Thanksgiving used to be the only 'big' holiday between Halloween and Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving used to be for eating leftovers and putting up winter holiday decorations Black Friday, historically is associated with a boom and bust in gold prices in 1869. It slowly became the shopping day we all recognize in the 1950's. And who doesn't like getting amazing deals on expensive items??
For a majority of people it truly became a holiday in and of itself. People would make plans and strategies, stand in long lines at night, and made it quite an event with some of their friends and family. As internet shopping has increased some of the brouhaha has worn down, but there are still very dedicated Black Friday shoppers diligently waiting in the cold dark night for a great deal.
Not to be outdone, "Cyber Monday" in 2005 and "Small Business Saturday" seemed to come into being around 2010. The focus was still on great deals but now highlighting the ease of cyber shopping and the importance of small business shopping, especially to the local community. Then to bring it full circle from Thanksgiving to giving in good will, "Giving Tuesday" started in 2012. It was created to be in direct contrast to the commercialization of Thanksgiving weekend. Although Thanksgiving in November is an American holiday, many other countries 'celebrate' the last weekend in November as the first weekend of holiday shopping.
The wonderful thing about Small Business Saturday, is that it highlights the Mom and Pop shops or the sometimes over looked hidden gems right in our own backyard. These are the places to find unique items, gifts that say "I took the time to genuinely think about you and what you would like." It is a way to shop that is more personable and personalized than the best deal to be had on Black Friday. The owners of these small businesses are very grateful for the opportunity to shine and show you, the shopper, what they can offer.
It is a unique cultural phenomenon to give thanks for what we have on one day, to engage in cutthroat shopping the next, care about local businesses the following day, shop with ease on Monday and return to giving back on Tuesday. Some people think of it as a shopping adventure and some stay hiding indoors and cannot wait until it is over. Whichever one you are, the adventurer or the hider, remember that giving is more than just about this sale or that store or this way to shop; it is about making someone else smile and letting them know you care about them. Giving can be a wonderful thing.
Thank you for however and whomever you choose to shop for during this holiday season and know that giving from the heart is one of the best feelings in the world!
Please remember to be kind, much love!
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