Is it really about Thanksgiving? or “Why I’m boycotting ‘Black Friday’…”

Well, the Season to be thankful has began, and its greatest day is already here. Thanksgiving day is all about family, friends, cooking, sharing, enjoying each other’s company and football! Be Thankful. It’s the word for the Season.

“Thanks. And a whole lot more.”

That said, I think I just got tired of being bombarded by the commercialism associated with the upcoming holidays… somehow, even though we’re living overseas, the commercial holidays and their unique products, find a way to come to us…. don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, need the holiday spirit around my house, love to cook for my family, trying new and improved recipes… But, come on! Witnessing Christmas trump over Thanksgiving, having suggested ‘Thanksgiving gifts’ for our children… seems a bit too much… But again, maybe, it’s just me…

Credit: Someecards.com

Well, the Season to be thankful has began, and its greatest day is already here. Thanksgiving day is all about family, friends, cooking, sharing, enjoying each other’s company and football! Be Thankful. It’s the word for the Season.

“Thanks. And a whole lot more.”

That said, I think I just got tired of being bombarded by the commercialism associated with the upcoming holidays… somehow, even though we’re living overseas, the commercial holidays and their unique products, find a way to come to us….Thanks to our Direct TV routed signal from Puerto Rico (which I’m deeply thankful for!). It’s great being able to watch our favorite shows, movies… but it comes with a price: you also get all the commercial, car & medicare adds, sales specials… the whole nine yards that make this end of the year period Merry & Bright!!! 😮

Please, don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, need the holiday spirit around my house, love to cook for my family, trying new and improved recipes… But, come on! Witnessing Christmas trump over Thanksgiving, having suggested ‘Thanksgiving gifts’ for our children… seems a bit too much… But again, maybe, it’s just me…

Credit: http://blogs.clarionledger.com

I’m a bit overwhelmed by what the holiday season (and all the commercial adds around it!) has turned into!

If you like to shop, go for it. Enjoy your time. I myself like shopping as much as the next person, but this year, I’ll be passing on the ‘early Black Friday‘. Not only there’s the option to shop online for pretty much, the same products, but one could also begin his/her shopping ventures as early as [Thanksgiving] Thursday, at 8 pm! Go, have your dinner with family, grab your purses, and head to the mall, walking off all that turkey, trading the very-much-needed nap for long walks through the stores! If one likes it, go ahead, have a great time window shopping, talking to other customers at the stores, finding the latest, coolest, brightest, piece of clothing! Forget about doing the dishes – they can happily wait in the crowded sink – call your friends, get into your car, pack an extra dose of patience and kindness for the parking lots, and… Go shopping!

http://www.usatoday.com

Once more, not for me.

And I’m fully aware that by now, I may have gotten several readers errr, upset with my take on the whole thing… Apologies. If you dearly love the madness that comes with the strongly suggested shopping” the day after Thanksgiving Day, good for you. Just don’t keep reading. I respect people’s opinion and they’re unexplainable desire to shop, but, it’s not for me. And why all this?

The explanation is actually, quite simple, and it involves no previous frustrations with this time of the year, nor any bad memories from any childhood. Holidays are fun, and mine are always filled with great moments of joy. The reason I began to boycott the Black Friday madness comes from answering a few simple questions:

Image Credit: http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com
“Do I really need this?”

“Do I have money for this, or I’d need to dive into our Christmas budget?”

“Do I have space in our house for that?”

If it’s a decorative piece, “what am I gonna do with this after the season is over?”

“Do I have storage space?” 

Don’t know about y’all, but because we’re a ‘nomad’ family, moving every so often, due to work and lifestyle, my answers were all ‘No’… Besides, this year, husband and I spent a good hour explaining to our [7 years old and younger] children the meaning behind the celebrations, why we need to be thankful, the meaning of gratitude… Why it’s necessary to share what we have  with others, and why give not because you have to, but because it truly makes you feel good about yourself and about life… Not sure if the kids grasped all the information that was thrown upon them, but at least, got them understanding what Toys for Tots is, and the importance of volunteering when yo have a skill and time to share…

Image Credit: http://inhabitat.com

After our ‘quasi-family meeting’, I realized that the post-Thanksgiving shopping idea runs completely opposite to these ‘freshly-developed’ concepts! How could I explain to my children that, despite all the ‘teachings’, I needed to go out and guess… go shop for more stuff! 😮

I’d be contradicting myself, and jeopardizing the ideas I’d just planted into my children’s minds and hearts… So, I decided: we’ll be passing on the Black Friday madness shopping. Right now, don’t really need any new sweaters, decorative pieces, nor the newest-coolest talking toy…

Today, it’ll be about cooking, family and friends. We’ll enjoy our Thanksgiving Day. And a restful evening with our kids.

Tomorrow, we’ll be enjoying the day off. Far away from the malls, stores, or even, clicks away from any dot com attractive store website… Maybe, we could even take a short road trip? Since we’re not in the US, roads shouldn’t be packed with cars coming and going from who knows where… We’ll enjoy our ‘Black Friday’, hopefully, keeping our wallets safeguarded from any ‘shopping madness’! 😮

Wait!! Just remembered something: I forgot to mention “Cyber Monday” is also coming… be aware… be careful… together, those two ‘shopping days’ will find a way to get ya! 😮

What about you? Looking forward to Black Friday shopping or… just relaxing and staying as far away as possible?  

You already know my answer! 😮 Happy Thanksgiving to us all!

Where all the Havaianas in the world come from…

Paraíba, Brazil

…they come from a single factory, located in a little place called “Campina Grande“, in Paraíba, one of the Northeastern states of Brazil!

Currently, there are more than 40 models of Havaianas and with all the colors available, that adds up to about 350 variations. It makes for any woman’s (or man’s) wildest designing dream!

Finding Havaianas in Brazil isn’t hard – since they’re available at 150,000 points of sale in the country

(I imagine right now my mother-in-law is so jealous…)

However, not every store will have all the models, since a lot of Brazilian retail is based on small stores with a limited inventory. It’s possible to find a pair of the famous flip-flop anywhere you go; even at the most remote beach village in the country – it’s guaranteed that, in the absence of a formal “store” or “market”, somebody would be selling them out of their house! And why? It seems these flip-flops are so much loved that owing one pair, just isn’t enough! It didn’t take long for Brazilians to realize that the frugal design of Traditional Havaianas was great for creative intervention.

Women customized theirs. Surfers started a trend when they removed the straps from Havaianas and put them back on with the sole side up. Tops are currently available in 20 solid colors. They, too, are popular for customizing. Brazilians use them to make Havaianas “bordadas” (embroidered) and “silkadas”, meaning, printed with silk-screen. Images say more than words: take a look at this video!

Even super-models wear them! Luckily Brazil’s got a Brazilian supermodel to showcase the flip-flops – it goes out of the stores like water! Just to top it off, the best reason to have them in your closet: Havaianas give back to the Brazilian  community (and before my husband’s visit to the factory, I had no idea about it!). They’ve done some amazing work through celebrity contributions and donations, and it feels good to buy shoes that help others…

Here are some images from the most recent visit to the Havaianas Factory, in Paraíba, May 2011. And a quick and surprising piece of information: 7 pairs of havaianas are produced per second, and the factory produces 645,000 pairs per day!! Here is where the magic happens:

And guess what my dear husband ended up forgetting to bring from his trip??