A belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Why is it that after the turkey is carved the whole year seems to compress on itself like some vicious black hole? You're going along just fine, giving out Halloween candy, celebrating the Harvest festivals and then BAM! Thanksgiving melts right into Christmas and then you're throwing confetti and then before you know it the year is done and you're buying chocolate for Valentine's Day.
It doesn't help much either when the retailers assault you with ads and Black Friday now begins on Thursday. Nothing gets you into the Holiday mode like gobs of people battling over another TV after they've spent the day shoving food in their face and arguing with the in-laws. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful you have a roof over your head, heat and food on the table. That you're family made it through another year in good health. That you have a job. That you're home wasn't completely destroyed in Super Storm Sandy.
I do not participate in Black Friday. Too many people, too crazy. I do participate in Small Business Saturday. I went to several small towns, shopped in boutiques and antiques. It was lovely. No crowds, no shoving. Everyone was friendly, everyone had a story to share. There was Christmas music and lights and every shop had cookies or something to snack on. One shop even had homemade wassail. I supported the local communities and made it home in time to watch some football. It was a much more relaxed experience than the mall and I know that all the gifts I bought are one-of-a-kind.