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November 29, 2013

If I didn’t have lunch plans today, I would absolutely be participating in Buy Nothing Day. That would be the lesser known holiday that was created in protest of Black Friday. And hopefully it is just one more incentive to keep you out of the malls until Small Business Saturday.

Although, actually I’m not so sure I can support that either. Not because I don’t love small businesses, I do. It’s just that the rampant consumerism of November and December makes my head spin. And I’m not the only one, perhaps you’ve heard about Reverend Billy?

Mostly I try to stay away from crowds. I’ll go to popular places, but I’ll make sure to drop in at off times. I’ll never stand in line to get into a bar (although I will wait in line for a cup of exquisite coffee). And this is from someone who happens to enjoy being around people.

Perhaps the worst part is the parking lots.

Feel free to file this under “First World Problems” but I foolishly decided to do my Thanksgiving grocery shopping on Wednesday. Yes, I knew it would be bad. And I had a lot of places on my list.

Early in the day I had to pick up Chanukah presents for the kids, which led me to the mall. I also was instructed to pick up a cake in addition to a pumpkin pie, so I made a special bakery run. Those two trips ate up the morning, and I still didn’t have any food in the house for the festive meal. It was clear that my food runs were going to be intense.

I’ve got this crazy thing about grocery stores. No one grocery store has all the things I want, so I’m compelled to cross shop all of them. And when I have a big list, forget about it. My intention on Wednesday was to hit ShopRite, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Plus a couple of wine stores in search of an improbable bottle from France.

All of that went out the window when I hit the ShopRite parking lot.

I came to realize that there was no way I had the patience to deal with yet another over crowded lot of maniacal Jersey drivers. So, I figured I would just have to make the best of it and try to be thankful for the bounty contained within ShopRite’s walls.

So I wasn’t able to get organic Yukon Gold potatoes, organic lemons, or organic whole cranberries. Nor was I able to find cream that was actually cream. And I had to accept that my stuffing was going to be made from bread that contained a variety of unwelcomed ingredients.

But the Thanksgiving meal still came off just fine with these substitutions. Remember, it’s not supposed to be about the food, but about the family.

Just like the post Thanksgiving holidays aren’t supposed to be about the gifts. Amazingly, as the kids were going to bed on the first night of Chanukah, Mrs. Fussy whispered to me that we neglected to give the kids their presents.

They didn’t notice, and that felt great.

To make up for it, last night they each got two gifts. One was a winter outfit from their great grandmother. The other was a small pack of rubber bands from their parents. Little Miss Fussy was thrilled to try on her new sparkly clothes, and Young Master Fussy ran to his Rainbow Loom to start making more bracelets.

Kids don’t need much. Adults don’t either. I’m learning that more and more as I function perfectly well with half of my stuff in a storage locker somewhere outside of Albany.

Maybe instead of buying stuff today, you can catch up on a few movies you may have missed. 

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