I live in Greenfield with my husband and cat. I work full time. Frugality and simplicity have been a part of my life long before they became popular and it has made life a lot less stressful. I love volunteering, home improvement/decorating, crafting and gardening.
I understand that all the sales and stores open on Thanksgiving Day and/or opening really early or really late may be a great opportunity for people to find great bargains. If you enjoy it, the more power to you. I do not. I'd rather hit the sales after Christmas (a few days after). To me, the stress of dealing with crowds and some not so nice shoppers defeats the purpose of finding a deal. I shop for gifts all year round. My husband and I have lived simply and frugally for quite a few years now and it helps keep the stress level down. We give homemade gifts, meaningful gifts and our time to friends and family. And, that's not saying we feel everyone should do as we do. Each and everyone one of us deals with the holidays in their own way. Hopefully, each of us, individually, can make the holiday time special for ourselves as well as those around us.
Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day for me and my family (in the old days) meant going by grandma and grandpa's house for a great German feast. The children sat at the "kid's table" in the kitchen and the adults sat in the dining room at the "adult table". As the number of grandchildren grew, so did the size of the tables. After the big meal, the women cleaned off the dining room table and met in the kitchen to wash and dry the dishes (there were no "fancy" dishwashers back then). When that was done, most of the adults would again sit down at the dining room table to play sheepshead. By that time, the younger kids were ready for naps. The older kids either went outside to play or played a board game.
By the way, there were no stores open on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day - not even a gas station. The streets had very little traffic. Grandma, my mom and aunts wore aprons. The men never step foot in the kitchen.
I'd like to get feedback on your special memories of past Christmas' or how you will make memories this Christmas.