Finance

Black Friday Is Upon Us

It’s that time of year again, when millions of people flood the malls and department stores. Ah, Black Friday.

Are you one of the people who brave the crowds to get a good deal on Christmas gifts, or maybe something for yourself? I’ve never attempted it, since I can’t handle being around so many people at once but I certainly have friends who go out every year and swear by the great deals they got.

Last year, I talked to my friends and family about gift giving. I’ve long been at the point where I don’t need gifts since I can afford to buy whatever I want. I’ve also found it really difficult to buy gifts for other people for that same reason. I was pleasantly surprised that many people felt the same way but we’re so tied into the tradition of gift giving that no one wanted to be the person to end it.

So, last Christmas was the first year where I didn’t buy or receive any Christmas gifts. Was it missed? Not at all. It took a lot of pressure off and allowed everyone to simply enjoy being together. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t buy gifts for my friends’ kids either. They all have so many toys already and I figured they wouldn’t miss one gift, which they’d probably forget about in a month anyway.

Most of my friends have plenty of other people they’re buying gifts for so I think I sensed some relief in their voices when I suggested that we end the gift exchange and instead go out to eat or grab coffee instead. We now do the same thing for birthdays. Let’s just enjoy each other’s company without gifts being expected.

I would never suggest that you stop giving your kids ANY gifts but instead consider giving fewer gifts and putting the rest of the money in a savings account for them. Is it possible that you could stop exchanging gifts with friends, coworkers, etc.? It seems silly to continue a tradition in which most of us couldn’t list the gifts we received last year and from whom. Why continue a tradition that doesn’t create memories?

Be thankful for those in your life and create memories that you can look back on fondly. Happy Thanksgiving!