I find two kinds of people, when it comes to Black Friday…

black-friday-shoppers

black-friday-shoppers

Do you ever feel like we are getting or giving mixed messages? I felt sorry for many of the retail workers that not only had to work on Thanksgiving but… had to deal with so many disgruntle people on THANKSgiving night and on Black Friday.  I know some of the workers are not thrilled to be working, but I am amused that some of the grumpiest people are the ones that CHOSE to go shopping. I know there is another group of you that take your girlfriend or your sister, you get some serious shopping done but you have a blast! Our middle son, has camped out over night, made friends with the people in line. They took turns running to get coffee or hot chocolate for those around them, while others held their spot.

We see people that have spent the last few weeks sharing on social media ALL the things they have to be thankful for and then they spend the day with family, giving thanks for friends, family, food, our country and so on… Then they go shopping to get some great deals for their LOVED ones and quickly some of them lose their joy and their witness! If you are local to the St. Louis area, please do not have your JOY FM t-shirt on or the sticker on your car… or ANY thing on you or your car that screams I’m a Christian if you are one of those really grumpy people.

About 6 or 7 years ago, after cleaning my house, doing a ton of cooking and hosting Thanksgiving at my house, I then stayed up to hit an electronic store that had a big sale starting at midnight. It was going to be so worth it. They had multiple items that our sons wanted and it was going to save us hundreds of dollars. I am not a late-night person, so I was incredibly tired. I drove around 20 miles to get to the store and assumed I would be standing outside until the store opened, so I bundled up. As I got closer I was confused that I didn’t see anyone outside, I was praying that the line was just so short at 11:30 pm that I couldn’t see it. Well after I parked a long way off, as I walked closer to the store I could tell it was packed wall to wall in there. This precious retailer had opened their doors early.  When I walked in the helpful people up front said “what were you looking to get?”  I had the sales ad with multiple things circled.  Everything I wanted except for 1 item was already all gone.  I was going to save $10 to 15 dollars and have to stand in a line that wrapped around the store, they said an hour to hour and half wait. I could have voiced my frustration and disappointed to the poor workers who were going at a frantic pace to keep up with all the craziness in their store, but I certainly didn’t see any benefit in that. I’m sure my face had already said plenty. I wanted to cry, in fact I think once I was back in my car I shed a couple of pity me tears.

I decided after that IF I was to ever head out again for late Thursday or Black Friday craziness, that getting a good deal would be second on my agenda and not my first.

I wanted to look up what Thanksgiving means, why did we begin to celebrate it as a National holiday? This is what I found:

This is the origin of our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. Congress of the United States has proclaimed National Days of Thanksgiving to Almighty God many times throughout the following years. On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside:

“…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God…”

Many years later, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving “on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” In this Thanksgiving proclamation, our 16th President says that it is…

“…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own…”  Read more at: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/ednkc002.html

I decided my first agenda would be to befriend the people I was in line with, I had always tried to be friendly but now this was with a purpose, to be a positive distraction if at all possible. Be over the top kind to any and all workers, no matter what their mood or attitudes are with me.  I’m not saying this comes natural, but I know with God’s help we can do the super natural! If I end up getting a good deal, that is a bonus!

I’m grateful congress gave us a National Day of Thanksgiving, but my prayer continues to be for each of us, to look daily for things to be thankful for. Just a fun fact… Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

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