Friday, November 24, 2006

11/24 - Black Friday? Nah... It's BRIGHT Friday!

Painting of the day:
Set of floral ACEOs now available on Etsy

After a spell of gray days and then a rainy Thanksgiving yesterday, today I awoke to bright blue skies, and a warm sunny day. My cold is definitely on it's way out, and I am thrilled to be feeling better. Leo enthusiastically bounded through the woods on our walk today - he's grateful the rain stopped too! He had a crazy look in his eye without a walk yesterday. It's been a great day and it's going to get even better when my best lady Emily arrives. Ladies night tonight - wine, talking, laughing, more wine, more laughing... good times.

I feel sorry for anyone trapped in the marketing machine that actually paid any attention to shopping today. Yikes. It amazes me every year to see people buying into the whole Black Friday thing. I saw on the news last night a few people interviewed waiting outside a Best Buy at around 11 at night to stay up for the 5 am opening. Wwwwhat???? One guy said it was because he could get something for under $200 and sell it on eBay for $500. Ok. But how about your medical expenses after your night spent in the cold rain (they were drenched)? Or the hours you spent waiting, weren't they worth something? Then there's the stampedes when the big stores open their doors. That is the LAST place I'd want to be!

I am looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit, though, in my own way of course! I like to make gifts or search for unique items online or in small shops. Northampton MA is only a 40 minute drive from here, and I love going there to shop. They string lights through the pedestrian friendly downtown, filled with restaurants and funky shops and boutiques. I think there are a lot of people out there that think like me when it comes to gift shopping, and it's great - support the small businesses, artists and craftsmen! I plan to do a lot of shopping on Etsy this year. It feels great to say "this came from a potter in Maine named ____ who is..." vs. "I got it at Target, the receipt's in the bag".

Speaking of great gifts.... my husband's Aunt Wendy just gave us a wedding present, and it is beyond words wonderful.... For wedding favors, I had little bundles of a butterfly/bird attracting wildflower seed mix, and I wrapped them in brightly colored squares of fabric, tied off with a ribbon and card saying what the seed mix was, and the date of our wedding. At the end of the reception, Wendy asked to collect the favors people left on their tables and we said no problem! We assumed they wanted the extra seeds for their garden. Well, she ended up sewing the patches of my fabric squares along with an added butterfly print fabric together like a quilt, and then using that to cover a pillow. She embellished it with golden thread, in shapes of birds and butterflies. The ends of the roll pillow are tied off with the ribbon and cards from my favors! It was so thoughtful and considerate, and something that means the world to both of us.

My wish for all this year is to have stress free, fun time with the ones we love. It's not about the gifts, it's about the love. For years, my uncle would wrap his Christmas gifts in newspaper. Who cared? My beloved uncle was there, making me laugh! I don't remember what he got me, but I remember how great it felt to be around him. That's what lasts. That's what remains when toys get broken, clothes don't fit anymore, and trends become outdated. It's the memories of the time we've shared together. That is what is most important.


Mary said...

Jessica, I enjoyed reading this so much together with seeing your beautiful flowers. I was really touched with the story about your uncle and your heartwarming thoughts about it.

Cynthia said...

Hi Jessica, glad to hear you are feeling better and that the weather has improved in your neck of the woods!

Your aunt's gift sounds very creative and wonderful...the type of gift that you'll have forever.

I know what you mean about black friday...I'm always left scratching my head when people get up in the middle of the night to shop!