Alternatives to the Black Friday Rush

Growing up, my family’s post-Thanksgiving tradition rarely revolved around hitting the shops and scoring the massive discounts associated with this insane shopping day. For us, rather, this time is all about nurturing the relationships we have with each other, sharing in laughs, and appreciating all that we have. Today, we’re excited to share with you a few alternatives to the Black Friday rush. 

Volunteer. It’s important to share with others the resources and skills that we have. What better time to get out of bed and spend some time at a local food bank? Find locations of food pantries in your area to see how you can help.

Visit a state park. Get out there and enjoy the natural beauty that’s all around. As the fall winds to a close and winter quickly approaches, it’s one of our favorite times of the year to be outside and soak up some fresh air and sunshine. What else? Many state parks are offering free admission for hiking and camping! 

A post-Thanksgiving brunch! Why stop the eating Thursday night? We love the idea of using some of the leftovers for a delicious post-dinner affair. Some ideas? Potato pancakes with the leftover mashers? What about a turkey omelette with cranberry chutney? I suppose I could eat that... I’m excited to try this sweet potato and turkey hash, this cranberry cornmeal skillet cake, and these customizable bread bowls.

Tell stories. Get to know some of your family members that are a bit more removed from you by inviting them over for a post-Thanksgiving meal or tea time. It is much easier to connect without all the chaos of Thanksgiving. You’ll be surprised what you can learn about your family by sitting down to chat with each other.

Stay inside and organize a board game day with family and friends. We’ve cultivated some great laughs and memories around a good game of HeadsUp! or Scattergories. Brew some peppermint hot cocoa, put on some tunes (the Christmas ones are acceptable now!) and enjoy another quality day with the people you love. 

If you have to shop, shop local! Saturday is small business Saturday, so share in this tradition by visiting your neighborhood farmers market to pick up some interesting and unique giftables. Rather than supporting large corporations, your dollars are going directly back into your own community, supporting the work of your friends and peers. My mother is the leader of a silk painting program at a local women and children’s shelter in South Bend (my hometown), and local boutiques in our area sell scarves, painted by hand by the women of Saint Margaret’s house.