Be Thankful for Family, Food, and, of course, Shopping!

Black FridayBy: Deidre Doezema-Burkholder

No sooner did the ghost and goblins of Halloween get back to their homes to feast on their newly acquired sugar collection that Sleigh Bells started ringing. That’s right, the big push of the last holidays are upon us, and wow has technology changed the ways we celebrate.

The holidays seem to require three important ingredients – Shopping, Food, and Family.

First, let me start off by saying that I have never, ever participated in the Black Friday Madness. I have witnessed it but I haven’t woken myself up at 3am to make it to a store that was opening at 5am so I could buy a $50 Blue-ray player for $15. I will admit to looking through the black Friday ads and even looking them up online ahead of schedule. In fact, there is a website you can visit that is fully dedicated to Black Friday Ads that not only posts the ads for Friday’s event, but also the toy books that retailers put out and other deal specific items. Extra Kohls cash anyone?

While a lot of people still trek out on that Friday, more people are opting out and staying in for Cyber Monday. The first Monday after Thanksgiving is now dedicated to an online shopping bonanza of epic proportions. Many of your favorite retail stores will put on extra sales on Monday as well, but the online retail giants make a serious play for your holiday cash.

With Amazon being one of the biggest names in online shopping, the company makes Cyber Monday a big, big, BIG event. Certain deals highlighted and change hour after hour. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned shopper spin around with glee.

Small Business SaturdaySmack in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now known as Small Business Saturday. A day in the weekend where your local small business owners hope to attract and entice you. This can be done in a physical location as well as through a website. Just a quick search using the “shop local” option on allows you to see what some of your own neighbors have brilliantly made themselves.

When all your shopping is done, the focus goes back on the two most important parts of the holidays, food and family! It seems like a no-brainer that you’re going to need food. Food that you can make while you host the holiday at your home, or something a little easier to transport as you go through the woods to Grandmother’s house.

If you happened to miss my article on technology in the kitchen, you can find it here.

Then there’s family. It’s suppose to be the most important ingredient in the holiday recipe. While technology can help, it can also hinder. Sure, through the power of Skype or FaceTime you can video chat with your niece or nephew who is serving overseas. However, is will also keep your 14-year-old niece or daughter from looking up the entire time you’re at Aunt Kathy’s.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.15.20 AMSo, a holiday challenge for you. Can you and yours set aside technology for the holiday gathering and have little to no smart phone or tablet use while you are surrounded with extended family? No Facebooking, no tweets to be sent, and no text to be read?

Some may find this hardly a challenge at all while others will struggle not to pick up their phone when there is lag in the conversation. Putting the technology aside might be tough at first, but the end result will be lifetime memories with family and friends!

Deidre owns and operates Organisum: Technology Services, a business serving the West MI area. In her free time she likes to hike & bike local trails with friends and family when she isn’t pinning, instagram’ing or Netflix’ing.