To Shop or not to Shop – How will you spend Black Friday?

When did Black Friday become Grey Thursday? Traditionally we started our Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving – causing retailers balance sheets to turn into the black and spawning the origins of the name Black Friday.

But then stores started opening early, then earlier, and then really early. Then people started sleeping outside stores to be first in line. Then things went from bad to worse when stores decided to open at midnight on Thanksgiving night. And now the opening time keeps starting so early that folks don’t even have time to finish wiping the gravy off their chin and doing dinner dishes before dashing off to shop.

And every year we are inundated with images of people getting in fist fights over a place in lines or scrambling for the last items on sale. And for what? To save a few dollars on a vegetable steamer? Really?

So for those of you who wish to escape the madness of Black Friday shopping, here are a few ideas to do instead.

Spend time with your family

Holidays are all about spending time with family and friends. It’s a time when we can bridge the gaps of time and distance and gather together to create lasting memories. So why shorten the already too short time we have to spend together by rushing out to shop? Instead savor the time you have with those you love. Maybe you can even get them to pose in some seasonal snaps for your stock portfolio.

Volunteer giving plate of food to the homeless in worn clothes


If you aren’t able to be with your loved ones on the Holidays – or maybe you already spend too much time with them and are just looking for a break – try volunteering to help those less fortunate. Serving meals at a soup kitchen – or working with a group like Habitat for Humanity – can mean spending your valuable time off in the service of others. What better way to give thanks for all that you take for granted throughout the rest of the year?

Need to get your Christmas fix started?

Then decorate. The holiday weekend is a great time to pull out the boxes of ornaments, lights, and lawn decorations to get them up and ready for the neighborhood house decoration competition – this could be your year to take the coveted crown. Then snap a few pictures of the perfectly coiffed abode to post for sale.

Gingerbread Cookies Making Gingerbread Cookies

Or bake

Family bonding is always better when vanilla is involved. Get a jump on baking all those Christmas cookies you’ll need for the impending parties, or gather the family together to create those hand-me-down recipes that always taste better when created with loving hands. And grab a few flour covered photos along the way.

Create this year’s Christmas card

Since you have the family gathered and dressed in holiday finery, snap the pictures you’ll want to use for the annual Christmas card. Who knows when you can get the whole gang together again for the shot – and don’t forget to include Fido and Fluffy too!

Gingerbread Cookies Making Gingerbread Cookies

Clean out the old for the new

Clean out your closets. You need to make room for this years Christmas gifts after all. But don’t just throw away all that old stuff. See if you can repurpose any of it as props in your next photo shoot.

Dust off your creative talents

Try making a few sentimental gifts for your loved ones instead of stressing about buying something nobody really wants or needs. Print and frame your favorite pictures – or creates an album of memories for all those special people who posed for your images this year. Grab those knitting needles, sewing machine, hot glue gun, modeling clay, or whatever triggers your creative juices and create a one-of-a-kind treat for your friends and family who make the “Nice List” this year.

And as stock photographers, nothing says the holidays like taking some great stock images of all of these ideas to post just in time for the Christmas rush.

Mrs Claus working on laptop computer on sandy beach

After all, you can always wait for Cyber Monday to finish your shopping while picking up some great deals all from the comfort of your computer.

Photo credits: , Bokasana, Karen Foley.
  • Karenfoleyphotography
  • New Cumberland, United States
I'm a freelance photographer, videographer and writer with a passion for travel. Please contact me (by leaving a message on any of my photos) to discuss image, video or article requirements I could help with.

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November 28, 2019

Yes! Stay home, decorate, spend time with family. When we go out to eat or shop on the Thanksgiving holiday we are forcing others to go to work to keep the stores open. If we all stayed home, stores would close and employees could enjoy their families too! Just wait until Black Friday and keep “Gray Thursday “ alone!


November 20, 2017

Thanks Karen. Finally, someone with some sense. Happy Holidays.