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Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

A dear friend of mine sent me flowers for Thanksgiving (this created an amusing stir at the office) and wanted to know how I celebrate when in NZ. He’s originally from Poland and grew up in the UK but then spent a significant amount of time in the US. Well traveled, interesting stories, kind and an all around enjoyable human being. He declared Thanksgiving his favourite US festival. Because what better holiday could there be than one centred around gratitude? Gorgeous. Also exactly the kind of perspective I have come to appreciate from him. 

Calling Thanksgiving a ‘festival’ makes me think more of something that happens in Europe, instead of the precursor turkey binge dinner run up holiday to Christmas, and also the emphasis on gratitude put a new shine on the holiday for me. 

To be honest, I hardly think of Thanksgiving in NZ. The weather is all wrong and I have never cooked a turkey. I have been able to pivot Christmas into my NZ version with new traditions but no such luck with the Festival of Gratitude. Instead, much of the normal run up to Thanksgiving is actually focused on our Black Friday sale. 
This year we had quite a debate around even having it and, like most things we do, we wanted to make sure it continued to reflect our values. Should we stop the sale? Should we donate funds instead? Should we do a one day sale? Why are we having the sale? There was lots of poking and prodding. 
Donating to charity is a nice thing to do. But here’s where it can fall down a bit. If your only focus on community is on donating to charity in someways you are saying that the good you do is ‘out there’ or ‘over there’ somewhere and you neglect your own house. It’s like only celebrating love on Valentine’s Day instead of all year round. It’s actually ridiculous if that’s all you do. 
I like that people are bringing awareness to causes that matter to them. But what I like more is living consciously. Purchasing is power. It’s a way to cast our vote for the things we believe in. So instead of once in awhile type of do good we decided to make choices that each purchase a customer makes with us does good. You help people earn a living wage, have a product that’s focused on quality instead of quantity, use less plastic and bring our values into your home. 
So in a way, our Black Friday sale and weekend could be my version of the Gratitude Festival in NZ. LilyBee, our community and the privilege to be in the world is something to be grateful for today and everyday. 
Happy Thanksgiving. 

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