10 Things Better than Shopping after Thanksgiving
The Grizzlies had another wonderful Thanksgiving. We hosted at our house, I smoked a pretty amazing turkey, Mrs. Grizzly made stuffing, my mom made sweet potatoes, Mrs. Grizzly’s mom made pumpkin pie, all that plus a host of other accouterments made for a pretty awesome meal. We’ve been eating leftovers for the last three days. Three days surrounded by family, eating great food, going for walks, enjoying life. And there is one thing we did not do – go to ANY Black Friday or other post-Thanksgiving sales.
I have a personal belief that attending a Black Friday Sale is only slightly more fun than sawing off your own finger with a rusty butter knife. Only in America do we follow up a day in which we give thanks for everything we have with another day devoted to purchasing as much new shit as humanly possible. So in honor of NOT spending any money on Black Friday, or even Blacker Saturday, or Cyber Monday, here’s a list of 10 things that are at least slightly more rewarding than trampling, punching, or trying to stab your fellow humans with a shiv over a discounted TV.
1. Repeatedly hit yourself in the thumb with a hammer
Yep. This ranks higher on our list than a Black Friday Sale at Macy’s. I’m not kidding here. I actually tried both on the same day a couple years ago. The hammer was a more pleasant experience, at least the pain started to numb after a few minutes. The day spent at Macy’s got worse every minute.
2. Go for a walk
Over the last three day’s our family has probably put in about 15 hours of just walking around our neighborhood. It’s mainly a just walks to the playground with baby bear. But there is also a fair share of aimlessly wondering around while simply talking about life and anything else that happens to come up. It’s a wonderful way to catch up with the most important people in your life while enjoying some of the last pleasant days of the year in many places. I found that walking is one of the best ways to get conversations started, everyone is just a little more willing to open up when their feet are moving. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get ready for another round of leftovers!
3. Go to the beach and play a little football (or do anything else!)
Not available to everyone. But for those of us in California, the days after Thanksgiving are some of the best days for one last trip to the beach before winter rains set in. A few last days of sun and somewhat tolerable temperatures. Watching waves crash against breakers while a crisp fall wind blows in off the surf is a pretty good way to spend a few hours. Bonus points if you catch an ocean sunset or sunrise.
4. Watch a movie
There’s nothing better than curling up on a big couch surrounded by all your family and firing up a movie that everyone can actually agree that they love. The default option for the Grizzlies is Plains, Trains, and Automobiles. Grab a few mugs of hot cocoa, splash in some peppermint snaps, and enjoy the company. Avoiding the theaters means 1. Avoiding crowds 2. Cheaper 3. No one minds if you break into a conversation halfway through 4. You can get a little drunk. Everyone wins!
5. Bake Cookies
Not that anyone needs more food after Thanksgiving, but it’s probably one of the best times of the entire year to have the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through the house. Be sure share a little raw cookie dough around before packing them in the oven. Enjoy them with a little more hot cocoa while watching whatever movie you picked out for #4.
6. Put up Christmas Decorations
Or whatever holiday you’re going to celebrate next. For us, it’s always the perfect time to put up our tree and hang ornaments. We have a massive box of ornaments we’ve collected over the years. A collection of horrendously gaudy things that we absolutely love. We carefully unwrap each and every one and laugh at one after another: a ceramic pig wearing a vest and a top hat, a Christmas brontosaurus, an angel bear for a tree topper, each a bit funnier than the next, and each a little piece of a memory.
The is baby bears favorite activity right now, and we were all more than happy to join in. We have a massive box of crayons we’ve been working our way through over the last several months. That plus a stack of white paper produces endless fun for an 18th-month-old toddler plus the 10 adults.
8. Read a great book
I’m personally about halfway through the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Series. But just grab whatever suits your taste, cuddle up on the couch with the rest of your family and enjoy the day. There’s nothing better than having a solid few days to tear through a great book.
9. Play an awesome board game
We’re in something of a renaissance of modern board games right now. There are a ton of new ones that have come out, but never forget all of the classics. Settlers of Catan, Risk, Stratego, Chess, Checkers, even Monopoly should get a turn every once in awhile. Gather your loved ones, and then crush them in the glorious competition!
10. Build a fort in the living room
Another neglected childhood activity that is sorely neglected by most adults. Grab some sheets, a bunch of pillows and get building. Stock the completed fort with all of the above: plenty of books, coloring supplies, chocolate chip cookies, movies, board games, and hot chocolate. Spend the rest of the day there.