HAPPENINGS: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday

Janice Lynn Crose | Special to the News Bulletin/USA TODAY NETWORK

CRESTVIEW — Tomorrow many of us will gather with our families to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving. While we have this one day set aside to thank the Lord for his bountiful blessings, we need to be thankful everyday for the abundance he has bestowed upon us.

It has always been amazing to me that the day after we celebrate our blessings, we rush to the stores early in the morning to find the best deals we can. We have just given thanks for what we have and then we go out and fight the crowds so we can attain the best deal. It appears to me that there is a disconnect between our gratitude and desires.

I am all for waiting until Black Friday to get a fabulous deal on needed items, but let's think about what that means.  

Do we really need the latest cell phone, tablet or laptop? Some people may need these items for work, while for others it is a luxury.

In general, Americans are in substantial debt. An article I just read (https://bit.ly/3cry5Vq) states the following: "A recent GOBankingRates survey found that 30% of Americans have between $1,001 and $5,000 in credit card debt, 15% have $5,001 or more in credit card debt and about 6% have more than $10,000 in credit card debt. Although 6% may seem like a small amount, that means that based on the survey results, 14 million Americans have over $10,000 of credit card debt."

These are sobering statistics and ones we need to take to heart before we go out shopping on Black Friday. Yes, if you have been waiting for certain items and you need them or they are Christmas gifts for your children or grandchildren, it may be worth fighting the crowds for the good deals. But then again, maybe this is the year to cut back and live within your means for Christmas gifts. We have gotten so used to buying everything we want that we forget handmade gifts truly come from the heart.

Perhaps you know how to knit or crochet. A handmade scarf for chilly days is always welcome. My mother made gorgeous quilts and table runners for Christmas gifts. Most people love homemade baked goods. Whip up a batch of Christmas cookies and pack them in a cute container from the Dollar Store. Use your imagination for gifts.

Many elderly people would love to have someone help them out with chores they can no longer perform on their own, such as hanging their exterior Christmas lights on their homes, trimming the trees in their yards and so on.

Look around. There are many things that we can do for others that cost us time, but minimal money. This is the time of year to be thankful and to reach out and help others. I know that there are an abundance of homemade gifts I haven't even mentioned that would bless others.

Let's all be grateful for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us this year.

From our home to your home, Happy Thanksgiving!

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.