Thanksgiving, a day for shopping or giving thanks? In my opinion…

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s a day when our family and friends come together to spend time, give thanks and enjoy fellowship with each other.  Essentially, it is the only non-materialistic holiday that we celebrate.

And who doesn’t love this painting by Norman Rockwell?norman-rockwell-thanksgiving-2

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, reminds me of simpler times. This painting for me, defines Thanksgiving.

But in the year 2014, this is the image that seems to be defining Thanksgiving.

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Black Friday has become Black Thursday…making Thanksgiving just another day to shop.

I’ll be honest. I have never been a fan of Black Friday shopping. I did it ONCE.  But apparently I didn’t know there are rules to Black Friday shopping.

Rule#1 Get in line at least 3 hours before the store opens.

Rule #2 Most advertised items will require a number in order to buy it.

Rule #3 If you aren’t among the first 20 people in line, you will not receive a number and will not be able to purchase the item that you waited in line over 3 hours to purchase.

Rule #4 Once inside the store you must push, shove and do whatever it takes to get your item.

 In order to not go completely “bonquiqui”

on someone, I decided the best thing to do was just leave.

bon qui qui

My Black Friday shopping experience lasted a total of 30 minutes. There is’t a bargain in the world worth me going through that again.

Black Friday has been around for as long as I can remember being old enough to know about a bargain. But for non-essential businesses to be open on Thanksgiving day to give people a chance to shop, in my opinion is ridiculous and un-American.

  I know, for years hospital personnel, emergency responders, airline employees and overpaid NFL and NBA stars have worked on Thanksgiving.   But I can guarantee if that is a profession you chose, you knew there was a 100% chance that you would have to work on one or more Thanksgiving days.  And to those people I am grateful. I call these necessary professions!! (Well okay maybe the football and basketball players aren’t a necessary profession, but they DO make a bazillion dollars a year.)

And then BAM! Grocery stores started opening, movie theaters started opening and several years ago one or two retail stores decided to open early on Thanksgiving day….which started the trend of the majority of the retail businesses opening Thanksgiving, 2014. Why? Because they know people will shop.  We are a greedy, enabled, instant gratification kind of society. The retail owners know there are those who will hurry through lunch, hurry through pleasantries with family and friends and then rush out the door to get that “made in China” trinket before someone else gets it…at a fraction of the regularly overinflated cost.

The retail owners, I feel are also taking advantage of  those who may not have family and friends in town, luring them in to shop for deals to good to be true. And the bonus? They can shop and not have to spend the day alone. Well here’s a novel idea…why not volunteer at a homeless shelter? Or,  invite others who also don’t have family and friends around, to come to your house and enjoy time together. Take a walk, read a book, slow down!!! And in doing so, you will allow others to spend the time with their loved ones.

The only thing that will cause “Black Thursday” to be a big ole slap in the face of retail and all other non essential places of business,  is to hit them in their wallet.  If it is a bust and the businesses end up losing money, they will go back to opening during the early morning hours on Black Friday and all will be well.

  I will promise, I for one will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day. I will be enjoying conversations with my crazy family,  teaching the grandkids to set the Thanksgiving table, cooking, cleaning up, laughing, eating, drinking some good wine, taking a nap, watching a ballgame or two, listening to my sisters plan their Black Friday shopping trips and most importantly giving Thanks to God for all the blessings He has given me.  You know, the traditional way of celebrating Thanksgiving.

We need to all say NO to shopping on Thanksgiving…in my opinion.

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Keeping Up with the ???

Perhaps I am just not into baring my body, especially for the whole world to see. So, I just don’t understand the hoopla surrounding the recent photo of Kim Kardashian on the cover of the Paper Mag.  Of course, it’s not the first time she has been photographed nude for public display. But that photo shoot was taken specifically to  “break the internet”.  And when it didn’t break the internet, Kim starting posting more pics on Instagram.  I haven’t seen the entire photo collage, but the “filtered” version that I have seen, shows her booty is so large that she can balance a glass of champagne on it?  Seriously? I’m not jealous and I’m not being catty…I’m just being honest…I spend countless hours in the gym, working out and running many miles so that my butt DOESN’T look like that!! But Kim has promoted herself to the point that many women do want to look like that.

Why is society so enamored with Kim K. and actually the whole Kardashian klan?  If a member of that family sneezes, the paparazzi  is there to get it on film.  They are on the cover of literally every magazine and have millions of followers on twitter and instagram.  If taking a poll, I’ll bet more people can list the names of the Kardashian family members than can click off the names of 10 of our U.S. Presidents.  That’s the society we have become. Sex sells, social media promotes and we are a narcissistic society. The Kardashians have taken advantage of  these platforms and are making millions of dollars because of it. I will give them kudos for branding themselves, their makeup, clothing line…whatever they put their mark on, people buy.

