Alternatives to “Black Friday”

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Once upon a time, the day after Thanksgiving was the time when thoughts began to turn ahead to the winter holiday season – Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice. We also began to consider having kids out of school for the winter break and having family around for various gatherings. Nowadays, it seems that even prior to Halloween, holiday trappings are out in the stores, and the day after Thanksgiving has been turned into Black Friday – a day of crazed shopping.

Does camping out at WalMart or Best Buy in the wee hours after the Thanksgiving meal count as getting back to nature? Does racing around from parking space to store entrance or pushing loaded shopping carts count as exercise? It seems doubtful that the phenomenon of Black Friday would contribute anything positive to physical and mental health.

What if, this year, some alternatives were considered for the Thanksgiving post-feast? Here are a few options…

  1. Take a walk! Thanksgiving is typically a time of prime fall weather in Austin.  Burning off some of the calories from the day prior can create a wonderful holiday feeling of well-being.  Check out some of these local hiking spots from Symmetry’s last blog post for some ideas.
  2. Try a new recipe. Experiment with creating holiday snacks utilizing healthful local ingredients.  For example, it’s pecan season in Austin.  The quintessential recipe would have to be pecan pie!  But there are also many other yummy things to do with this delicious nut.  Pecans are a good source of multiple vitamins and can actually help to lower ‘bad cholesterol’.  Click here for several delicious recipe options.
  3. Visit a museum. Often we get caught up in our daily routines and forget to take advantage of the many cultural resources of our capital city.  Checking out a new exhibit would be a fun way to pass the time with the whole family on a holiday day off.  The Austin Museum Partnership website is a great place to gather information about local museum goings-on.
  4. Make a donation. Pay your seasonal thanks and gratitude forward in time, food, used toys, a warm jacket, etc. The holidays are a challenging time for many families.  The many acts of kindness and selflessness that people make during the holidays can help spread cheer in the community.  Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade benefitting Blue Santa takes place on November 26th this year.  Several local organizations are organizing events prior to Thanksgiving Day, as described here.  Or Austin360 has a list of multiple local organizations that could be contacted directly to inquire about current opportunities for volunteering and/or giving.
  5. Consider creative shopping. If shopping is a favored tradition, but skipping the crazy big-box crowds is desirable, a community oriented post-Thanksgiving shopping experience might be the Blue Genie Art Bazaar Or wander down South Congress or another neighborhood thoroughfare.

Whatever you and your family choose to do the day after, Symmetry wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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