29 November 2013

Top Five Friday: Old Scrooge vs New Scrooge

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~ Victor Frankl

In November, I am continuing to participate in the Two Pages-a-Day writing challenge.  And I must have been abducted by aliens who replaced my brain with rocks, because I’m also doing NaNoWriMo for the first time.  Someone get this girl a drink!!

lack Friday is Old Skinflint Scrooge’s wet dream.  It’s Reformed Scrooge’s nightmare.

I went shopping on Black Friday once.  I barely escaped with my life.  My checkbook, on the other hand, was mauled and decimated.

Or is that “malled?”

When I witnessed two grown women throwing punches and pulling each other’s hair over whatever toy was the hot must-have-or-junior-will-need-therapy, I ran out of there like Santa fleeing a rabid reindeer. 

I was the one who needed therapy after that!

Beating the Jones’ at Their Own Sad Game
Cyber Monday is a little less crass in its hawking of electronics that you will only upgrade later in the year ~ at full price.

And yet, we all manage to complain about how wretched it is that stores are opening earlier and earlier.  We shake our heads and wag our tongues about how more important family and friends and peace is.

And then we go camp outside Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, or all three.  I have one word for you:


Seriously, if you really care about changing how things are done, then, to quote a clichéd meme, you really do need to be the change you want to see. 

It starts with you.

And me. (What? I admit I am not completely immune to considering standing in line for the new Microsoft Surface 2 ~ would make writing easier!) 

So I decided that this year, I would make my Black Friday protest productive.

Hibernate for a Day
After a marathon couple of days cleaning and prepping and most of Thursday cooking for Thanksgiving, I have earned a little extra shut eye.  No getting up in the middle of the night to sleep on cold and dirty parking lot in thirty-degree weather for me! 

Write a Letter
I have actually thought about asking my friends to forgo buying my Christmas presents this year and asking them to instead, write me a letter. 

Not an email.
Not a text.
Not a post on my FB wall.
Not a two line note.

A real, long, letter.  An open letter.  A vulnerable letter.  

Write Anything
John Cusack standing under a window with a pen and paper. That will be me today.  At some point.  After I crawl back out of my hibernating cave of blankets and comforters.  I do have a book I'm trying to birth, might as well sit down and "git 'er done."

Make a List and Check It Twice
Well, more like a spreadsheet.  Yes, I am an Excel nerd.  I also roll my eyes at math, so Excel sheets make my life awesome.  This year I combined both my Christmas card and Christmas gift list.  Every year I promise myself that I will get all my Christmas cards signed, sealed and delivered on time.  And yes, I know that Christmas actually begins on Christmas Eve and doesn't end (technically) until Candlemas.  
But everyone loves to be loved and to know that they are remembered.  Better to remind them that you are still alive and hope they are too while you both are indeed still kicking.  Use today to email people or post a status on Facebook or Tweet asking for address updates.  
And when you send someone a card, don't just sign it.  As much as Hallmark may do a good job expressing sentiment, it isn't yours.  I hate getting cards that are just signed The Cranks and nothing else.  You know what happens to those cards?

"In the bin!"
If you don't know what to say, then maybe you should tell them that.  Or maybe you shouldn't send that person a card.  Maybe you should call them.  Either way, make it personal, make it vulnerable.  

That's the point of Christmas cards.
Take a Page from Dickens
No, not literally ~ although that would be an awesome craft project!  Instead of acquiring more, spend Black Friday giving by researching charities.  Be creative.  Don't just give to the well known ones.  That are many charities out there that do good work and don't carry the burden of high overhead costs.  
Maybe it's just me, but the CEO of a charity making millions makes me go hmmm.  Check out Guidestar for a list of charities and full disclosure on how they handle their finances.

Let's make today about friends, family, and sanity. 

And not about the hoarding, consumerist "Me Monster."

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

How will you honor the spirit of the holiday season this year?

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