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By David Paul Downs

“Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving where stores open up early with huge discounts for shoppers, at least for those who themselves do not work retail and are off for the day. It is a kick-off for the most consumerist holiday of all: Christmas. In no way should that be a reflection of Christmas. The foundation of Christmas, whether you’re a follower of Christian or non-secular beliefs, is a day for sharing and giving. Black Friday has become a day for retail corporations to freely abuse their employees by forcing them to work unreasonable hours. The only thing Black Friday accomplishes is impeding on a holiday whose true message takes a commercial back-seat every season: Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the one day of the year dedicated to giving thanks for what we have in our lives. We gather for a family feast and reflect on the things that really matter in life. In essence, it’s the opposite of what Christmas has become. Read the rest of this entry »

by Irena Djuric

This Friday morning, shoppers will be camped out in parking lots and pressed up against store doors with a hunger for the things turkey and cranberry sauce just can’t satisfy: rock-bottom deals.

Those who have been in the Black Friday trenches before will testify that “it unveils the beast hidden within,” and we’ll take their word for it. While how you spend this Friday is up to you (we won’t be there at 5AM to check, for fear of our lives), we at Sprout Chicago would like to take a moment to promote thoughtfulness over tackiness, exuberance over excess, and old fashioned giving over gadgetry.

Here are a few of our suggestions for holiday shoppers: Read the rest of this entry »

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