360Women

Black Friday vs Gray Thursday

Black Friday is a date everyone recognizes.  It’s the day after Thanksgiving; a day that’s almost become a holiday itself; the first “official” day of the holiday shopping season for most retailers and a lot of shoppers.

Gray Thursday is another name for Thanksgiving Day.  If you’ve not heard of this, that’s because I just made it up.  (To be completely honest, I actually made it up this time last year but am trying to spread the word – literally – this year).

Why Gray Thursday?  People eager to start their Black Friday shopping before everyone else have started pre-empting Friday morning by lining up right after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night.  Not early enough to block out the whole holiday, but enough to let Black Friday seep in.  Thus, we have Gray Thursday.

While most of us are serving turkey and trimmings that took two days to prepare, many people will be putting on their walking shoes and heading off to the mall, arriving the minute it opens to take advantage of “door-busting, budget-stretching, one-time only” deals.  According to the advertisements, these discounts are legendary. (But wait! There’s more!)

I used to be very critical of those people who couldn’t wait to begin their shopping hoopla and were willing to sacrifice their family holiday to save a buck.  Then, one year, the lightbulb went on over my head.  I realized not all of us have the opportunity to experience a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.  Many simply don’t have family or dear friends who host a dinner.  Many more have family living far away and cannot afford the travel time or airline ticket to get there.

I also realized that for a growing number of people, this annual pilgrimage to the mall may be their new holiday tradition or Rockwell moment.  This is a special time they set aside to spend with their children or best friends as they search together for those perfect gifts.  Certainly this life offers us many ways to bond with those we love and not all of them include overeating or pro football.

Maybe the true spirit of Thanksgiving is to put our judgment of others aside, recognize everyone’s traditions as meaningful, and be grateful for the opportunity to celebrate them.

How about you?  Does your family have a special holiday tradition you look forward to?  Please share it in the Comments section and help other 360Women make the most of the season.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Lee Ann Monfredini

Lee Ann Monfredini

Lee Ann Monfredini is the founder of 360Women and a life-long advocate of women’s issues, political activism, social volunteerism, organizational accountability and personal responsibility. A graduate of the University of San Francisco with a degree in Non-Profit Management, she’s not only served on the boards and executive teams of some of the most respected health organizations in the Bay Area, but built a successful second career as one of the most respected realtors in the market. She can be reached at leeann@360women.net.

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