I first posted this page last year before any of us had heard about this darned pandemic. It’s only been in the last few years or so that Canadians have been joining our American neighbours in experiencing Black Friday, but not on quite the same scale. It was a pleasant bit of culture shock to me many years ago when we took a trip to the United States for a hockey tournament during the American Thanksgiving Weekend. Today, I am sending my best wishes to my American friends for a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope that we will be able to get together (back and forth along our currently closed borders) very soon!
Many years ago my husband and I had four youngish children who played baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey. We kept our country children busy, but they were quite sheltered really – being always busy after school and living in a rural area – even though we were not that far from the big city. Some of the kids were more interested in sports than the others and also needed to be kept very busy more than the others.
At one point all of our children had hockey tournaments on a weekend. Our daughter had joined a representative/travel hockey team, and we were to attend her first out of province tournament in Pittsburgh. At the time, I was aware that it was American Thanksgiving weekend, but I had no inkling that there was such a thing as Black Friday shopping. I travelled on the team bus with my daughter, leaving the boys and my husband at home.
We arrived at our hotel and checked in. I assumed we were there getting the girls ready for their big games. At a certain point in the evening many of the parents left the hotel and travelled in our bus to a big mall. They returned sometime in the middle of the night with televisions and who knows what else.
I thought that we had travelled all of this way to watch our daughters play international hockey. We went to the arena the next day only to play against Canadian teams from within an hour of our home location. The team was then dropped at the mall to experience Black Friday. These young girls went streaming from the bus and off to the mall in groups while the parents scattered to shop.
I was floored, shocked, amazed. People were everywhere, I had no idea where my daughter was and just had so much anxiety. After a little while, my daughter always the tallest in a crowd, found me, took my hand and off we went to find the deals. Sometimes when experiencing something unexpected I have to relax, take a deep breath and go with the flow. It’s an experience my daughter and I will always remember having together.
Today, even though Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, Black Friday is now an event in Canadian stores. I smile when I think of that hockey tournament. The girls lost every game and had a great time. I do hope that everyone who is out shopping today has a wonderful time. Happy Black Friday!
(Note that this year I will be joining you Black Friday shopping – but online – as we are limiting the number of people in stores and malls in our region, while in the larger Ontario cities, stores are completely closed! – Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and take care!)