November 24, 2012

Why I hate Black Friday but love Thanksgiving

As always, a weekend in Kentucky at my in-laws' farm is the exact opposite of boring. From first light to last snooze of the night, the place is busting at the seams with life. Animals milling around, kids stick fighting, food gobbled up as fast as you can cook it, tractors pulling, hoses cleaning, fires burning, load after load of laundry hanging on the line, grandma distributing bushels of band-aids, pictures snap snap snapping. Stop, sleep, repeat.

On Thanksgiving morning, we paused the bustle of Thanksgiving prep to run 4.1 miles. I wanted to call it the Turkey Day 5K, but it turns out that the easiest and safest route to run was just over 4 miles. Commence the re-naming because I'm going to try and make this the first of many Thanksgiving family runs. The cooler the name, the more people will want to run. Right? And it was free, so no one is allowed to complain about zero water stops and the out-and-back course with no spectators, unless you count the couple of cars that honked as the sped past.

We had ten people lace up their sneaks, which was pretty good for only planning it right before we fell asleep on Thanksgiving Eve.


My seven-year-old son was the youngest participant, and honestly, I wasn't sure he would make it all three, soon to be four, miles. But he wanted to get in on the fun, and I thought it would be a good way to get out some early-morning energy. I've seen that kid run in circles for hours, so even though he didn't have traditional race prep, he wasn't completely unprepared.

Although he was wearing blue jeans. So you can't really say he was prepared either.


But he was smart and brought his own snack, a plum. Remember it was a no-frills (or should I say environmentally friendly) race.


The course was slightly rolling hills with a mix of dirt, gravel and pavement. 


At the end of the run, my son said his shoes were hurting his feet, so I told him to take them off. And that went awesome for a few minutes. He was in love with not wearing shoes.


Until he kicked a rock. I decided to spare you the picture of the mangled toe because I want to post pictures of food. Although I'm pretty good at being an uncool blogger, I draw the line at posting food pics right beside mangled toe pics. 

But he finished and even had enough gas in the tank to kick at the end. It was really interesting to watch him because after running the first mile, he would sprint and walk, sprint and walk, sprint and walk. I tried to teach him the value of running a little bit slower than he knew he could so that he could run longer, but I'm pretty sure he didn't absorb that lesson that day. I have barely absorbed it for marathoning, so I can't say I blame him. 

And it could have been the food and family, but I'm pretty sure the running put us all in a better mood for the day. The pies and cobblers helped too.


And I was not at all offended by the marshmallows that tried to escape the crowded casserole dish. I could not stop eating these sweet potatoes, and I'm guessing I would have a hard time not eating anything else covered by that amount of marshmallows. 


Yes, we also ate veggies, but I guess the pictures tell the truth of what is really important to people. I only took pictures of desserts.

The rest of the day was dedicated to fun. These two look like they are coming up with a sneaky plan.


Which may or may not have included overthrowing the older siblings.


When surveyed, 20 out of 20 kids said they were thankful for horses. 




I'm never in the mood to shop Black Friday. Ever. And I am severely into good deals. I'm the person who drives to ten places on my birthday to redeem all of the coupons for free birthday ice cream and burritos. But we tried Black Friday once about eight years ago, and it just didn't seem worth it. The deals evaporated before we even got out of line. Then someone told me today that Amazon matches most of the deals anyway. My niece was particularly excited about this Harry Potter deal (all eight movies for $33.49). When I heard that Amazon matches the deals, I was even more annoyed by Black Friday.

Instead of hitting Best Buy or getting trampled at Wal-mart, we hit up the Mennonite store (also known as a storage shed). There's a large Mennonite community down the street from the farm, and there was definitely no trampling at this operation. Just politeness in skirts and bonnets. And dodging horse droppings. 


In case you're wondering, because I was, what the difference is between the Amish and Mennonites, here's a short explanation

Have you ever visited an Amish or Mennonite community? They make me want to hug the earth. And nothing is cuter than little girls in bonnets. Period.

Are you pro or anti Black Friday?

Thanksgiving day runs: good or give it a rest?

33 comments:

  1. seriously, WAY too cute and it looks like u all had a fabulous turkey day!! i wish i had my whole family out there and ready to rock a run...and i FULLY endorse making it longer just cuz..we'll call it the 5k + awesome mile! ;)

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  2. I LOVE the idea of Thanksgiving Day runs ... not that we have Thanksgiving in Australia but we could try it on Australia Day! Such a super way for the family to enjoy time together and get into the spirit of things (and burn up some excess energy). Looks like you had a wonderful time!

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  3. Your pictures are absolutely adorable!! Looks like such a great time.

    I had no idea amazon matches the deals on Black Friday. I don't ever go out unless I need something...but I'm more Pro Black Friday!

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  4. What a great tradition!! Your kids are totally adorable!!
    We don't have Black Friday in Canada (probably because our Thanksgiving is in October and no one wants to start Christmas shopping before Halloween!) BUT...I have watched the mayhem on the news and as much as I love a good deal, NOTHING is worth that kind of crazy.

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    1. Isn't it crazy?! I watched an old lady get trampled by people grabbing cell phones from a display. Just insane.

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  5. Definitely running on thanksgiving! Your family is the coolest. Somehow the sprint walk thing works really well for kids?

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  6. I'm dying to see the mangled toe pics.
    Your family's holiday could've been made into a modern-day Little House on the Prairie movie. It sounds amazing and I'll bet your (so cute!!) kids were in heaven.
    That birthday, bargain-hopping? I do that!! I do the same thing on my boys' birthdays, too. Gotta start training 'em early...

