Black Friday

Next week at this time the stores will be packed with shoppers looking for incredible deals for all the gifts on their shopping lists for friends and families. From store to store they’ll trek, pushing through the crowds, being shoved about, and often struggling to get that elusive “hot toy” of the year.

But before this all starts people start scouring the black Friday ads, planning their attack, and plotting with those who they’re shopping with. What I find troublesome is that this tradition once started on Friday, the day AFTER Thanksgiving has evolved into a 3 – 4 day shopping frenzy. Last year stores started their sales a littler earlier to entice shoppers and make more money of course, so at midnight or earlier the stores opened their doors to the flocks of people who had camped outside the doors.

This year though they’re starting the black Friday sales at 8pm! 8pm! This is pure insanity!

What happened to the Thanksgiving holiday? What happened to family time? What happened to resting & relaxing?

When did we as a society become so materialistic that we have to give up time with our loved ones, some of whom may have driven hours or spent hundreds of dollars on airplane tickets, to run out shortly after the family meal is finished just to fight the crowds for a supposed great deal on wrapping paper or some TV that isn’t really necessary for kids?

I’ve braved the crowds once… yes, just once in my entire life to go to a black Friday sale and it was around 5am that I went out. You know what? It wasn’t really worth it! The deals were so-so, the products that were on sale weren’t anything that spectacular, and more often than not the toys that they have on sale aren’t ones that my kids want.

black friday

So here’s a little history about black Friday from that I dug up.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

This year I challenge you.

I challenge you to skip the black Friday insanity and instead stay home. Yes! Stay home with your family and friends. Spend some quality time with them talking, eating a wonderful home cooked meal or creative leftovers, sipping a glass of wine in front of the fire, or playing cards together.

Do something other than giving into the insanity that is causing us to forget about actually giving thanks for what we have and spending quality time with our families.

The sales and “special” deals will always be there. Family won’t.

Monday Menu ~ Sweet Potato Casserole

With the holidays fast upon us and the stores full of sweet potatoes and great deals on them too…. Mine were $0.25 a pound the other day at my local Meijer store! I thought that it only seemed fitting that I share one of my favorite recipes involving sweet potatoes.

It’s a side dish or a dessert or even a breakfast snack (yea, that’s pushing it I know) that tastes simply amazing and it pretty easy to make.


Potato Mixture

  • 4 cups sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar or brown (whichever you prefer.. I’ve used both or half & half)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.

sweet potatoes ready to cooksweet potatoes ready to mash

    • In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Sweet potatoes - ready for the topping

    • In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.

Sweet potatoes - with topping

  • Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

This is by no means low calorie but I can guarantee you that it is really tasty! This is the only way that I can get most of my family to even eat sweet potatoes.

What is your favorite holiday side dish?