I love to shop. I love to shop for other people and for myself. I love to be in the store and I love to be online shopping. Online shopping has been winning in the last few years. It saves on gas, first and foremost, and sometimes shopping online gives me the opportunity to compare prices and products a lot more easily then running from store to store.
This year a lot of stores are planning to open early on Thanksgiving instead of the traditional "Black Friday." I shopped once on a Black Friday and that pretty much cured me of it, but for a lot of people it's part of their Thanksgiving weekend tradition.
With our economy the way it is, the stores are really grappling for our money. When I worked a Christmas season at a retailer a few years ago, the only thing that really mattered to them was signing up customers for the store's credit card. Your job hinged on that alone. Since then, I've had a bad taste in my mouth for that store and any other store that wants to shove their credit card down my throat. I feel badly for the employees who are made to do that.
This year one store has decided to take a different approach. There will be no decorations or Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Doesn't it sound refreshing?
None of this mattered to me until my conversion and as the years go by, I try to keep my love of shopping in check and try to focus on the "reason for the season." My kids are older, so the toy thing is gone, replaced by a few selected items and, I hate to say it, cold hard cash. This gives me a lot of time to experience Advent.
With the new translation coming up on November 27 our choir has been focusing on preparing for the new Mass parts. This has also been a good diversion for me and keeps my focus on what's important.