Four alternatives to Thanksgiving shopping that support family-friendly retailers

Is Thanksgiving weekend for turkey and leftovers or a mad dash to stores with the lowest price on a TV?

Holiday shopping doesn’t wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, many stores are continuing to open just hours after the Thanksgiving Day parade ends or earlier. But others are sending a message to spend time with your families at home so their employees can as well.

This Thanksgiving, we are enjoying time with our families. We hope you will too.

Think twice about getting in line for the store doors to open and consider these alternatives for Thanksgiving Day and the weekend.

1. Stay home. Join Barnes and Noble, DSW, Staples, Costco, GameStop, T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom and other stores who are pushing back on Thanksgiving shopping. Reclaim the holiday for family time. Stay as long as you want at the dinner table. Watch Home Alone. Nap.

2. Get outdoors. REI, an outdoors gear and clothing store, will be closed on Black Friday in addition to Thanksgiving Day. They might be the only major retailer to take such a strong stance against the shopping craze, but we think it’s a good idea. Discover a new hiking trail. Visit a Christmas tree farm where you can select the freshest evergreens.

3. Be creative. After the dishes have been washed and put away, tap into your creative side with do-it-yourself projects. Search Pinterest for great ideas you can do with siblings or your kids. While you have the time off work, make some DIY holiday gifts or décor. Spend the day making a wreath or decorating the mantle.

4. Give back. Gather the family to serve lunch at a local soup kitchen or clean up a neighborhood park. If you can’t resist shopping, shop for a charitable cause. Stock up on blankets and coats for a homeless shelter. Or, look for retailers that donate proceeds to a nonprofit organization. Clothing store H&M is donating 5 percent of gift card sales through Dec. 24 to UNICEF’s education programs in Myanmar.

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at TaxSlayer!

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