Why Black Friday Isn't All That Bad

Why Black Friday Isn't All That Bad

A way to bond with your family...
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Every year we all hear Black Friday horror stories. People becoming sleep deprived monsters in order to get an unnecessary amount of 60 inch flat screen TVs. Many people disapprove some stores requiring their employees to work on Thanksgiving or "Pre-Black Friday." Following the Thanksgiving festivities in my family, I always find Black Friday to be a very festive and enjoyable outing. There is no better way to get into the festive Christmas spirit.

First of all, in my family you do not go shopping on Thanksgiving. That is spent indoors with family and usually includes everyone passing out in a food coma. When I was 13, I was finally allowed to go with my mom and my aunt shopping rather than being forced to stay at home and help my dad and uncle look after my two younger cousins. I consider this time spent shopping with my mom and my aunt as one of the most intense and enjoyable bonding experiences that we share.

First. we spend some down time on Thanksgiving rewatching the parade and going through all the catalogs in order to pick out which stores we want to go to. Most of these are kids' toy stores so my aunt can go ahead and get start to my cousins' extensive Christmas lists, whereas I am all about going to get new cozy *and cheap* sweaters for the coming winter season.

Then, my favorite part, strategizing. We all sit down and map out when and where we are going and at what exact time when need to get up in the morning so that we still have plenty of time for all of us to get our various forms of caffeine.

Then its times for the shopping! This is, obviously, my favorite part. Not only do I get to pick out a few things for myself, but I love buying my friends and family Christmas gifts and checking everything off my list is incredibly satisfying. I have never once encountered a crazy free-for-all that is depicted in the news articles many of us will no doubt see the next day. I do credit this to going shopping in a small town in North Carolina.

We then end the day by subtly sneaking everything we bought back into my aunt and uncle's house (whether it's to hide how much stuff we bought from my uncle and my dad or to hide it form the kids, I'm still not 100% sure).

I feel like going Black Friday shopping with my family is in a way being invited to the "grown-ups table". I finally can hang out with them as more of friends and realize how similar we all are. I don't think that I will ever stop enjoying waking up at 4 am with them!*

*Disclaimer: just on Black Friday and Christmas, every other day I need my sleep.

Cover Image Credit: Target

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The Basic Christmas List For Young Adult Women

If you're looking for the perfect gift, here's a list.
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Looking for the #Basic list for young adult guys? Head right here.

1. Knit/Fleece Socks

Actually, any socks in general, #TBH.

2. Makeup

Hit up Ulta, Sephora or Amazon Beauty. Highlight/contour sets are always something us gals want but can never afford. There are also a lot of great makeup gift ideas here.

3. Big Comfy Sweaters

American Eagle / H&M; are great places to find these. FYI, you really can't mess up buying a girl a sweater!

4. Love Your Melon Hats

They're for a good cause and they're cute, so why not purchase one?

5. Comfy Lounging Clothes

Joggers, sweatshirts, half zips, hoodies...

6. 5 for $25

Self-explanatory.

7. Jewelry

Alex & Ani and Pandora are always popping. Also, if you are shopping for a significant other, just listen to Bey!

8. Blanket Scarves

Ooooo... comfy and cute, that's like two gifts in one.

9. Coffee Accessories

Mugs, travel mugs, and coffee itself are all important to us.

10. Bras/Bralettes

If you're shopping for a close friend, then this is something you should look into, because a girl can never have enough bras.

11. Boots/Booties

A girl can never have enough of those either -- Christmas is a great excuse for another pair!

12. Handbags/Purses

We appreciate the names: Michael, Kate, Louis...

13. Fun Snacks and Candies

The stuff that we complain about that makes us fat is probably exactly the stuff we want.

14. College/Team Spirit Wear

You'll appreciate this gift so much when coming into college; having apparel different than the other students who raided the bookstore the first week and are all wearing the same thing.

15. Small Room Decor and Accessories

Francesca's is great with these things like canvas quotes, wall decals and more.

16. Keychains

Yes, the typical Kylie Jenner fur ball is so basic... but we love it.

17. Anything Nike

Just buy it.

18. A Polaroid Camera

I mean who doesn't want one?

19. Bath Bombs

Don't even go anywhere but Lush to get these.

