black friday preparations

It seems as though this week is becoming known less for Thanksgiving and more for the Black Friday mania/extravaganza/cluster. Remember what Thanksgiving symbolizes, and enjoy your day off, spending time with special people.

And while Black Friday will hopefully bring me a nice, new, Energy Star-rated laptop, for many, it's a day to be extremely wasteful and materalistic. If you are going out, buy only what you actually need or would like to give to someone, instead of buying everything in sight just because it's super cheap.

If you plan to visit multiple stores, do it strategically, so you don't have to drive extra and waste fuel.

But if you can wait one more day, I highly suggest you take part in a day that becomes more popular each year - Small Business Saturday. Begun in 2010 by American Express, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is designated Small Business Saturday, and many local small businesses participate. The benefits of shopping small businesses are many. The stores are generally less crowded, you enjoy more personal customer service, you can find wonderful unique gifts and you benefit your city's economy more. A study done in 2004 in Chicago found that of every $100 spent at local businesses, $68 remained in the Chicago economy, while of every $100 spent at a chain, $43 remained in the Chicago economy.

So, happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Be thankful for this planet we live on, and remember to be nice to it!

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