Just enjoy the holiday

by Life Editor Ann Harkey

The Thanksgiving holiday has to be one of the most stressful yet pleasant times of the year for me. I love Thanksgiving food with a passion that my stretch pants can attest to. However, while most people enjoy that extra bit of family time, I find it to be incredibly stressful.

Don’t get me wrong. I love them all, but there is bound to be a fight or two.

I promise everyone I am not an ungrateful ass, but sometimes it can be overwhelming — so overwhelming that I actually look forward to my two-year running tradition of Black Friday shopping with my boyfriend after we have finished with our family time.

What makes this shopping experience enjoyable, other than spending time with my significant other, is that we never have a specific item we are looking for. As in, we never have a need to wait in long lines, fight for the last item on the shelf or even get a cart.

Because we are not stressing over those factors, we get to stroll around the stores, dodging the occasional cart or small child, and grab some cheap presents. Perfect, right?

Here is where I get preachy.  I contemplated standing in line this year for a certain item I wanted. I had it timed where I would go to Target after I spent Thanksgiving lunch with my family and snag a cheap camera.

My boyfriend, who assured me there was no need to do something so time-consuming, boring and even a little crazy, talked me out of this.

But what about the people who do stand in line?

There is nothing wrong with standing in line if you have nothing else going on in the later evenings of Thanksgiving Thursday. I am talking about the people who line up early Thanksgiving morning or even Wednesday night to camp out for cheap TVs, computers, tablets and whatever else stores hock on this evening of what we should be thankful for and not what we can acquire at the cost of giving up valuable family time — hell, valuable time in general. I know a thousand other things I would rather do than sleep in a tent in the cold outside Best Buy. That includes fighting with my weird family.

There will always be exceptions to this. Maybe your family celebrates on a different day. Maybe your family fights more than mine, perhaps with weapons. Maybe you just really, really, really need a brand new TV. Whether you fall into those categories or not, please rethink the message of this season.

Be thankful for what you have, be grateful for what you receive and know at the end of the day that it is just a cheap camera that was still on the shelves when you entered Target after the door-buster madness.