How Much Is Enough?

I went shopping today, on Black Friday, not to buy anything for myself though.

Last night after the Thanksgiving party at a friend’s house, my two teenagers wanted to go shopping at Kohl’s, because we got $10 certificate in the mail to spend. I had no interest in shopping so late, and the cold weather with flurry snow only motivated me to go back home and stay warm inside.

I was glad I didn’t go last night.

This morning around 9 – 10 am, we went to Sam’s and Kohl’s. My kids bought winter jackets and a sweater.

At Kohl’s, it was very crowded and the check-out lines were really long. I was amazed by how much stuff people buy, some with cartload of stuff.

Do we really need so much stuff? How much is enough?

I am not a fan of Black Friday or now Black Thursday shopping.

In the article “Black Thursday’ shopping stealing spotlight from holiday festivities?” by Riham Feshir, published in Woodbury Bulletin last Wednesday, Nov. 21, the author quoted me using the following:

Although she sees some benefits to Black Friday, Qin Tang, who writes the “On My Mind” blog featured on the Bulletin website, once referred to it as “Buy Nothing Day.”

“(It) shifts our focus on Thanksgiving from internal to external, from building meaningful relationships to finding good deals, from enjoying time together and relaxing to rushing out the door and buying more stuff,” she said. “It only encourages more consumerism and materialism in our already very materialistic society.”

The mother of two teenagers said young people are facing more temptations and more peer pressure to acquire more electronics, games and gadgets.

“This creates more challenges for parents like me,” she said. “I think the more stuff we buy; the more we try to fill our lives with things, the emptier our lives get.”

I think Thanksgiving is a special day for families and friends to get together, to enjoy each other and enjoy food, to build and strengthen relationships and friendships, to give thanks for what we already have.

By turning Thanksgiving into Black Thursday, we are taking away family time for both employees and consumers. Instead of spending time with families and friends, many people either have to work on Thanksgiving or want to go out shopping and not miss the special deals.

In Germany, the stores are closed on Sundays all year around. In the US, we have some stores open 24/7.

People are living busy lives. Families often don’t have regular dinner together, friends don’t have time to get together. I think Thanksgiving is a special holiday for families and friends, and not for shopping.

We should have at least one day in the year to focus our attention on being thankful for the abundance we have in this country and being content for what we have, not on buying more stuff.

If we are not thankful for what we have, if we do not have contentment, if we always want more, then there will never be enough.

More stuff does not necessarily make our life full, quite the opposite, it could make our life emptier.

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