Week 7 Recap: Opt Outside

This four-day weekend was an eventful one. Between unexpectedly hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house, multiple snowstorms, cutting cable and a big college football game, we packed what felt like a week’s worth of activity into one long weekend.

One thing we didn’t do? Shop! Well, mostly. On Black Friday, the boys and I made good on my promise to #OptOutside and joined my husband at a local park where he was coaching his high school cross-country ski team (only in Minnesota is that a high school sport). We hit the sledding hill first, and the boys had an awesome time. I even got some exercise myself by carrying their sleds back up the hill god knows how many times!

Sledding our hearts out

Next, they joined dad for some skiing. Our oldest took lessons last year and was pretty good on his feet. The 4-year-old skied for the first time, and despite lots of spills, he said he liked it even more than sledding. It was so fun to spend time outside as a family, try new things and enjoy the first big snowfall of the season.

When we got back to the city, I did go to Walgreens to pick up photos for our Christmas cards that I’d ordered online the day before, but resisted the urge to buy anything other than some candy and drinks. On Saturday, I made a Target run and bought two things: a TV antenna, and an impulse t-shirt purchase for my oldest son.

On Sunday we did our usual weekly grocery shopping trip at Target, but did not buy any gifts or decorations, as tempting as they were. The store was pretty empty, even by typical weekend standards. But that doesn’t mean people weren’t shopping: According to Forbes, online shopping was up almost 20% on Black Friday alone. Cyber Monday is expected to make similar gains. But I’m happy to be in the minority, because the only things I’m planning to buy are gymnastics and chess classes for my kids, because registration opens that day and they fill up fast.

Of course, I do have Christmas shopping to do. And Santa will be coming to our house. I am not the Grinch, you know! But I am buying a lot fewer tangible gifts this year. In addition to the charity donation our family is doing, I’m taking my team at work out to lunch instead of buying them random socks or lotions as I’ve done in the past. And I’m keeping it simple for my husband and parents, only buying things they specifically asked for.

Are your holiday shopping habits changing this year? Let me know if you’re doing more or less shopping this year and why, in the comments or via email. Now onto next (really this) week’s challenge!

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