Did you know Kim has an app? And people pay to play? In fact, in the first 3 months that it was released, she made over $43 million!!

And then there are their reality tv shows…which I’ve never seen.  I’m just not into reality shows in general. But boy, I know people who don’t miss an episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.  This family exploits their daily lives for all the world to see.  It is truly beyond my comprehension that so many people watch every move they make.  And exactly how does one “keep up” with a family that has made millions on promoting and branding…themselves?  What is that teaching our children??

My hope for my children and grand children’s future is that they decide they want to be someone that isn’t just another pretty face on the cover of a magazine.  My hope is that they know they “is smart, they is kind and they is important”.  My hope is that they want to use their brains, their God-given talents and their skills for something other than marketing themselves.  However, if they do grace the cover of a magazine because of their beauty, please let there also be mention of them winning a nobel peace prize, for finding the cure for a disease, for being a good person. But above all…dear Lord, please just don’t let them be nude!!!

Dying with Dignity

Death is  inevitable. For most of us, death will come in old age, after we have had years to enjoy our family, friends,  a successful career and hopefully traveled to a few favorite destinations.  For others, such as Brittany Maynard, death came at a young age. But on her own terms and in her own way.

Brittany’s decision to end her life with the aid of medicine has created a lot of controversy.

There have been some who consider it suicide. Brittany disagreed with that opinion. She felt it was, “highly inflammatory and just incorrect, because I am already dying from cancer. I don’t want to die. People who commit suicide are typically people who want to die.”

Others have expressed their opinion that we don’t get to decide when we die.  They feel that God makes the decision if we live or die with pain, if we live to be 20 or 100 years old or if we just pass quietly in the night. But didn’t God also give us the power of choice?

Most people that I have talked to and the majority of comments that I have read, agree with Brittany and feel she did the right thing.  She was courageous and she left this life with dignity, compassion and no regrets.  Instead of enduring horrible seizures, extreme pain and suffering, and at times not recognizing family or friends, she decided to take her death into her own hands. Is it so wrong to spare yourself and loved ones from enduring such pain? Especially when the inevitable is death? How many of us would love the opportunity to leave this world the same way? The last few weeks of her life, she spent quality time with the people she loved the most, traveling and checking things off of her bucket list.

I’m not sure how I feel about her choice. God never promised us we would  go through life without suffering.  And what if a miraculous cure was found for the brain tumor next week, yet she threw the towel in too early?

It’s really not for me or any of us to judge.  But, Brittany left an impression on me. She did exactly what I hope to do…live each day to the fullest and as it’s your last. Surround yourself with loved ones.

“Pay attention to the relationships you cultivate in life, and do not miss the chance to tell those you love how very much you love them.”  

May you rest in peace Brittany Maynard. You were a strong and courageous woman who has made quite an impact on millions of people around the world.

10 ways to use your extra hour from Daylight Saving Time

Before going to bed on November 1, 2014 most Americans will be turning their clocks back an hour, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time, giving us all anclock-507 extra hour in our day. While many of us will be catching up on much needed sleep, here is my list of 10 things to do with an extra hour.

1) Check your smoke alarms.  

Change the batteries in your smoke alarms. This will save you the aggravation of being awakened one morning in the near future at 3:00 a.m. from the “chirping”sound letting you know the battery has died. This is also a good time to change your carbon monoxide detectors.

2) Alphabetize your spices. 

 Not an exciting thing to do, but you know how much you love it when it’s completed. IMG_1946

3) Watch a television show.

Catch up on the DVR’d shows that you have been meaning to get started on. This is the perfect evening for popcorn, a blanket and little television marathon.

4) Clean out your sock drawer.

We all have socks in our drawers that are orphaned. They are too good to throw away but we keep them just in case the mate shows up. Start a “lost sock” box and label it as such. http://boutiqueit.blogspot.com/2011/11/50-things-to-make-from-your-mismatched.html

5) Start the book you have been putting off reading.

6) Take a soaking tub bath.

Light some candles, pour a glass of your favorite beverage and relax in a tub filled with warm water and bubbles.

7) Polish your copper pots.

Polish your pots that have been sitting or “hanging” around to maintain the gleaming finish. Copper adds a warmth to your home decor.  IMG_1948

8) Clean out your inbox.

It’s amazing how many unread emails we have. Not to mention how many advertising emails we get. Spend the extra hour, deleting and unsubscribing to useless emails. Start folders for the emails that you want to keep.

9) Clean up your desktop.

No, I’m not talking about your computer desktop. Although, this is a good time to do that. I’m talking about your physical desktop. You know, the one with  the stacks of important papers, magazines, bills, etc? Get a trashcan and start tossing.

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10) Start a blog

Start your own blog. And while you are at it…start following me on mine.

What will you be doing with your extra hour?