12 Things to Do Today OTHER THAN Shop


– Bias alert –

Okay. Now that we’ve got that straight, let me say this: whoever came up with Black Friday oughtta be keel-hauled. Because you know what? Some people actually like to spend the holiday with the fam. And they can’t. Because some brain surgeon came up with a way to get a jump on the Christmas shopping season and turn every yahoo in the country who doesn’t have anything better to do into a raving lunatic. It’s called “Black Friday.”

I don’t blame retailers or businesses for wanting to boost their bottom lines. I blame consumers. If it wasn’t profitable to be open on Thanksgiving Day in order to accommodate the Moments of Sheer Insanity thinly disguised as ever-earlier “Door Buster” sales, businesses wouldn’t be open. It’s called supply and demand.

So instead of shopping today:

  • Warm up those turkey leftovers and eat in so the wait staff at restaurant whatever may not have to come in next year and wait on you.
  • Instead of snagging that Black Friday sale at 5:00 a.m. today, wait till the weekend. I’m pretty sure you won’t die.
  • Don’t shop on Thanksgiving night so someone else can enjoy the holiday, too. At home. With the fam. Where they belong. Instead of ringing you up.

Still with me? Good. Cuz here are 12 other brilliant options for today instead of shopping (cuz that’s just dumb):

  1. If your relatives are out of state and you weren’t able to get together, call. (Notice I did not say “text.” Call. As in, talk.)
  2. Get a jump on your Christmas baking. Take a plate of fresh goodies over to your local fire station or police department along with a thank you note.
  3. Go out for a walk. Hop on the treadmill. Chug on over to the track. Find the track. (You know who you are.)
  4. Mow your lawn (weather permitting.) Even better, offer to mow your neighbor’s lawn. If you live in snow country, fill in the blanks.
  5. Listen to some seasonal music. Recommended: Andrea Bocelli or The Piano Guys.
  6. Donate to your favorite charity. If you don’t have one, consider: Samaritan’s Purse, Wounded Warriors, Salvation Army.
  7. Read. A. Book. Like The Christmas Box. You can polish this puppy off in a couple hours, if you read slow. Check out Christmas Every Day, a short story by William Dean Howells, or Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic, A Christmas Carol. They’re both short. (Unusually short, in Dickens’ case.)
  8. Pop some popcorn. Find some whole cranberries. String some garlands.
  9. Leave a thank you note at your mail box for your postal carrier.
  10. Watch the sun set. Even better with some friends or family members.
  11. Make some English Wassail. Share. Best on a cold day, but good any time.
  12. Stir up a batch of chocolate-peanut butter fudge. Pour some  hot chocolate. Plop in a peppermint stick or some marshmallows. Invite some friends over and watch a movie. Like:
  • A Thousand Men and a Baby: Based on the true story about the men of the U.S.S. Point Cruz who break all the rules to save an Amerasian infant abandoned at an American Army supply depot in 1953.
  • White Christmas: Bing, Danny, and a snowless Vermont. Okay. So it’s a little thin on a few essentials. Like a coherent plot. But who cares?
  • The Homecoming. A family awaits the return of their father on Christmas Eve. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Depression. The pilot that launched The Waltons.
  • The Christmas Box. A seasonal classic. My personal favorite, along with It’s a Wonderful Life.

Steve, you’re amazing:


There. That wasn’t too hard, was it?

What are you doing today?