The day after Thanksgiving, commercially known as Black Friday, officially launches the Christmas season. Many people dislike Black Friday shopping, and worse, even shame people for taking part in the day. I don’t always take advantage of the incredible sales. When I do, however, I have fun with the experience. A sign I saw hanging in Kohl’s, as I waited in line to purchase, inspired today’s title.
Give Joy Get Joy.
There’s incredible truth in those words, which sparked gratitude.
Black Friday Shopping at a Kohl’s
I looked through sales flyers last night, with a mental wish list of items. As hoped, I found several at deeply discounted prices. I’ve rarely been one to get up before dawn to get the best deals. So I slept in a bit this morning. By mid morning I was in the car, with Greg as my driver.
He drops me off at the front of the store and finds a parking spot while I shop. Sometimes he joins me as I wait in line. Most often he waits in the car with a book. On rainy days, like today, I especially appreciate his chauffeur services!
Kohl’s was bustling with cheerful chaos. Lines snaked down either side of the store, stretching to the back. Unconcerned, I did my shopping, carrying the sales flyer to help me locate what I wanted. The lines seemed equally long, so I walked across the back of the store and found the helpful employee holding up a sign. This marked the end of the line.
I don’t mind crowds and waiting in line. If I did, I’d stay home. I choose to participate in the experience in a fun and playful way. The man in front of me turned to say “hi”. I learned his name was Steve and by the time we reached the registers, we were friends. We chatted easily and laughed and smiled at each other every time the line moved forward. His wife popped in and out of our conversations as she continued to shop while Steve kept their place in line.
In less than 20 minutes we were at the registers, after spending those moments in pleasant conversation. I’m grateful for happy people, like Steve, who find joy in life’s experiences. We wished each other a good day, as we walked to different check outs, and he turned to call out, “Have a Merry Christmas too!” The cashier asked me if Steve and I knew each other. “We do now!” I answered.
I am grateful that I chose to walk across the back of the store and get in the other line. Not only did I enjoy talking to Steve, I spied a Christmas display that reminded me of something important.
Each year, since 1977, I buy a Christmas mug to add to my collection. Greg’s mom began this tradition for me, by giving me a couple of vintage Santa mugs she made in the 1960s. I realized this morning that I had not purchased a mug yet for 2018. I believe the Divine is interested in everything that I do. Every tiny detail of my life is significant. Seeing the display, with every item on sale, was a Divine invitation to pick out a mug.
I selected one that’s completely different from the others in my collection. The gray and white cat represents Shy Boy, Rilynn and Angel. Buying a Christmas cat mug might officially mark me as a “crazy cat lady”. I love my new mug, and instead of paying $14.99 for it, I paid $3.49. I’m grateful for inspiration that guided me to the display and the wonderful sale.
Give Joy Get Joy
As I moved slowly and steadily toward the front of the store, chatting with Steve, I noticed a banner hanging from the store ceiling.
Give Joy Get Joy
I felt so drawn to the sentiment that I snapped a photo as I drew even with the banner.
The words are true, on multiple levels. We get back what we give out. Give a smile, receive one back. Give love, get love. Be a friend, connect with friends. Frown at someone, get one back. Give complaints, get complaints back. Give joy, get joy.
It’s an energetic truth. Whatever we put out into the world are like little energy missiles…with homing devices. What we send out always returns to us. Be kind, compassionate, helpful to others, and those qualities are given back to us. Be mean spirited, hateful, and unkind and we will experience the same in life.
On this day, it was easy to see the evidence of this law. The complainers just got more frustrated and found more to complain about. The joyful people were happy and relaxed and found more to express joy about. I choose to be mindful about what I am putting out there, energetically. Life just keeps bringing me more to be joyful about as a result.
I’m grateful for the visual reminder of Give Joy Get Joy. It’s my choice whether I shop on Black Friday or stay home. It’s your choice as well. There’s no right or wrong in such decisions, and no reason to make a judgment about it. Do what you enjoy doing, and allow others to do the same. For some the sales make Christmas money go much further.
On that note, I saved $412.33 today, because of sales. I’m smiling about that.
The Idea Light
I spent the afternoon working in my creative studio. I’m accomplishing task after task as I tweak the blogs and tackle new technology. As darkness pressed against the windows, I paused to turn on lamps in the small room.
Last year my symbol for 2017 was the light bulb. I have a large Franklin bulb hanging in the corner, above a vintage chair. When I switched on that bulb, my creativity seemed to switch on as well. I enjoyed taking a break from the computer by sitting in my “thinking chair”, beneath the lightbulb. Often used as a symbol for creativity, I sat underneath that visual representation and daydreamed for a short time. Ideas flowed and inspired me.
I’m grateful for this corner of my studio. Create a space for creative ideas to flow…and guess what happens? They flow.
Healthy Comfort Food
The day concluded with gratitude for healthy comfort food. When I tell people I am plant based, they picture me eating lots of salads. I occasionally eat a salad, however there is such a wide variety of meals I can prepare within the plant based guidelines.
This easy Macaroni Bake is a favorite. Made with gluten free brown rice pasta, a dairy free cashew sauce, and peas and broccoli, this dish supplies all the comfort of comfort food without the unhealthy stuff. I make Macaroni Bake often during the cold winter months.
What a gratitude filled day. I love that the theme of the day was set by a store banner, on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Give Joy Get Joy.
That joy is rippling through my soul even now, and flowing out in waves that move outward into my world…and Beyond. I know that joy will return to me, multiplied.