Anti-Gray Thursday

I did not know it had a name, but Professor Google has made it clear. Stores open on Thanksgiving Day for sales are participating in “Gray Thursday.”  Let it be known this gal is against Gray Thursday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are enough, don’t you think?

There once was a day when I thought it was fun to venture out on Black Friday. It was at least twenty years ago before babies, back pain and common sense kicked in.

Once a negative term, Black Friday described a financial crisis in 1869. Years later, police officers used it to describe the traffic jams, overcrowded sidewalks and stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The day brought dread to officers, but not to merchants. They realized Black Friday was a big shopping day. In 1975, they began using the term as a marketing tool.

Every year since 2001, Black Friday held first place as the busiest shopping day of the year, except for 2003 (when the Saturday before Christmas jumped back to first place).

It was not enough. Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving offering special internet deals) became the #1 biggest spending day in 2010 boasting over one billion in sales. That’s right—billion.

Okay, I’m all for boosting the American economy. I like finding good deals and being a smart shopper. I admit taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales before. However, there is no gray area here.

You will not find me out shopping on Thanksgiving Day. The best deal of my Thanksgiving Day is being able to share it with family and friends. I will defend this day that has been set aside from work and the busy-ness of life. A day of spending—not money, but time with family and friends. A day of giving—not our charge cards, but our time to those who are lonely or meeting needs of those less fortunate. A day of thanking God for what He gives us, not for what the stores are offering.

There’s a guy in Canada who began a “Buy Nothing Day” back in 1992. His fans have Zombie Walks through stores, blankly staring and saying, “buy nothing, buy nothing.” Volunteers offer a credit card cut-up service. They hold Whirl-Marts encircling stores with empty shopping carts. That’s a bit extreme for me. I have better things to do than walk like a zombie pushing an empty shopping cart. (Sometimes I feel like that when I forget my shopping list but I don’t intentionally do it!)

However, I do like the idea of making Thanksgiving Day a “Buy Nothing Day.” Who’s with me?


Winner of "Give a Child a Tree" Contest

Thanks to all of you who accepted the challenge and got your children out of the house and climbing a tree! Kudos to all the brave parents who hoisted themselves up a tree as well!

I received numerous photos via email, facebook, and my cell phone. What fun we all had! For those who didn't send in a photo but shared a story or comments, they were appreciated as well.

Now, without further ado...the winning entry (and I gave each person in a tree their own entry) is:      

Sarah F. (age 3) of North Carolina 
Congratulations Sarah! I'll be in touch with your mom about how to get your prize to you. You'll be receiving a fun, outdoor toy soon.
Congratulations to all of you--you refused to be the statistic one out of three kids who have never climbed a tree. Keep climbing!

Top Ten Thanksgiving Day Moments

During my childhood, the highlight of Thanksgiving day was going to Paw Paw Talbert’s house to watch the Thanksgiving Parades on his color television set. It was a large cabinet model that sat on the floor. Although one did have to get up and turn a knob to change the channels., it was very upscale compared to our family’s 14-inch, black-and-white set.
Soaking in the colors of the Macy’s Parade was, and still is, a delight to me on Thanksgiving Day. There are a thousand other special Thanksgiving Day moments but I’ll narrow it down to my top ten.

My Top Ten Thanksgiving Day Moments (listed in random order):

ü  Thanksgiving Day Parades: I prefer to watch them from the comfort of my sofa, with pajama-clad children nestled beside me rather than from a crowded curbside.

ü  The Aroma of Turkey Roasting: This is one stretches all the way back to my childhood. My mama would indulge me with a piece of golden brown turkey skin before guests arrived for dinner. I still love to smell turkey roasting!

ü  Card Tables: Odd, I know. But card tables mean more people. As a child, we enjoyed sitting at the “kids’ table” until we decided it was more cool to sit on the sofa with the teens. T.V. trays were the next progression to the adult table. Plus, once the tables were cleared of food, they were great for playing games.

ü  Games: Football, tag, card games and board games. We love playing games at our house. Seems like we carve out more time for them around the holidays. Of course, my favorites are the word-building games.

ü  Crunching Leaves Underfoot: I like hearing the sound when walking in the woods around our home. I also savor the few colorful leaves still clinging to their branches or as they flurry across the sky.

ü  Crisp, Cool Air: It brings a freshness along with cozy sweaters and blankets, coffee and hot chocolate. Snuggling by a fire inside or
    by the fire pit outside.


I'm Walking the Walk and Climbing the Tree

Sally Matheny says "Give a Child a Tree!"
I am receiving lots of photos and stories from parents and children who have accepted my challenge to climb a tree. I just wanted everyone to see I'm not just talking the talk. I'm walking the walk and climbing a tree, too!
Join me on my two week campaign (Give a Child a Tree). Peel your children off the couch, take a walk and climb a tree together. Don't allow your child to be the one out of three kids who have never climbed a tree! (Based on a study of kids ages 6 - 15)
Send me a photo and/or a story of your child in a tree and get one entry in a drawing for an outdoor toy. Send me a photo and/or story of YOU and your child in a tree together and you'll get two entries.

I did have one man who asked what if he got his family of seven in a tree on one branch! :)

Well, first I'd say for everyone to please be safe! And I'll tell you what, I'll give a drawing entry for every two people in your family you get in the same tree. (So, a family of 7 will get three entries!) They do not have to be on the same branch. In fact, I would rather them not be on the same branch!

If you're wondering where my kids are and why they aren't in the tree with me--two are in college and my 8 yr. old took the picture! He LOVES this contest and wants to see more pictures so keep sending them in!

You do not have to climb high. Just get in the tree and have fun!

A reminder: You can send photos/stories to this blog, my facebook page, my email or snail mail.
                     Deadline is Nov. 17th.


Climb a Tree Contest 2012

by Sally Matheny

As my grandparents used to say, "Can you shin-ny up a tree?" 

Has your child shinnied up a tree lately? Who has never climbed a tree? 

Research states one out of every three children!

When we were children, my sister and I used to play in the woods for hours. We not only climbed trees but made houses out of sticks, pies out of mud, and crowns out of leaves. Nature provided a wonderful playground.

October is recognized nationally as Pizza Month, Fire Safety Month, and Diabetes Awareness Month. 

I propose we also establish it as "Climb a Tree" Month!