Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I just finished my food shopping for holiday company and got home and realized I bought a number of things I wouldn’t ordinarily buy. Little treats, essentially, safe for all the varied diets we’ll have with us. I’m wondering if I have fallen into the oh-what-the-heck-it’s-the-holidays frame of mind. That’s dangerous to a bank account.

For years I have boycotted Black Friday, not only because of the crowds but because I think it is horrible of retailers to expect their employees to start work at midnight or 2am so people can spend more money. And then to make shoppers think they are getting sale prices that will be gone the next day when in fact most of them will be available repeatedly throughout the Christmas shopping season.

I even had a call from my car dealership: Save thousands on Black Friday and go home with a new car and a new 32-inch TV. Oooookay.

I hope my family is as generous as I think they are, because their Christmas gift this year is going to be the donation of a goat or a sheep in their names through Heifer International, an organization which provides livestock to poor families around the globe, trains them in their care, trains them in sustainable agriculture and then asks that when their sheep, goats, cows or whatever have offspring that they give at least a few of the new stock to their neighbors. In the truest sense, this is a sustainable gift, providing much needed food or resources in a way that will provide for years to come. This charity has been working successfully for the last 70 years, and is recommended by organizations such as the Carter Center.

I guess that was a plea: If you can donate even a small amount, you can help purchase those animals. You don’t have to buy a whole animal, you can contribute to the purchase of one if you like. And they’ll send you a gift card for each ten dollars of your donation that will explain to the recipient what the donation in their name has done.

But that’s my Black Friday choice this year. Ah, no crowds.

Editor’s Note: Tuesday Tales will move to Thanksgiving Day this week.

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