Black Friday gets its name because it's the day when retailers start to turn profits (or go into the 'black'). The name though, is starting to seem incredibly fitting as the day takes on a more negative image. It seems like every year stores are pushing things further and further when it comes to holiday shopping. Decorations are out before summer ends, and Black Friday sales are starting on...Thursday? I know times are tough for all of us, and we need all the discounts we can get, but are we going too far? It seems like we're losing focus on the true meaning of the holidays.

I love shopping as much as the next girl. The thrill of a good find, the adrenaline rush of 50, 60, 70% off?? I get it, trust me.

I also get a thrill from telling a joke that makes my cousin Phil laugh. I get an adrenaline rush when my Dad tells me that something I cooked actually came out good.  My 3-year-old baby cousin getting excited because he has Lightning McQueen on his shirt makes me smile more than finding the perfect pair of jeans. Having all of my family in one room, talking, eating, telling jokes and stories, enjoying eachother's company..that's what makes a holiday special.

I'm all for waking up semi-early for a shopping trip on Black Friday if you really enjoy the experience...just try not to take time away from your loved ones to buy stuff. (That's all it is, people...STUFF. Heavily discounted stuff, perhaps, but still, just STUFF.)

Your kids will forget about how you didn't get them one of the 20 toys they wanted this year. They might be sad for a day or two...but trust me, they'll get over it. I wanted a Furby back in the day...I never got one...somehow, I survived.

What your kids will likely remember though, is how Mommy had to go to bed at 4pm on Thanksgiving Day so she could wake up in the middle of the night to go shopping. "Sorry, Emily, Mommy can't listen to you say what you're thankful for this year, she heard cashmere is on sale."


What's really important to you? What's really important to your family? Sure, I'd love to buy the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone in my family, and save as much money as possible while doing so...but I'd also like to actually see my family during THIS holiday.

Yes, the stores might be more crowded at 11am on Friday than they will be at 3am, but there's a reason for that. People are not supposed to shop at 3am. You shouldn't have to camp outside a store for 3 days to save $100 on a TV.

Give your family the best gift of all this year: spending quality time together, making fabulous memories with the people you love.

Will you shop on Black Friday?