0 Friday, December 07, 2012

Mini-holidays after Thanksgiving

by Kaylan Watkins

The holiday season tends to bring about many different activities and traditions, one of them being the biggest consumer weekend of the year.

The week of Thanksgiving is usually marked by food, fun and family times. Beginning the evening of Thanksgiving, though, people rushed to stores to claim highly discounted prices on different products.

Black Friday is considered the beginning of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. This year, it was accompanied by Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.

“Black Friday confuses me and I don’t know why people will go crazy to get as much stuff as they can and fight over those inanimate objects. I feel like it results in Thanksgiving being forgotten,” Sarah Hufstedler, freshman, said.

This year, American Express pushed their third annual Small Business Saturday in an attempt to encourage consumers to support local businesses. They offered $25 to anyone who registered online and then participated in the day’s events by spending $25 or more at a local establishment. 

While local businesses can’t always afford the low prices that large companies offer their customers on Black Friday, they do supply a friendly smile and often other perks.

“You park up front, don’t have to fight a huge crowd,” Jerrod Shouse, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in an interview with NewsOK. “I think overall, if you shop local, you are going to be in a better mood.”

Perks to shopping locally include boosting the economy, increasing the potential for more local jobs, often shopping more green and knowing the employees personally.

With all of the opportunities to shop for yourself and your loved ones, some people thought that combating that with an opportunity to show others compassion would be a good addition to the flurry of activity taking place by supporting the first annual Giving Tuesday.

“I think that it is a wonderful idea, but I wish it were promoted more. I honestly had no idea it even existed,” Geoffrey Fogle, sophomore, said.

Other students worry about the fact that society is making it necessary to declare a day of giving.

“I think it is so incredibly sad that it’s necessary at all. People get so wrapped up in greed and their own personal agendas to the extent that they have to be reminded to be generous,” Lacey Cruise, senior, said.

The guidelines for Giving Tuesday were simple: there were none. Individuals were encouraged to participate in any way. Some people bought coffee for strangers; others opened a door for someone. Some individuals chose a charity or cause of their choice and donated money or supplies.

Participants were encouraged to share their acts of kindness on Twitter with the hashtag #Giving Tuesday.

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” - Winston Churchill. How do you like to give back? #GivingTuesday” @UnitedWayOKC said.
When a lot of the focus tends to be on shopping, people are reminded to give back to their community as well.

“I think this is a great idea, after all, we are incredibly blessed and we should bless others,” Hufstedler said. “God wired us to seek the joy of loving others and giving, sometimes we just need a little nudge back in that direction.”

Photo by: Nick Conley

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