Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Tag: Thanksgiving

ROW80: Holiday Preparations In Progress!

Happy Sunday, friends! This weekend I’m gearing up for the Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday. My sister and I are in charge of cooking this year, and we’ve just finalized the official menu. We’ll be making Patti Labelle’s famous macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and candied yams from the Pioneer Woman, and what will hopefully be a super-tasty apple crisp.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to look something like this on Thursday afternoon:

nomming

Here’s how the rest of the week has gone:

Dissertation

I’ve been feeling yucky most of this week, so I’ve opted to sleep in instead of waking up for my early morning writing sessions. With that said, I wrote about 200 words today–not much, but it’s a decent start to this chapter.

For the week to come:

  • Continue work on this chapter. I’m going to treat it like a zero draft, and just write it like I’m writing notes to myself–no worries about academic jargon or “sounding smart.”
  • Finish note-taking on the Sisters of the Holy Family’s official annals. I’ll be heading back to their convent archive in a couple of weeks, and I want to be caught up with my research.

Blog

It’s week 3 of my ROW80 check-ins, and that’s WAY better than I’ve done for most of this year, and probably most of last year. I also pulled together a non-ROW80 post: a silly Monday pick-me-up with the sweetest little sloths ever.

For the week to come:

  • Keep up the momentum of commenting/visiting everyone else’s blogs. I’ve slacked on this, but with the long weekend coming up, I’ll hopefully have more time to do this.
  • Finish my post for Friday. I will (fingers crossed) be launching a “Friday Reads” book review series. I’ve drafted a post, but I need to put some finishing touches on it.

Self-Care

I finished a book this week like I was hoping–A DANGEROUS INVITATION by Erica Monroe, which was AWESOME. I’ll be posting more about it on Friday. I haven’t been journaling, partly because I’ve just been so darn tired, and those magazines I bought last week? Still haven’t read them. Claiming time for myself, and trying to be deliberate in my self-care efforts, is really darn difficult.

I’m going out of town for Thanksgiving weekend to Carmel for a relaxing, romantic weekend. That’ll hopefully be a good excuse to hang out at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, stroll on the beach, and drink some wine in front of the fireplace.

For the week to come:

  • Read another book! I’m only 15 books behind for my Goodreads challenge, and I’ve got a ton on my Kindle that I haven’t even touched.
  • More journaling. My allergies seem to be (sorta) under control, and I only work Monday and Tuesday this week, so I will hopefully have a little more time to write.

-oOo-

And that’s it for me! For my friends in the US, how are your Thanksgiving preparations coming? Any exciting plans for the long weekend?

Don’t forget to say hello to everyone else checking in for the week.  Best of luck to everyone working towards a NaNoWriMo win!

3 Alternatives to Black Friday Madness

The Thanksgiving turkey in all his glory. Photo credit: LMRitchie via WANACommons on flickr.

This Thursday, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving and all of the wondrousness that goes along with it: feasting, family, and football. It’s the kind of thing that we look forward to all year, because who can go wrong with tryptophan-induced food comas and quality time with the people we love?

The day that follows stands in marked contrast to Thanksgiving’s laid-back relaxation. While Thanksgiving has been seen as the beginning of the holiday shopping season since the 19th century, according to this article from Time Magazine, the term “Black Friday” was coined by Philadelphia newspapers in the 1960s “to describe the rush of crowds at stores.”

These days, Black Friday’s appeal is intimately tied with Americans’ love of bargain shopping and discounts. Advertising plays on this fantasy of consumption, as George Takei’s recent commercial for Old Navy so aptly demonstrates:

Shopping is fun! And delightful! And even better when we can start a midnight to get a head-start, right??? No one wants to miss a deal!

Not exactly.

The past few years have revealed that there’s a darker side to our mad quest for ever-cheaper deals and, simply put, stuff. Advertisements for Black Friday present it as yet another shiny delight for shoppers to enjoy, but a closer look reveals the ways in which this invented holiday has come to typify the nasty underbelly of American consumption, one that showcases greed in all its forms.

Black Friday shoppers at Walmart

Black Friday shoppers at Walmart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are the crazed shoppers, ready to injure, maim, and even kill-by-trampling in order to snag discounted televisions or the latest “it” toy of the holiday season (this list of the most brutal Black Friday injuries and deaths sums up the horrors in all its lurid detail).

And then there’s corporate greed itself. Over the years, big box stores have been opening their doors earlier and earlier. 6 am became 4 am. 4 am became midnight. This year, however, Target, Walmart, Toys R Us and other stores will be opening as early as 9 pm on Thanksgiving night.

“Black Friday creep,” as the media has dubbed it, more or less shatters the Thanksgiving holiday for countless retail employees around the country. As the CNN article linked above discusses, employees have been fighting back with online petitions and, in the case of Walmart workers across the country, coordinated walkouts. According to labor professor John Logan, the Walmart walkout is part of a larger string of protests that began in October

to protest inadequate wages and benefits and the company’s pattern of illegal retaliation for union activity – or, in the words of one WalMart worker, for ‘consistent hours, better pay, and simple respect’ at the workplace.

Black Friday, in other words, has become a veritable sh*tshow, one that not only infringes upon the labor rights that Americans have fought for over the generations, but contradicts the very foundation of the Thanksgiving holiday itself. Not cool, folks.

So what can we do to avoid the Black Friday madness? Here are three alternatives to consider:

Buy Nothing: In the words of Susie Lindau, “boycott the madness!” Stay inside, stash your wallet, eat leftovers, and watch football. Or, if the mood should strike you, spend a few hours volunteering at a local charity, homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other community organization. Thanksgiving and the holiday season are about gratitude and giving, after all.

Buy Handmade: Online retailers like Etsy feature countless products that are either handmade, vintage, or “upcycled”: repurposed vintage items. The plus? Not only are you supporting individual artisans and small businesses, practically everything you’ll find on Etsy is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Buy Local: One of the best things about shopping local? Knowing that your money is directly supporting small business owners and the community, as this video demonstrates perfectly.

The “buy local” trend has steadily been gaining traction, and this year, countless cities across the country will be promoting alternatives to Black Friday. Examples include “Little Boxes” in Portland, OR, “Small Business Saturday” in Phoenix, AZ, “Shopapalooza” in Tampa, FL, or “Plaid Friday,” which originated in Oakland, CA and has spread to cities across the country.

Is “Black Friday creep” going to affect you or your family? How will you choose to spend the holiday weekend?

 

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