How to Be Rebellious and Have a Better Black Friday

You could go out into traffic, join the long lines at Best Buy and Target and Wal-mart and [name your favorite box store here].


You could sit at your computer and sift through the sales announcements that are filling up your in-box.


Instead of spending money on others for gifts to show them you love them (or spending it on ourselves because, face it, we love ourselves)… how about trying something else?

How about taking this day as an opportunity to call three or four people you haven’t called in years to tell them you’re thankful for them?

Oh, good grief, Overstreet. Thanks for the self-righteous sermonizing.

No, that’s not my posture here. I’m suggesting this because somebody did that for me this week.

My friend Melissa, who remains a major character in most of my favorite memories from high school, called me out of the blue this week to let me know that our friendship still matters to her, and it was just about the best thing that happened to me this week. I’m still smiling.

The feeling of gratitude is unmatched by anything else in the world. And that’s true for the person showing gratitude as well as for the person receiving it. Yesterday was all about being thankful. Why limit that to just one day? Especially when the typical Black Friday pursuits are likely to leave you exhausted.

I’d bet good Black Friday money that the people you would call — names are popping into your head already, aren’t they? — would appreciate the gesture even more than a bargain-priced object you might pick up for them on sale today.

And you don’t have to spend any time in traffic or lines to make that happen.

Think it over.

I could have used this space to advertise a discount on my books, I suppose. That would have been the American thing to do. And sure, I do feel grateful when people pick up copies of my books for their friends. But you know, there are more important things than buying and selling. Especially on a holiday weekend that’s supposed to be about Thanksgiving…

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.