Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm not shopping on Thanksgiving, I hope you don't either

I opened my email this morning and found a sale flyer email from Michael’s. They will be open from 4pm - 2am Thanksgiving Day. Really? Do people care so little about spending time with their families, and care so much more about save a few cents that enough of them will leave their festivities on Thursday to go shopping? 
Sadly I realize that the answer to both is probably yes. It’s also related to the problem of why as artisans our work is so often undervalued (if valued at all.) The general public likes to forget the reasons why companies can offer insane sales on Black Friday Black Thanksgiving. They refuse to think about the underpaid manufacturer workers on the other side of the planet, that often never get to spend holidays with their families because they are working. That those workers make mere change compared to what most of us earn per hour/week/month here in the states. They don’t want to think about the tax breaks those big box stores get, resulting in the average American having to pay more taxes to make up for what Walmart, Michaels, Joann’s, etc. aren’t paying. 
I’m begging you, please don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving day. Please, if you NEED to shop on Thanksgiving, why not do it responsibly and in good conscious and shop from places like Etsy online? You have the opportunity to support artisans while not taking them away from their family on this family holiday. 
Still want to get out of the house? Why not bring a plate of goodies to an emergency room staff or to a 24 hour emergency vet clinic? These are services we need on holidays, and we’re lucky that there are people there for us. Show THEM some appreciation. Show them that you’re thankful for the life saving peace of mind their existence brings us. Let them know that you understand that they can’t be at home with their family for the holidays, because they’ve got the rest of us relying on them. 

Doing these things has a much bigger impact on your soul (not to mention being an excellent learning moment for children) than saving a few bucks on some crappy mass produced items will ever have on any souls.

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