Celebrate The Six Days of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks more than the season of perpetual eating. It’s also the unofficial kickoff to the season of shopping. Once upon a time, you could actually shop in retail stores on Thanksgiving Day itself, if you chose to do so. Now, however, Massachusetts is one of three states to ban retailers from opening before the clock strikes midnight (the other two are Maine and Rhode Island). All three states do offer some exemptions from the rule. In Massachusetts, restaurants, pharmacies, gas stations, and small food stores may remain open on Thanksgiving. But if you want to plan a trip to WalMart after your turkey dinner, fuhgettaboutit.

Black Friday, on the other hand, is the Big Daddy of Christmas shopping calendar days. Stores both large and small throw caution to the wind with slashed prices, huge savings, and crazy bargains. They’re banking on the fact that it’s, well, Black Friday, and the onslaught of customers will bring in big bucks. The day was termed so in the hopes that profits would increase for business owners, bringing them out of the “red” and into the “black,” financially speaking.

Following Black Friday is Small-Business Saturday. First observed in 2010 in the U.S. (and in 2013 in the U.K.), this day was dedicated to encourage shoppers to patronize local, small, brick-and-mortar businesses, and is actually a trademark of the American Express corporation.

In places like Cape Cod, where small businesses are the livelihood of many residents, having a dedicated day of support can make all the difference in the world. Many towns celebrate this day with entertainment, events and by other means to draw shoppers to their local stores and retailers. The service, attention to detail, uniqueness and quality of the merchandise you can find in our local small businesses far surpasses that of the big box stores. And remember: money spent locally stays local.

Sunday is a day of rest, literally. Give yourself a break and people-watch for the day. Go see a movie. Take a nap. Regroup in whatever way works for you, because it ain’t over yet!

Cyber Monday. Those two sweet words, coined in 2005 in the e-commerce community as a marketing attempt, are music to many sets of ears. For those of us who prefer to avoid the crowds, the noise, and the calamity of shopping at all costs, here is a day dedicated to us. From the comfort of our own home, office cubicle, cafe, or wherever in the world we choose, we can shop ‘til we virtually drop in peace and privacy – no fighting with other shoppers over the last anything, no waiting in the cold, dark hours of the morning for a store to open, no distraction of any kind. Feel free to put on some Christmas music in the background if you wish – you know, just for the ambiance!

After all the shopping and craziness of the last few days is over, it’s time to give. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving to kick of the biggest season of giving. One of the best ways to get involved is by doing so in our own communities. Cape Cod has a great number of worthwhile and needy charities that represent and assist local children, families and programs. There are so many in need. Give in any way you can.

By Ann Luongo, Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com

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