We’re closing early today, and we’re ready for a deep breath, and a true hiatus from the everyday hustle and bustle. Sure, some of us are preparing for a big Thanksgiving dinner, and navigating the multi-layered relationships of those who will gather with us, but we’re taking a break nonetheless. And let’s be honest… we needed it. With the toxicity of the election process, the hustle of day to day work, commuting, and all of the relationships that we’ve been negotiating this year, this first break of the holiday season couldn’t come soon enough.

But it seems that as soon as all of the political ads ended, they were replaced by loud, bold, urgent and seemingly-constant ads about Black Friday shopping. This, the biggest shopping day of the year for many businesses and the unofficial start to the holiday season, has crept backwards into Thanksgiving Day itself, with some stores opening their doors as early as 3 PM. We are urged, and almost dared to take advantage of bargains and sales that we are assured we’ll never see again, with inventory that we’ll need to pray lasts long enough. Even thinking about it is exhausting.

So today, as we prepare ourselves for the long weekend, we wanted to share with you this article from Upworthy, a website devoted to good news. In it you’ll find 50 ideas for things to do, other than shopping, on Black Friday. They might not come with a 90% off tag, but they might just restore some of the connections and calm that we’ve been missing this year. So please enjoy the read. We wish you peace and calm this week, and this entire season.