Most of us, no matter our age, probably remember at some point in our youth mentioning to mom and dad that we really, really wanted something – maybe the coolest new toy or some fancy shoes, etc. – and being told to look at the calendar on the kitchen wall for a reminder of what time of year it was.

    Most of us, no matter our age, probably remember at some point in our youth mentioning to mom and dad that we really, really wanted something – maybe the coolest new toy or some fancy shoes, etc. – and being told to look at the calendar on the kitchen wall for a reminder of what time of year it was.

    It was the holiday season, with Thanksgiving almost here and then the big one, Christmas, right on Turkey Day’s tail a month or so later. That, mom and dad said and their kids didn’t want to hear, meant that it was not a time for things to be bought for ourselves. Other people might be shopping for Christmas gifts, and if the kids got that cool new toy for themselves now, what are grandma and grandpa supposed to buy for their precious offspring’s offspring?

    Basically, kids who begged for things to be bought for them around this time of year were reminded by their wise elders to, for one, be patient. In a few short weeks, they might get what they want in the form of a gift from a loved one. And, two, they were reminded to not be selfish. The holiday season, after all, is about giving, not receiving, with the former capable of producing far more joy than the latter.

    With the advent of Black Friday becoming about as big of an event as Thanksgiving itself, we could all use a reminder of mom and dad’s lessons as we get all caught up in getting the best day-after-Thanksgiving deals we can get our grubby little paws on.

    If you’re into Black Friday and don’t mind the long lines, crowds and general mayhem, by all means have at it. Enjoy yourself. Make memories. Just don’t load up on a bunch of stuff for yourself.

    Years ago, when it came to Black Friday, we mostly heard about a given Christmas season’s hot, must-have toy that parents would trample others to get before the inventory was all gobbled up. But today, if you watch all of the Black Friday commercials on TV, with the amazing deals on flat-screen TVs, luxury vehicles and entire furniture sets, Black Friday is becoming as much about giving gifts to ourselves and immediately indulging our own wants and needs as it is buying things for others.

    Resist the temptation to think of yourself first and others second this Friday. It’s not like there won’t be great deals to be had once Christmas has come and gone, when you’ll have an opportunity to buy yourself things that you didn’t get for Christmas.

    It’s the season of giving, not getting. Let’s keep that in mind.