How You Can Be Truly Happy On Black Friday

How You Can Be Truly Happy On Black Friday

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Both catalogs arrived on the same day. Laying them both on the counter I let out an audible sigh.
The irony.

In my mailbox, printed in glossy colorful images, the struggle between our flesh that craves more stuff, and our souls that know we are most full when we empty ourselves out for others.

We are one day from Thanksgiving and there will be some who will rush through the meal, push back from their tables, and race off to be waiting in line by 4PM for a chance to score a good Black Friday deal on Thursday afternoon.

I used to do the whole Black friday thing. It used to be more fun. We’d rise early and grab coats and coupons, and hit up whoever was open for coffee or bagels or donuts on the way.

I never went with a list. There’s never been anything I’ve needed that badly.

I don’t actually know what it feels like to be in need.

I lost my taste for the madness of Black Friday the year I watched a woman pile up every single one of a particular item a store had on super sale. She had grabbed them all and stuffed them into two shopping carts.

I suppose It’s possible she had 40 kids. Maybe she was planning to donate them, or re-gift them to kids in need. I don’t know. But something about it felt wrong to me, and I felt physically ill as I watched this happen repeatedly in the various stores we went to that morning.

That was 5 years ago. I haven’t been out on Black friday since–except with the family to buy our Christmas tree.


We invest a lot of time in trying to teach our children that it is truly better to give than to receive. We are learning what that looks like ourselves.

I threw away the catalog on the right. I didn’t even let my kids look at it.

Hours spent pouring over those gift catalogs breeds want. I know. I used to thumb the pages of that old Sears catalog every holiday season when I was a child. We’d circle the items we wanted, dog-earing the pages and rubbing the color right off of them for all of the time we spent looking at all of the stuff.

I don’t want to live that way.

I don’t want my kids to live that way.

Since becoming an Advocate for Compassion, my eyes have been opened. My heart has broken for things other than a missed sale. Bigger, lasting things that truly matter have pushed out so much of that desire for more and the wrestling has become significantly easier.

Include your kids in the process. Let them choose an item they’d like to give. Make it a Thanksgiving tradition to flip through this catalog after the meal.

This friday, consider buying gifts that will make a difference. Change a life. Support a family in need. Tell a child that you love them, and that they matter.

Join me in shopping with Compassion.

Give a Gift in Jesus's Name


    1. Amy, we sent an email to all of our extended family, explaining what we wanted to do with Christmas/birthdays and what we are trying to teach our children. We didn’t say “no gifts” but we made a specific list of things they need (mostly books and things for homeschooling) and asked that they purchase from that list. Paying for you as you navigate these waters. It’s harder than it should be, right?!

  1. Petra

    Well written. This year my son came running down with book in hand and said mami, I want this. Thinking I didn’t want to buy it, but looked anyway…it was a picture of a mom a kids making Christmas cookies. So I glad fully told him we would do that. What kids want is play time with mom and dad.

  2. bluecottonmemory

    I’ve never done the Black Friday thing – though when we’re in the big city staying with family, I’d buy clothes for the boys’ Christmas I couldn’t get in our small town – and that was always fun. We always try to wait until Christmas to give them the new sizes they need:) What a wonderful message, you have, though – to make ensure all things are in moderation – and we live generosity of spirit! Wishing you a blessed season celebration our Savior!


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