It’s 2:10 pm on the day after Thanksgiving…also known as Black Friday. I have yet to leave the house and I am not planning on shopping for the first time in 10 years.
Although I am not sure what this day has on any other day. The deals now start the first week of November and trickle on until Christmas. This day doesn’t even have the market cornered on the hottest deals, because so many retailers are jumping on the open-Thanksgiving-Day bandwagon that Black Friday is no longer unique in any capacity. Now to be totally honest, my husband is not home so I would have had to do some childcare finagling to have been able to go out this morning, but I would not have gone out even if he had been home. I spent today lounging in my pjs (of which I am still in…and in case you are wandering, it’s glorious), watching Netflix, and doing other little things around the house. I window shopped on Amazon for a bit too…while listening to worship music…which put a damper on my materialistic desires. I am really marinating on the themes of this time of year. It is probably another wave in the season of change that I am stepping into. I am seeing the status quo in a new light. Pardon me while I simply use this blog as my space to think out loud. If it offends you, don’t let it. That is a choice after all. When I have a change in direction in my family or just in my own life, I don’t look around at others and silently judge them for where they are, because chances are they have their crap together in an area that I am miles away from even addressing in my own life. So don’t pick up offense in reading any of this because, frankly, it just isn’t about you. (I say that with love). But if you are struggling with an invitation to be different or do things differently than you have in the past, I hope this encourages you that you are not alone.
Thanksgiving day has gotten out of control! Nothing is sacred anymore. I know we lost businesses being closed on Sunday a long time ago, but we seemed to have a few decades or so that no more ground was lost. Now, due to human trampling, Wal-Mart doesn’t close at all for Thanksgiving! The deals being touted by big box stores guarantees that the parking lots will be full and lines will form long before their doors open.
Stuff has us.
The deal. It is its own demon. I am a deal hound myself so I know. I shout from the rooftops my savings each year. I applaud the deal all year long and even believe that God speaks to me through deals. But when the deal overshadows the gratitude, stuff has you.
I can’t go out on Thanksgiving Thursday and shop. It forces so many people to work that just shouldn’t. I know my small budget will not impact any store’s bottom line, but I just can’t. Even if it is just to declare to God that stuff does not have me.
This year, I am being asked to evaluate my life in so many areas. This is just one of them.
So I ask myself: Am I being driven by intentional giving towards my family, or am I being driven by the deal…in essence, the stuff? I can honestly say that when I really sat and thought about my past ambitions, it was to get as much stuff for as little money as possible. Stuff had me. It was cloaked in frugality…a noble cause…but the stuff had me. I had full-blown FOMO (fear of missing out). I had an ugly silent fear that my kids were going to be disappointed by not getting the thing they wanted or the coolest gifts. I wound up over spending my predetermined budget and buying more little piddly crap to try to give them all an equal number of presents. The worst of it? We could afford it and by others’ standards we were still on the conservative side. So my motivation to stop was nil…until God tugged on my heart.
Yuck! It feels good to get that one out, but it also feels vulnerable and scary to let that ugly thing fly in the wind.
So I stayed in. I am detoxing from the deal in order to hear Holy Spirit’s voice more clearly on what to buy for all my family members. If you were reading this dreading the end result of a declaration that we have “cancelled Christmas at the Ferris house,” I am glad to surprise you. We aren’t cancelling Christmas. We will still have many gifts under the tree. We will still give and receive. This is a small shift, but a shift nonetheless. I can (with God’s help) be intentional with each person I buy for. I can be lead to deals and keep frugality whole and healthy this year without loosing my mind over the sale of the century. Some don’t struggle with this and that’s great. I do I struggle with the deal and he tricks me into spending money I don’t need to spend. Today, he can pick on someone else. I am not available.