So today is the so-called Black Friday, where shoppers wake up early from their post-Thanksgiving coma and get to the stores early for the best sales/deals/products.
As someone who doesn't like crowds or shopping, I sleep in today, happy not to have to take part. But I have friends who are up and out by 5 am.
For us, this is our day to decorate and put up the tree. No, Christmas can never come too early in my house.
But this year, we've added a new challenge in our home to the gift giving-- make your own gifts. I'll let you know what I come up with as I am still trying to figure out what to make.
Another tradition we started a few years ago instead of giving actual gifts to the extended family was "Three Good Things." Instead of giving each other gifts, we have to do 3 good deeds and at Christmas dinner we report them to each other. Some are funny, some don't work out so well (like the year we tried to pay for the car behind us to ride the ferry and the ferry worker just couldn't figure out why we were paying for someone we didn't know and we were almost in an argument with her while trying to give her the money), some are bigger, like when my niece collected a ton of food from her friends and neighbors for the local food bank, they can be whatever you want.
It's a really nice way to celebrate Christmas without everything rotating around "what shall I buy this person?" instead it becomes about "what good can I do in the world?"
We also have our kids do 3 good things, from helping a friend, to donating their own toys to a good charity, or holding the door open for a stranger. I have always told my daughter that Christmas is about other people, birthdays are about you. We do, of course, still give the kids lots of fun gifts for Christmas, I mean, Santa is a pretty cool guy, but we also try to make sure we remember that it's about giving, not getting.
So that's what I'm thinking about this Friday, Green Friday in our house, with a Christmas tree, some old funky decorations, a forty year old manger, and Christmas music playing in the background while we change the house from its everyday clothes into something that sparkles for the next month or so...
Happy first moments of the Hollydaze, however you celebrate, or don't.