I do not enjoy shopping. Maybe it is the stress of making decisions, maybe there are just too many cars on the streets and in the parking lots for me to run into, maybe I just do not like to spend money. Whatever it is, I do not like shopping. It should be no surprise then that I did not go shopping on Black Friday last week. Well, at least I tried not to.
I have no problem with people who love to shop; in fact, I admire them and often try to get them to do my shopping. However, in all my attempts not to shop, I think I may have bested the most seasoned bargain hunters by accident.
I really did not intend to go shopping on Black Friday, it just so happened that my daughter and I had a few minutes to kill in Hillsboro around 4:30 p.m. and we found ourselves in a thrift shop.
In no time at all, I found a beautiful dress for Christmas, original price tags still on it for almost $70, my price — $3.99.
Then I found two sweaters for $2.99 each. They even passed the “tacky-o-meter” vigorously enforced by my 12-year-old daughter.
A neat surprise was that we even found a few clothing items that my pre-teen daughter actually liked … at prices that meant it really did not matter if she changed her mind.
The best part was that we had fun … this was the kind of shopping I could enjoy. There were no long lines, no fanatic with pepper spray, and I did not have to worry about over-spending my Christmas budget on one high-priced item.
Probably the best find of my Black Friday shopping experience was the purchase of a family game called Balderdash. Saturday night, my entire family spent over three hours laughing ourselves silly over the game, entertained for less than $5.
My absolute favorite purchase of the day however, was a selection of 10-cent Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards and could spend hours reading the messages, finding and choosing just the right one to send to friends and family, or to savor for myself.
Finding a way to balance the seasonal shopping frenzy and the real meaning of Christmas can be a tough act. For me, Christmas cards help keep it all in perspective. I found several in the thrift shop bargain tray that spoke to my heart. My favorite had a beautiful picture of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus on the outside. Inside was the following message: The miracle of Christmas is not only that Jesus Christ came, but that he lives within us now, giving us strength and grace for every step along life’s journey. Let us all rejoice in the life of our Savior!
In my opinion, good Christmas cards always contain a verse from the Bible, and this one did as well: “In Him our hearts rejoice.” Psalms 33:21.
My heart rejoices in Jesus, and I cannot wait to share these cards with others.
Maybe Black Friday shopping was not all balderdash after all. I looked up the meaning of the word—it means senseless, stupid, or exaggerated nonsense. Well, that could describe seasonal shopping mania, but it also describes a way to have fun with family and friends. I guess life and shopping are really just a balancing act, after all.