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  7. Your pictures are beautiful. Looks like a great time.
    I hate Black Friday. I don't participate at all. I prefer continuing Thanksgiving with my family and really don't leave the house until Saturday.
    I've never done an official Thanksgiving run but it sounds fun. I am going to run my daughters Turkey Trot with her next week. (It was cancelled before Thanksgiving due to rain) so that should be fun. She will probably be a sprinter / walker as well.

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  8. I agree with the smart people who posted above. Love your pics, esp you and the kids in the wagon. Envy (just a little) that you can get 10 people to run on T-giving. Hate times ten the idea of shopping on black Fri. My one and only attempt cost me a wife. No big loss there but it was the last time I make that mistake.

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  9. You have the cutest family!! When I grow up, I want to have a family run day on Thanksgiving. With that many pies and cobblers. And seriously, marshmallow top?? This is to die for. Worth 3, 4 or 10 miles! We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here for being just the 4 of us and not enough time/patience to stuff a turkey. We do shop on Black Friday though, but online and only for very specific things because it happens to be around my kids' birthdays, so it helps saving some money on gifts. For example, this year I bought them each a pair of Skullcandy over the ear earphones because they've been asking me for 2 years and at 39$ each it was more affordable than a 200$ stupid pair of Dre's Beats.

    We have no communities like these around in Canada, but I always enjoy going in the country on the Quebec side, they have the best foods.

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    1. It helps to get good numbers out for the run when you have a giant family. Of the people who were staying on the farm, we had 50% attendance for the race. Still pretty good!

      And I am into the online part of Black Friday too. Less pushing and shoving and no lines!

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  10. Amazing how you got that many family members to go out and run on Thanksgiving morning!!!

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  11. Love your Thanksgiving run!!! And your pics are great - looks like a good time was had by all!!

    I don't do Black Friday shopping - just don't like fighting crowds in a full stomach! HA HA!

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  12. Hurrah for your Thanksgiving run. You got waaay more participants than we did at our free run as well. Although they were prob just your children...you have SO many children but you all look so lovely together!!! And my marshmallows melted into the sweet potatoes. Took them out the over and wham, no marshmallows but a sugar crust. No idea how I did it but they were good!!

    Glad you had a good day. We love Thanksgiving.

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    1. You must have used the miniature marshmallows. But I bet they tasted equally delicious.

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  13. I didn't know Amazon matches deals! You gotta share more on how that works!!

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    1. They just match the deals themselves on the site, but if it's a TV, they will match the price at your request with a link to another site's ad.

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  14. I love running on any holiday! We ran the Thanksgiving half in Atlanta this year and it was great. Between the half, a 5k, and the kid races there were over 10,000 runners! It brought a little tear to my eye seeing everyone out on Thanksgiving. : ) Good job psyching your family up for a family run! Oh I'm totally anti Black Friday. With you all the way.

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    1. I didn't know they did that in Atlanta. So cool! What races do you have coming up?

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  15. What an awesome time!! Hate black friday and love turkey day runs!! Got in a 4.5 miler before the big dinner:) glad you are having a blast!

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  16. Looks like so much fun! I am not a huge fan of black Friday but can be lured out the door. This year it worked out pretty well for me and I got the three deals I was on the hunt for. I refuse to get out of bed at a ridiculous hour or go Thursday night though. Not worth it to do that.

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    1. Your shopping trip just sounded like regular shopping for good deals. You didn't have to elbow or trample a single person. Does that count as black friday?:)

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  17. Oh my gosh your Thanksgiving sound amazing - food, running, friends, and family in a gorgeous setting. That is my idea of heaven.

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  18. This looks like the best thanksgiving ever. All those pies=amazing!!! I can't believe your son ran 4 miles with no training in jeans. I bet he slept good that night!!! Awesome thankfiving holiday. Thanks for sharing!!!!

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  19. Running on holidays has become a new tradition for Allan and I and it's one I hope to keep. I think it sets a good example for kids to be active especially if you can be active on a holiday. Some of the cutest baby pictures of me are ones where I'm wearing frilly dresses and a bonnet so I'm with you on the cute little girls in bonnets. It's just precious!

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  20. Sounds like a good day!

    A few years ago one of my best friends got married in upstate NY where it was horse and buggy country (seriously...there were road signs!) but I'm not sure if it was Mennonite or Amish.

    I also LOL-ed at the birthday rewards statement b/c I LOVE a deal and am a member of way too many rewards clubs/birthday clubs :)

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    1. They have road signs in the town my husband grew up in too! It was the first time I had ever seen anything like it.

      I bet you know some of the good local ones for birthday stuff!!! Which ones are good?

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  21. Anti Black Friday.

    Pro That Pie Table.

    Your son is too cute!

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  22. I boycott Black Friday. I hate how retailers abuse their employees and make them work awful hours, cutting their Thanksgiving short.

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  23. That looks like the most fun EVER! this post seriously made me want to jump in the car with Logan and come hangout with you and your fam!! ....and devour that marshmallow casserole! HELLO! what are you trying to do to me.

    Here in Canada we don't have black friday. There are sales because we try to compete with the states so people spend their money here and not there but that's it!

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  24. I grew-up in Canada about 1 1/2 hours away from a Mennonite community. I miss it every day. Fantastic food and handmade furniture!! Loved it. Now I live no where near a community like that. I am envious of those homemade jams. Yummy. Also next year I am coming to your house for Thanksgiving. WOW!! Those pies look divine. As for Black Friday I went one time, two years ago, and did not like it. Was not worth the waiting in long lines to go in the store and find everything out of stock that I wanted.

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  25. ooh, never been to an amish or mennonite community but would love to. those desserts look amazing. i turkey trotted it-feel like i gotta burn off a little something on the biggest overeating day of the year. and, i love black friday!

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