By Heather Barrow
I need to confess upfront, I’m a Black Friday shopper. As a regular 4 a.m. riser, waking up a little earlier is no big deal for me and I love the bargains, crowds and official start to the Christmas season. It’s also a tradition I share with an old friend whom I don’t see as often as I like, but this day is always ours to spend together. As I started to plan my Black Friday list and shopping strategy, I kept hearing myself say “I want” and asking my friends and family “what do you want” for Christmas. In reality, my kids want for nothing and every other day of the year I remind my children to be thankful. “Want” is a four-letter word in our house, and when I hear too many, I tell my children to replace it with “I’m grateful for”. How is it acceptable for me to throw that out the window the day after Thanksgiving and marathon shop alongside people that will run me down in a heartbeat for a $25 TV? Before you finalize your judgment of my hypocrisy, here’s proof a Black Friday mom can be thankful:
-My family spends Thanksgiving at the hospital with the St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital high risk obstetric nurses, technicians and housekeeping staff who took care of us for months when I was pregnant with Hill. We turn down invitations for our own friends and family’s Thanksgiving and I wake up earlier than normal to help Bennett cook. By ‘help’ I mean the kids and I get Starbucks then watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while Bennett cooks☺. Most of the nurses who work on Thanksgiving now are new and did not take care of our family, but they are taking care of my HRH families. I hope they know that their exceptional care means so much to this family that we choose to be with them instead of our own family on that day. This will be our sixth year and a new HRH twin family asked to join us this year, with the hopes they were not imposing. I told them it was the exact opposite. What an honor to share our family’s tradition with this family, and I hope it will become their tradition too.
-While my own Black Friday list is long I also shop for local charities. I plan to buy entertainment items for HRH moms from the doorbusters at Target where you can get newly released DVDs for $4. There are other local charities that are also in need of supplies and gifts for their families (The Spring, Ronald McDonald House, Metropolitan Ministries, Champions for Children) and Black Friday is the perfect time to buy great gifts and supplies for next to nothing. You may be shocked to read I am supporting charities other than HRH. My motives are not completely pure because I know other charities serve HRH’s most needy families, like the Ronald McDonald house at TGH who provides much needed housing and meals to our TGH HRH families with preemies in the NICU.
-I plan to donate all of my Black Friday ‘savings’ to High Risk Hope on #GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014. Bill Gates explains it best “You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity.” I would be honored for you to support HRH as your #GivingTuesday charity!
As much as I want to promise you that I will not shop this Black Friday, I can’t lie. Besides, you will probably see my friend and me on TV running through a door at Target or Walmart, #busted. Happy Thanksgiving to your family, I am thankful for your support!