it right or I underestimated charitable feelings at this time of year. So, I decided to do it myself.
Today, at 4:45am, my alarm went off and I got up and went to 2, yes, 2 local stores. I managed to get gifts for 25 kids for approximately $160. My mother asked if she could participate so a couple of the gifts are from her. The gifts aren't lame or anything - they were just well-priced. I decided that I felt ok about shopping today if I was getting gifts for kids.
All in all, I feel good. I wanted to show the people at work how easy it could have been for them to spend $5-10 for one gift. It makes you feel good and it will definitely give a child a little bit of holiday joy. I am still boggled by the lack of interest - it is even a charity that is within our specialized community (Deaf Kids). I guess it doesn't matter where the gifts come from, as long as they come. Right?