Abandon – Alliance Times-Herald
I don’t leave the house on Black Friday. Small Business Saturday runs year round for us. We were home alone for Thanksgiving. It was peaceful and we had time to reflect on our blessings. We made a traditional meal because Bruce loves leftover turkey, but we passed on my favorite pumpkin pie because he doesn’t like it and I can make it for my family another time. I tried a new sweet potato recipe that is definitely a keeper, but we didn’t have to worry about traffic, weather, conversations to avoid, or the tension between the guests.
The holiday season has started and, as always, it’s all about expectations. We are encouraged to exert ourselves, to entertain, to decorate, to rejoice, to meet the expectations of our society, of ourselves and of our families. And the consequence of not doing all of this is guilt.
A friend told me a few years ago that she was skipping Christmas. She had had a traumatic year and just couldn’t bear to keep a smile on her face or mingle with the crowds. Understood; been there done that. Most of us who are over thirty have done it, and others will eventually get there, but few will have someone to tell us that it’s okay to give up. One church I know has a blue Christmas service. If you have lost a loved one, a job, a marriage, or if you are just feeling hopeless, this is a place to acknowledge your sadness and grief and be assured that you are not alone.
I’m not skipping Christmas, but we might decide to sit on the floor and eat some pizza for the holiday dinner. In fact, we both have a hard time getting up from the ground these days, so that part won’t happen, but we do enjoy pizza or popcorn when the cooking seems like too much effort.
I will probably send fewer cards, with increased postage and slower delivery, but base can still be contacted with phone calls and emails. I love to decorate, but some things can stay in the box, and I won’t spend hours giving gifts that I have to hide from. If you like going out on Black Friday, or even Christmas Eve, to get great deals, go for it. This year my family will receive cash and gift cards for local businesses. It’s the least I can do to help the community stay strong. Win-win; no supply chain worries, savings at the gas pump, and they can choose anything they really need.
We have to decide how to observe the holidays, and no one should feel bad if the choices are not orthodox. Hope we all do at least one thing to bless another person, whether it’s a thank you note, a plate of goodies, dropping a donation in the red kettle, or giving your coat to someone who doesn’t have one. not. When Bruce finished having lunch in Rapid City the other day, he learned that his meal had been paid for by someone who had just left the restaurant.
Showing kindness without getting caught is an old tradition worth keeping. After all, Santa Claus does it every year.