As Thanksgiving is almost here, the holiday season has officially begun. As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember to cherish your family, rather than focus on what will be on sale tomorrow.


1.

The food on Thanksgiving is substantially better than the food you’ll scrounge for on Black Friday. On Black Friday, you don’t care what you’re about to put in your mouth because you’re more concerned about getting to Belk before their next hourly sale starts. You’ll pop a Tums to hold down the food from the day before and a Five Hour Energy, and jump head first into the free-for-all. On Thanksgiving, Grandma makes the pies, Dad carves the turkey, and dinner is at two o’clock in the afternoon for some reason. It’s a hearty and delicious time to be alive.


2.

On Thanksgiving you don’t have to worry about getting a great parking spot. It is an unspoken rule that you will park on the side of Grandma’s street no matter what because Aunt Barb has already called the good parking spot up front. It has been this way for years, and you’ve accepted that. There is no designated parking spot laid out for you when you roll up to the mall on Black Friday. The stress of getting a parking spot alone is enough to make you want to turn around and go back to bed. You want – nay, you NEED – a good spot because you don’t want your arms to fall off when you’re carrying your bags back to the car in the frigid, autumn air. Eventually, you just get angry and create your own parking spot.


3.

On Black Friday, you wake up at the butt crack of dawn in a total disarray, more confused and anxious than excited about the magic that the day will bring. You walk out into the dead, black abyss of night, wondering if your adventure is worth the pain your feet will be in when the day is finally through. On Thanksgiving, you are free to wake up to the smell of simmering gravy and freshly made coffee, instead of running on Dunken for the next six and a half hours. With Black Friday, you've been awakened from your food coma much too early, thus creating the cranky shopper.


4.

If you’re over 21, Thanksgiving is like an open bar at a wedding. You don’t have to keep track of anything or worry about restocking if you’re an invitee; you’re just happy it’s there and that it makes listening to your relatives’ stories about what happened in 1992 (or was it ’96? Wait, it was definitely ’95) a tad bit more tolerable. Disclaimer: if you are a provider, you get to just sit back and watch the show. Want to know what you need on Black Friday that you can’t have in Dick’s Sporting Goods to be able to make it through the lines? A nice can of beer. Want to know who brought two coolers to Thanksgiving? Uncle Mike.


5.

You do get to wear your stretchy pants at both events, but it is really only acceptable at one. One of the oldest debates of our generation is leggings to Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Too often do we arrive at Victoria’s Secret in our stretchy, yoga pants with a mac and cheese stain on the thigh, using the excuse that it is four o’clock in the morning and we were running out of options. On Thanksgiving, it is as if we are lying to ourselves and our families about the gorging about to occur. We try to wear a slimming dress or a loose fitting button down, like we’re trying to impress our family who have seen us all at our worst, when we all know what is going to happen. You’re going to go for double mashed potatoes – don’t lie to me, people – and not have anywhere to put it. Wear your stretchy pants with pride, friends, and take that second heap of mashed potatoes. But, if you’re going to wear leggings or sweat pants on Black Friday too, at least get the stains out from the massacre the night before.


6.

The only person you have to fight on Thanksgiving is your older brother for that last turkey leg. You sign up for battle when you agree to go Black Friday shopping. The credit card is in hand, elbows ready for swinging, and it is war. A middle-aged mother comes at you, claws out, stealing from your clutches that twelve dollar sweater from Ralph Lauren that you wanted, and you can’t even be happy for her. At least on Thanksgiving, you can give up the fight for the leg with dignity, knowing that Scottie had a rough year at school; he deserves that turkey leg. Little Miss “I Curled My Hair at One O’Clock in the Morning” tried to kill you. You can’t be happy for her after that. That turkey leg isn’t the last piece of food you’ll ever have, but that was the last sweater in your size.


7.

If you are a poor, unfortunate soul who works retail on Black Friday, our hearts go out to you. You already know every item on this list times ten and hate this so-called holiday with a fire burning passion. If you didn’t have to work Black Friday, you wouldn’t have people being rude to you, blaming you for the long lines at the register, tearing up your displays, or threatening your life over a blender. You could be with your family who want to do more than just say, “Take my money,” and run away. Your family wants to know about the past year since they saw you last. These strangers don’t want to know about the cat you just got; they don’t care about the time you got lost at the county fair. They just want to get their half price TV’s and escape.


8.

Think about the children on Black Friday, if nothing else. They were so plump and happy the day before, and now, they’ve forgotten everything about what they are supposed to be thankful for. To all parents: No four year old needs to be dragged out of bed to go to Best Buy at five a.m. They have no idea what’s going on, and to make matters worse for yourself, they are going to whine the entire time, irritate the store employees, the other customers, and most of all you. Do you really want to deal with a disgruntled toddler that early in the morning? Of course not, no one would. Do yourself and your family a favor, and keep the kids in bed. Let them recover from the feast from the day before. Besides, they don’t need to see Mommy elbow a man in the nose over a Wii.


9.

The industry that started Black Friday on Black Thursday just want to watch the world burn. The people that go straight into work after eating their meal are being dragged away from their families, some of whom they might not get to see day in and day out. The pilgrims didn’t go shopping right after they ate at the first Thanksgiving we learned about in kindergarten. They had to deal with the Black Plague; we had to deal with angry Black Friday, Walmart shoppers. Tell me truthfully, which is worse? Thanksgiving is a sacred day – a time to be with those you love – and we forget that when Black Friday (or Black Thursday) rolls around that the people serving us are people too, who, like the rest of us, just want to go home and eat some dang pumpkin pie.


10.

On Thanksgiving, you’re with family, thinking about your blessings, and the things, both material and nonmaterial that you already have that you are thankful for. As soon as midnight hits on Friday, you’re not thinking about what you already have or what you went around saying you were grateful for at the table. You’re too concerned with buying hundreds of dollars of things you think you are getting a great price for. On Black Friday, you’re with strangers. Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and people you love. As much as we all enjoy a good deal, nothing beats sitting down surrounded by people who love you and whose company doesn’t cost a thing.


11. However, there is one perk of Black Friday over Thanksgiving:

At least you are burning off the calories you just consumed the day before by running around like a crazy person. Because we are suddenly health-conscious again once Thanksgiving is over.