Why I Don’t Pledge on Black Friday

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Black Friday 2011 with overlay

Don’t hate. I see all those ‘I pledge’ memes, and while I appreciate your sentiment and I resent Target and Walmart for morphing Black Friday into Holiday Thursday, I love the sport. I remember my first year “Black Friday” shopping (that was when the best deals happened at 5 am on Friday not 6 pm on Thursday). My best friend and I woke up at 2 am. We stood outside Target, for hours in the cold, and we braced ourselves for the sport of tackle shopping. It is similar to tackle football but instead of a football, there is a blender or T.V. or back in those days, D.V.D. box sets.  It was fun. And like any novice shopper my first year was a bit intense. I was pushed to the side by wired women. I was so overwhelmed that I took refuge at Starbucks and brushed off my battle scars, before, I picked up my prize item to only have it ripped from my hands by some delusional woman. Since then, like any shopping warrior, I have refined my form, and I am now an expert at this zealous game.

Yes, I agree that Thanksgiving is for giving thanks and not for destroying your fellow neighbor over a Keurig. I know, I know, I know, that it may be unfair to retail workers that they HAVE to work on Thursday, blah, blah, blah. It is not that I am not compassionate nor understating of the blue collar plight, I just also realize that retail workers are not the only people away from their families this time of year. Our amazing first responders and countless others are working too. Where are the boycott hospitals, firehouses and police station memes? Truth be told, I am grateful for every single person working today. In honor of those that are working, so others can enjoy this day, shopping or not, I write this letter to you…

Thank you with Over lay

Dear __________ (insert your worker, first responder, and/or military hero here),

First, to you, who requested to be off but were denied, who stayed behind because it was either work or lose your job, and to those of you who are hitting the pavement- working hard to provide that turkey for your family – thank you. We know today is hard for you and you are suffering from the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) We know you are counting away the hours until you can be at home. It’s hard adulting sometimes. Well done.

To you, you know who you are. The one that volunteered to work so someone else could have the day off. The one who may be away from family, may lack family or simply may have put someone else’s needs first… Thank you for giving the gift of a memory to your peer. Time is our most precious commodity. Time is not something we can buy more of. It cannot be sold. It is simply a gift. YOU ARE APPRECIATED.

To you, first responders, nurses, doctors, techs, paramedics, fire fighters, police officers, 911 operators and all of you, whom selflessly work holidays, late nights, and early mornings. Those of you that miss ballet recitals, family weddings and this year, Thanksgiving. Thank you for being there in the midst of tragedies and crisis. Thank you for giving us the peace of mind to know that if there were an intruder, car accident or in the event of a medical emergency that not only could we call on you, but you would rush to our side in any emergency situation. Thank you for being there for all of us–for missing your family to care for mine. I pray for a plethora of free time and special moments for you and yours to come.

Maybe, your child, husband, wife, mother, is working today.  Or maybe, your loved one isn’t working today but instead is no longer with you for whatever the reasons and today is just another simple reminder of that. No matter how much turkey you cook, or how many people call, this day is not the same without __________. My heart is for you today. My prayers are with you. There is nothing I could write that could give you the comfort you seek, I can only tell you, you are not forgotten this Thanksgiving, and I will say a prayer for you.

This letter will probably not suffice or express not only mine but so may others’ gratitude towards you; All of us, that get to break bread with our loved ones, and are privileged to buy a something or other 70% off sticker price, while you work, we raise our glasses to you and hold up our marked-down goods to say thank you, for all you do and for the person you are.

God Bless You. May you have many, many special moments coming your way!

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After growing up in this city and as a Colorado native, Crystal has a deep love for these mountains, especially 'that mountain' and cherishes our symphonic sunsets. When she is not playing in our purple mountain backyard, teaching high school, taking classes at the University of Denver or happily engaged in the daily banalities, Crystal enjoys any excuse to dress up; She likes to go to the theater, laugh at comedy clubs, and of course, she loves girls’ nights out (regardless if that is with her girlfriends or her daughters.) She listens to old school rap, 90’s music or songs a little too ‘dramatic’ while lifting weights, and country music while cooking/baking. Although the mountains are her home, she is more of a sunshine and water kind of girl; summer is her absolute favorite season. She is the single mama to her two darling daughters. The three of them spend their time engrossed in dance parties, reading one more story and they always find the time to cuddle and laugh about everything and absolutely nothing. She is excited to share glimpses of her life with you. She assures you that by no means is she perfect; she is simply a mother trying to fiercely love her children, her people and her community. Oh, and of course—GO Pioneers, Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets and Sky Sox!