Morning Pages: Black Friday

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It is Black Friday and the official Christmas holiday shopping season has begun. I swear it gets earlier every year. I don’t have my decorations up yet, I’m sure many of you do. I’m old fashioned, preferring to get through one holiday before starting on the next one. At my age, hurrying time along is not something I’m eager to do.

And besides, I’m still hung over from all the turkey and dressing from yesterday, which if you’re out shopping today might be a good thing.  You’ll need the nourishment to withstand all the crowds and long lines. I hear it’s a madhouse out there and patience can run thin when you’re being elbowed and shoved by complete strangers.

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday

Whether you choose to stay in or venture into the crazy crowds today, remember to keep things into perspective. The chances you will find the bargain you want at the price they promised is about the same as being able to step right up to the cash register with no waiting. Not gonna happen.

So, relax, enjoy the company you’re with, and have fun shopping. Black Friday only happens once a year, thank God!

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Morning Pages: Being Grateful

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Today I will spend cleaning and baking and reflecting on the things, I am most grateful. The dictionary defines being Grateful as a feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; being thankful. Voices of gratitude are heard the loudest this time of a year, wouldn’t it be nice to hear them all year long. There used to be a time when we did.

Recently, while antique shopping I came across a book, Etiquette Up To Date  by Cornelius (Mrs) Beeckman, 1938. I bought the book out of  sheer curiosity and was amazed at the author’s insight, the difference in decorum, manners, and how much we’re missing today by not teaching gratitude, graciousness, and thoughtfulness. Here are just a few of the pearls of wisdom from Mrs. Beeckman’s book:

 “Being gracious, being thoughtful, being kind, having a decent regard for the other fellow: this is etiquette- call it good manners, courtesy, common sense, decency, or what you will – ”

“People will like you better, and you will like yourself better if you graciously say “Please” and “Thank you” and “I beg your pardon” and ” How kind of you to say that” and “You were very good to do that for me” and other illuminated phrases that show you do not live in a world bounded on all sides by yourself.”

Sometimes I think we forget how the things we want or do  impact other people. It’s good to be reminded the world does not revolve around us.

 Thanksgiving night as you head off into the Black Friday abyss, and elbow your way through Christmas crowds, remember Mrs. Beeckman and her call for decency and graciousness. Be an example to those around you and to your kids. She said, “Parents are the standard bearers for the child,” and I have to agree.

The holiday season is a busy time of baking, stuffing our faces, enjoying family, friends and Christmas shopping. For some it will be thrilling and fun, while others may find it overwhelming, dysfunctional, and stressful. Whichever it turns out for you, be gracious in spirit, thankful, show appreciation and gratitude for God’s blessings. Here are some of the many things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving:

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Bountiful food

4. A Roof over our heads and a warm bed to fall into after stuffing ourselves and shopping

5. Money to shop

6. The freedom to do these things

7. Faith

8. Pets

9. Health that is improving

10. Laughter

11. The ability to read

12. The ability to write

13. My readers

Comment and add your list of things to which you are grateful.

And, as we sit down with our families this Thanksgiving and express our gratitude, don’t forget those who are less fortunate. Say a prayer for the hungry, the poor, those under persecution in Israel and the American citizens whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Donate to the American Red Cross to help with their recovery.

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To each one of you may you and your family be blessed and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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