Well, it seems to be the kickoff for the holiday season. At least for our American readers. Thanksgiving weekend is the unofficial start of the holidays usually with the Black Friday sales. An interesting phrase "Black Friday." It's supposed to mark the part of the fiscal year when sales go up and businesses start going into the black instead of the red for accounting. I guess it's because most of them have gone into the red buying all their Christmas stock for the upcoming season.
But in reality, how many of these businesses are really into the red? How many have gotten so far into debt that six weeks of increasing sales will help them survive another year? I'm guessing not that many. If you haven't noticed, most of the stores which have the ads for this weekend really have no money issues whatsoever. They've been around for years, decades even. I think that they are doing well enough without the added boost financially this year.
So, I propose this. Give something from the heart. Give homemade or give to a charity in lieu of a gift. The recipient will know that you've taken the time to actually think about what he or she is really like. A nice homemade quick bread or hand-knit scarf would give that person the warm feeling that everyone seems to look for during the holidays. Do you know an avid gardener? How about making some bread in a clay pot and giving it with some gardening gloves? Or an environmentalist? A nice donation to the World Wildlife Fund in his or her name would be appreciated. There always something out there that is simple and thoughtful.
The businesses clamouring for your money need to know that "pretending" fiscal dire straits won't endear me to them or want to save them from themselves. I'm keeping this year merry and bright by staying simple.