The scent of pumpkin pie fills the air, Nana is setting the table with her “good china”, your health nut aunt tries to convince your sister that vegan stuffing is actually delicious, and, in the distance, cheesy Christmas music plays.
In her bedroom, the family fashionista locks herself away from the madness that is the last Thursday in November. Throwing on sweater after sweater, furiously pairing gold earrings with heeled booties, she frantically makes last minute alterations to her “Thanksgiving ‘Fit”. It has to be perfect, after all, too dressy and she’ll be mocked, but too casual and she’ll lose her title as “Most Extra”.
Thankfully, there is a formula for a perfectly not-too-casual-but-not-overdone-outfit and it’s as follows: one-part distressed pant, half a cup of a high end (looking, thanks TJ Maxx) sweater that hides any food baby, a dash of a peep toed bootie, and a pinch of manicured nails with accessories to match. Line lips with a decadent red to taste and let (under eyes) bake at 350 for twenty minutes.
With a perfect outfit, one can easily dodge questions from that overly noisy second cousin, have the dexterity to throw hands for the last slice of pecan pie, and shine in family photos. And isn’t that the whole point of Thanksgiving?
While the origins of Thanksgiving are questionable at best (ahem—the slaughter of millions of indigenous people), the holiday still has more value to it than an outfit, right? Having a day, where families gather around a bird, perhaps saying a thing or two that brings them that warm feeling of thankfulness, and then indulge in the largest act of gluttony since Christmas, should be time cherished.
For some families, Thanksgiving doesn’t end there, though. For the past decade, stores have been opening their doors up for Black Friday not on Friday, but on Thursday. Mere hours after everyone sits at home and professes their thanks for what they have, they migrate to the nearest Target or Macy’s and pepper spray one another over linens.
The hypocrisy and irony can’t be missed. After doing some research, it became clear that like most things, Black Friday became the massive event it is around the time Facebook became mainstream. The general consensus is that when people started seeing that neighbor got a Shark vacuum for half the price, they wanted that deal, too.
This is human nature and is to be expected. However, the money saved often isn’t the driving factor to Black Friday shoppers. More times than not, seeing someone purchase an item triggers others to want to purchase that item, regardless if they need it or not. With the addition of Instagram and Snapchat, this need only intensifies.
Where does this phenomenon leave someone like me, someone who prides themselves on having an extensive wardrobe, staying up with the times while remaining a classic, and just a general shopaholic? It leaves one locked away in their bedroom, anxiously deciding between gold and silver jewelry, praying that the lighting in the dining room will pair well on her Instagram story.
Admittedly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to stunt on family and having cute Insta stories, however, that half an hour debating between lipstick color could be spent with sweet little cousins or aging great uncles.
My call to you this Thanksgiving and holiday season is this: step out of the mainstream, no one will notice if you chose Nars “American Woman” over Tom Ford’s “Night Mauve”, I promise. Turn that phone off, bask in the love of family, maybe wrap up left overs and take them to the nearest homeless shelter (click here to find the closest shelter to you), and please, for the love of God, if you do go Black Friday shopping, be kind to the retail workers.