Halloween – Best Christmas Shopping Day Ever!

October 31st is, by far, the best Christmas shopping day of the year!  Except for a sprinkling of parents escorting costumed kiddies from shop to shop for candy, that is one night you’ll find the malls and other stores virtually empty.  No parking problems.  No empty shelves.  No picked-through merchandise.  No long lines at check out.
 
Halloween is simply the best night ever, for Christmas shopping – especially if your holiday giving includes charitable organizations.
One year, a family I know set aside Halloween for exactly that.  Several weeks prior, the parents asked their three teens to not plan anything else for that evening; it was to be a family night instead.  Obviously the advance notice was to diffuse teen angst and grumbling, and get them psyched for the forced family fun.

Before dark on Halloween, they piled into the family vehicle and escaped to a restaurant for a nice dinner.  Then they headed for Wal-mart.  Sure enough, the store echoed.

 

 

Each family member had an allotted amount to spend for a needy child.  According to the astonished parents, their teens dropped their sophisticated dude personas and romped through the toy aisles in nostalgic glee, rediscovering toys they’d enjoyed before they reached the age of cool, and picking out items to delight kids they’d never met.  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/

 

They heaped dozens of small goodies on the checkout conveyor belt.  Every item had to fit into a shoebox. 

    

On the way home, the teens actually thanked their parents for the outing, claiming they’d – gasp – had “fun!”

 

Though it took a little coaxing, those young people experienced Jesus’ words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (Acts 20:35 NIV).

 

The parents experienced something new that night too – the most peaceful and stress-free evening of Christmas shopping they’d ever had.  Oh, how this empty-nester would love to do that again!

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5 Responses

  1. Great story! I regularly engage in mandatory family fun-although I only have one angst ridden teenager, and the rest are little enough that they aren’t aware that I’m not cool yet. I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to post comment, maybe Blogger issue-sorry! I’m glad you emailed, sorry about response time, I only check every few days. Glad to meet you, and have bookmarked your blog, look forward to future posts!

  2. Well, my kids are still in the trick or treating mode, so we can’t do this one yet. But we do take a day to shop for another family for Christmas. We told the kids that we have enough and we’d rather some family get some things they need rather than spending a lot on ourselves. Our kids LOVE that shopping day, so much so that we have to put some things back because they want to spend too much… But they are definitely understanding the true gift of Christmas.

  3. Great idea…I love the thought of getting children involved in un-selfish activities!

    Many blessings-
    Amanda

  4. That’s a wonderful idea! Luckily mine is not yet a teenager, but she’s getting closer every day. She’s already got the deep sighing and eyeroll down … but she’s still a sweet girl most of the time.

  5. I LOVE this!!!! Thank you for the wonderful idea that I will force upon my own children, if God is so gracious to give me any. 🙂 Beautiful, wonderful idea.

    Really, I teared up a little.

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