I find myself conflicted over the Thanksgiving weekend. We start the holiday where we “stop” for a day to give thanks. To press the pause button and to be thankful for what we have. This is something that should be done everyday but it is nice that we as a nation pause to be thankful.
Then sometime during the day or in the wee hours of the night many enter the fray of Black Friday. Our inner consumer comes out. Now if the trend continues you may have participated in one of the last Black Friday’s as the reports show that 59% of people shopped online for Black Friday. I’ll be interested to see the sales numbers reported today from Friday.
Next you spend your weekend eating leftovers catching up with friends and family and watching sports.
Next up Cyber Monday. Consumerism is back! We certainly didn’t pause on the thankful theme for too long did we? You know when 10% of Americans have storage units and 50% of people with two car garages can’t park a car in it (guilty) we might have a problem. Maybe the most interesting, the average 10 year old owns 238 toys but plays with just 10 daily. (British research) American children make up 3.1% of the world’s children but consume 40% of the toys globally. There are tons more stats but you get the point.
America has a stuff problem.
I’m conflicted by this as a retailer. Yet the products that we select to carry in the store are of good quality. In the disposable society we live in our bicycles will provide hours and hours of enjoyment. More importantly they create experiences and lifetime memories for you and the people you ride with. Factor in the health benefits and a bunch of other things and I believe a bicycle is a great thing.
Next we end the holiday with Giving Tuesday. So after giving thanks, consuming for a few days we circle back to giving and helping others. I hope you consider giving the gift of time this season. As time is our most precious gift. Your gift of time to a charity of your choice, your community, or catching up with friends and family that you have grown apart from. Friends and family are our most precious gifts that we have.
It is an interesting six day period in our culture. It can lead one to be really confused as to what we as people really value and hold important. That is likely more of an individual question to ponder.
As your holiday journey continues over the next several weeks I hope it is a time of happiness for you and your family. Each day is truly a gift and for me I have realized that more and more this year. Yet I have also realized our future is in front of us full of opportunity and by looking forward we have so much to be hopeful for. As we can shape our future but we can’t change our past.