What are you doing on Black Friday this year? Are you going to choose to #OptOutside? I know that it’s tradition for many to go out and shop all of the big sales, but is that what you really want to do? Is that what your kids want you to do? Who really wants to cook all day Thursday, then leave their families that afternoon to go shopping? And the whole idea of Black Friday scares me. Everyone knows how much I love finding a great deal and saving money, but shopping in that kind of environment is so dangerous to our budgets.
Have you ever known anyone who went into a store and only bought the door buster? It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement and walk out of the store with way more than you went in for. So wouldn’t you rather #OptOutside? For the past three years, REI has chosen to close its stores on Black Friday in order to encourage both their employees and their customers to enjoy the day outside. I love this idea for so many reasons, and I think it underlines the important things we are trying to teach our families.
I know that there are some amazing deals out there on Black Friday (and even Thursday for some). As I mentioned in my post about creating a holiday budget, you have to be really disciplined this time of year. Hopefully you have already planned out your giving, and how much you’re going to spend. Many of the stores are already running their sales, check and see if the things you are still looking for are included in those. But never walk into a store around the holidays without some plan for exactly what you are looking for and your budget.
But what if you chose to skip the craziest shopping day of the year and spend the day outside having fun with your family? Maybe work off some Thanksgiving calories, kicking off the holiday season with an outdoor adventure. When it comes to sticking to our holiday budget and keeping our holidays as stress free as possible, the key is to pull back, look at what you are doing, and decide if it really fits in with what you are trying to accomplish this year. And the best way to do that is to not put yourself where you will be tempted to act on impulse.
I’m guessing that it really won’t impact your Christmas a whole lot if you decide not to shop on Friday. What will be impacted though, is your family’s impression of the holidays. If they spend more time with you, you are all going to have a much better time.
Need some ideas to #OptOutside?
Build a snowman
Clean the garage for dad for his Christmas present
Find some pine cones and sticks to build a wreath
Go on a new hike
Go on a scavenger hunt
Learn to geocache
Catch a colorful winter trout
Look for painted rocks in your community
Go on a fat tire bike ride
Explore a new trail close to home
Find a new trail away from home if you are travelling
Make a Dutch oven meal with Thanksgiving leftovers
Float a river
Go ice fishing
Explore the historical landmarks around where you had Thanksgiving dinner
Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean we are stuck inside our homes, or the mall. Take advantage of the unique landscape this time of year, and show your kids that spending time outside together is better than being inside a store with a bunch of strangers spending money. And let’s teach them that the holidays are about more than just things. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and don’t forget to #optoutside!