20. Candles

I don't know what it is, but chicks dig good smell. Take a visit to Bath & Body Works (I'm addicted!) and you should be set for a couple years worth of gifts!

As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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9 Things You Have Been Taking For Granted But Should Be Extra Thankful For This Year

7. Your bed...

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You've most likely witnessed lots of things this past year that you haven't given a second thought to. No worries! Everybody gets caught up in the routines we have and it's easy to forget how amazing certain things are. I'm here to remind you of 9 things that you should be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

1. The changing seasons

https://www.pexels.com/photo/wide-angle-photo-of-road-1563355/

Of course, a bragging point for Michigan is we truly experience the full force of every season that mother nature has to offer! While winter might be slow, that first snowfall s unforgettable and watching the first flowers bloom in spring is always refreshing. Be thankful as we watch how nature keeps herself in balance and how she shares her shapeshifting powers with us! It's a luxury, not every place on Earth has.

2. Pillows! 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-bed-comforter-212269/

How could you not be thankful for pillows? They cradle your head and body pillows provide the perfect cuddle buddy for those cold nights. They can be soft and comforting or firm and helpful! Either way, pillows are always there for you and will never leave you. Pro Tip: Remember to wash your pillows, also. Seriously.

3. Your right to vote.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/i-voted-sticker-spool-on-white-surface-1550336/

We have such an amazing ability in this country to speak our minds about who we want representing us! Regardless of your party, you are able to let your government know what you think freely and that is magical, especially when there are still places in the world where they are not able to exercise these same rights. Always remember to thoroughly educate yourself and get out there to show people what you think! We can all move towards a better future by working the polls.

4. All the places where you can charge your phone...

https://www.pexels.com/photo/battery-charging-device-display-586340/

Your room, your car, class, your laptop, a portable charger, etc. There are now so many different ways and places to charge your phone that it's almost rare your phone dies at all? It's pretty crazy when you think of all the new ways there are to charge your phone and hopefully you remember the blessings you've been bestowed with to worry about where you can charge up. Some people have way more serious problems than that.

5. Water!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-drinking-glass-1346155/

Water is the most healing element that mother nature has given us. It keeps us healthy, hydrated, and alive. We can wash ourselves and make tasty food with it, but not everybody has that! When remembering people in Flint, stay aware they still need help due to the condition of their water. (If you can donate in any way, here is some ways to help.)

6. Literature!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/low-light-photography-of-books-1301585/

Literature is one of the ways we can educate ourselves about people, history, politics, religion, language, cultures, etc. There's a book out there in every genre, covering any topic under the sun and has historically been one of humanity's leading ways of informing the people or spreading change.

Revolutions have been started due to literature. On the other side of this coin, we should all be grateful for our literacy! The fact that we can all read independently, even if there is some struggle sometimes, means we always have the power to educate ourselves further. Remember your favorite authors this Thanksgiving!

7. Your bed...

https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-s-white-and-pink-outfit-235127/

Your bed is one of the comfiest things in your life! It cradles you when you've had a hard day, provides a warm space for you when you come home at night, and is the one place I know I can go to if I just need to calm down. Embrace the comfort and ease your bed provides you with every day.

8. Sunshine!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-stands-on-mountain-over-field-under-cloudy-sky-at-sunrise-847483/

Sunshine. The sun can literally help fight depression and make people feel happier overall. During the early stages of spring and summer, we all feel elated to have the heat of the sun wrapping around us outside instead of the bitter frost of winter. The sun feeds our plants, warms our hearts, and sometimes causes us to groan when we step outside, but we wouldn't have life at all without the sun! Thank the sun for her hard work this Thanksgiving.

9. Freedom of religion...

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-tealight-candles-lit-during-nighttime-918778/

This one is heavier, but freedom of religion is one of our greatest strengths and the very idea that our country is founded on! Pilgrims came here seeking refuge from religious persecution in England. Now, we can worship freely in any way that we wish to worship. Regardless of people being prejudice or rude, always remember and hold dear to your heart your right to worship. It's a beautiful thing to walk down the street and see dozens of people who all follow faith differently.

In all, we have lots of things to be thankful for. Some small, some we don't think of, and others we take for granted. Be thankful, remember those who struggle, and don't eat so much turkey that you immediately fall into a food coma after dinner.

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