Wednesday, November 21, 2012


November - a real autumn month, with the most beautiful colors in the year, sunny days, rainy days, foggy days, grey days.

And also with the most beautiful holiday we have - Thanksgiving. The day when we say thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives, eat and drink with family and/or friends, relax and take life slowly (except you work at Walmart, Kmart etc. where Thanksgiving obviously doesn't have any meaning at all).

It makes me sad that so many shops are open on Thanksgiving. Are we really such greedy and superficial people that we cannot live one day without shopping? I get Black Friday - after all I have a little online shop myself - but we also have the gift of Thanksgiving. The people who work at Walmart, Kmart, Target etc. - mostly women - want to spend a quiet Thanksgiving as well, want to relax with their families without thinking that they have to work in the store by 9:00 pm (Target) or 4:00 pm (Michaels) or the entire day (Walmart, Kmart). Seriously, I don't get it.

When we first came to the US the Geek loved the Black Friday deals. He got up between 4:00 and 5:00 am to stand in line at Best Buy while I just turned around in my warm bed and slept some more. When he came home and we finally set down for a late breakfast, he would tell the most hilarious stories of his morning, talk about the people he had met. It was always a good mood and people actually behaved. No one trampled on top of other people to get the best deal. Eventually the Geek lost interest in these early morning shopping hours, the thrill was gone for him and we all could sleep in. No more standing in line in the cold and rain.

Today he shops online, and now that I have my own online shop I, of course, join the frenzy. I have worked like a mad woman during the past days, getting my shop "Black Friday ready" and I often wandered whether it is really worth it. I actually don't think that small businesses like mine will "profit" from the shopping craziness of the next few days. However, Saturday is also Small Business Saturday, and I wanted to participate.

So I do have special Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals in my shop - get 25% off when you use the code THANKS2012 during checkout. Items within the US and to Canada ship for free. And if your purchase is $50.00 or more, you also receive a free 8x10 print of my painting "Gypsy" - this one:

But the question remains for me: Can you really sell handmade items at a discount? Do I really have to join in the big shopping frenzy? I feel very split about this.

Whatever you do during this weekend: I wish you a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving. I hope you can spend it with people you love. Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy the gift we've got in Thanksgiving.

We will celebrate with friends of ours - we have done so for years. It's a loud and chaotic Thanksgiving, with  lots of laughter and a mix of German and English. When we sit down at the table, everybody says what s/he is grateful for. I am grateful for my family, that we have created a warm and loving home and that we have some wonderful friends.

What are you grateful for?


Unknown said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Beautiful photos; I understand you're feelings about pricing handmade art. It's something I struggle with as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to you! I've got a give-away today you might want to check out.

RosC said...

Hi Carola,

What beautiful autumn colours in your photos. These rich reds and golds make the heart glad which seems right with the winter coming along. Squirrels store nuts, we can store colour. I realise more and more in my blog connections how hard the winters can be. We get away with light winters here.

It's a long time since I left you a message. I hope you're well and content.

What a marvellously thought provoking post. I hope you can deal with a few thoughts. We've just had Click Frenzy, modelling on the American Monday on-line shopping thingy fail to a large degree. I think the shopping/aquisitve trend is like an addiction. Sadly I see Australians becoming mean spirited and doing deals to get the lowest prices without thinking about what is sustainable and decent.... We are forever money-grubbing. People want best prices and forget that the more they want discounts, the more the discount is built into the retail price. It becomes trickery. Why wouldn't we want to pay what goods and services are worth.

And we're mining our lovely land for finite resources to sell to China whilst our manufacturing skills go to hell in a hand-basket and we get lazy. Nobody seems to recognise that Mongolia is right next door to China and is just starting to mine massive resources which are more conveniently located. We also dig up our limited food growing areas - so much of Aust is desert but the miners want it all. And we stupid things like cotton in an absolutely arid continent. I wish for politicians who are house-keepers and not afraid of corporate pirates.

I worry about these things in the back of my mind, and then I think, well it's fortunate that we don't live longer than four score years. If I can leave feeling as though I've said and done the best I could, that's enough.

Warmest regards,

RosC said...

P.S. I do wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. One of my best experiences when living in Vancouver was a Thanksgiving over on the Island. There were about sixteen of us and we drank wine made at home, and dined on a 53 lb pumpkin from the garden, filled with walnuts from the trees, rice, field mushrooms, and vegies from the garden too.
It was bliss on a stick!

Barbara said...

I'm grateful you stopped by my blog and I found yours. I love great photography and yours is fabulous!

patty said...

Carola, I totally agree. The consumerism keeps reaching new levels of craziness. I can't relate at all. I am not a shopper and seem to be becoming less so as I get older. I just don't need a lot of stuff. It has gone so overboard... sad in my opinion. Anyway, I hope you and your family had a lovely time celebrating and best of luck with your holiday sale!!

Ginnie said...

I loved reading what Ros said. BINGO. I don't want you to put any of your things on discount, just to sell them. But then maybe that IS the question? I'd go around and buy everything handmade at full price and put it all in a museum...if I could!

I'm very thankful for loving the country where I now live and feeling so at home here. I still pinch myself...often! :)

Seraphinas Phantasie said...

Der Ahorn ist wunderschön mit seinen Farben und Formen, selbst im Regen. Viele Grüße Synnöve