Black Friday: The big shopping day that follows the big eating and giving thanks day (although those lines are blurred more each year). There is something admirable about avoiding the frenzy altogether, but let’s be realistic. Your Christmas shopping needs to get done and your fridge is empty after cooking a Thanksgiving feast. If you’re going to venture out on Black Friday (or any other day of the Christmas shopping season), how do you avoid losing yourself in the consumer-driven, line-cutting, short-tempered mayhem? Here are a few tips for making it through the mall with your spirit intact:
#1 Be grateful
Say thank you, out loud and with gusto, to anyone who holds open a door, moves aside in the aisle, or lets you pass them for a parking space. Keep your thankful attitude going!
#2 Be generous
Chances are, you’ll stop for coffee or a bite to eat on your way to the mall. Show your barista or server some extra love on a day when they are probably overwhelmed with demanding customers and leave a generous tip.
#3 Be kind
Some of your fellow shoppers are stressed — probably even you. So, be kind to others. Give people the benefit of the doubt, look people in the eye, smile. And be kind to yourself. Don’t overdo it.
#4 Be present
I’m talking about the acknowledge-where-you-are present. Notice who is around you. Start with the friends and family who may have ventured with you to the stores. Next, look at other shoppers. These are your neighbors. You are journeying together today.
#5 Be creative
The big box retailers are the go-to stores Black Friday because of their special deals. Mix things up. Visit your local merchants. You might be surprised at what you find. And don’t forget Small Business Saturday.
#6 Be in an attitude of prayer
Long lines? Stuck in traffic? Say a prayer for the family and friends you are buying gifts for. Or remember those who are facing great hardship at this time of year. And if you find yourself even for a second starting to think unkind things about the woman holding up your checkout line — say a prayer for her.
#7 Be aware of what you spend
The packages are piled high. You’re weighed down with shopping bags. You have receipts for everything, so at the end of the day total up what you’ve spent. Now, make a commitment to give at least 10% of that amount to charity this Christmas season. Don’t forget — #GivingTuesday is next week.