Think Before You Snark/Mock/Criticize

First and foremost: If you don’t mind hurting the feelings of your Facebook friends, then move along! This post is not for you! But, if you would like to maybe allow the holiday season to pass without your Facebook friends getting hurt feelings – then PLEASE…think before you post.

Thing 1 – Shopping on Thanksgiving

(I wrote about this in detail here last year.) There are TONS of posts on Facebook going around basically saying things like: “I’m not shopping on Thanksgiving because I value family over capitalism!” And y’all? I get it. I hate shopping…PERIOD…but know that some of your Facebook friends ENJOY it, they do it with their FAMILIES or their FRIENDS. Unless you’re also going to call out everyone who goes to movies on Christmas, then give them a break. You can easily just say, “Shopping on Thanksgiving is not for me!” but don’t try to make it like anyone who DOES shop on Thanksgiving has thrown their family to the curb for a Furbee.

(Are Furbees an thing anymore?)

Some people don’t even have big families with big Thanksgivings. If you do? BE GRATEFUL, but don’t be judgmental, okay? Also – some people have REALLY tight Christmas budgets and some of those deals can be the difference between their child getting THING A for Christmas and their child NOT getting THING A. And if they really want their kid to have THING A under the tree at Christmas, can you blame them?

THING 2: Elf on the Shelf

It’s starting now. The snarky, “OMG…Elf on the Shelf is so Creepy!” or the, “We don’t do Elf on the Shelf because it’s not in the spirit of Christmas,” or the, “I’m so glad I’m not doing Elf on the Shelf!” posts are abundant on Facebook. And you know what? That’s fine. But PLEASE watch your tone. Imagine your friend who really enjoys Elf on the Shelf seeing your posts. She’s either going to feel dumb, or embarrassed, or straight up defensive about your post. If you don’t like it? That’s fine. But watch the way you express that and realize that your friends may experience JOY when they do Elf on the Shelf, or even if they don’t, their kids DO – so can you let them have that without making fun of them? Or blaming them for Christmas losing it’s meaning? We do Elf on the Shelf but we’re also sending Christmas Joy packs so we can take time to notice how lucky we are and spread Joy to others.

Like I said, if you just want your distaste known and don’t care if people’s feelings are hurt? Then go right ahead. But if you’re concerned about the spirit of family and Christmas but you DON’T care if you hurt someone’s feelings? Then you might be doing it wrong.

Optional Ways To Express Your Difference Of Opinion Without Pooping On The Joy Of Your Friends or Family

We don’t shop on Thanksgiving in our family, do you? What pulls you out – the deals or do you just like shopping? Find out why your friends/family might go shopping instead of judging them!

We don’t do Elf on the Shelf because I can barely remember to shower, much less move an Elf! You can express your thoughts by being self-deprecating, that way no one gets their feelings hurt!

We don’t shop on Thanksgiving because we can’t move having eaten so much! Again…expressing your opinion with self-deprecation keeps anyone from getting their feelings hurt.

Do you like doing Elf on the Shelf? Do your kids really like it? Maybe some stories from your friends will soften your heart a little bit!

17 thoughts on “Think Before You Snark/Mock/Criticize”

  1. With big-crowd related social anxiety, you won’t catch me out of the house the weekend of Thanksgiving to go shopping, so I don’t have much of an opinion one way or another as to what others should do, I just know what works for me.

    That being said, I THINK their argument about not shopping on Thanksgiving because they are choosing families is not so much based on them saying that shopping on Thanksgiving takes them away from their families. They are talking about the people that are then required to work at those stores on Thanksgiving so that they can go shop. Those people are taken away from their families, and I think that is the basis of the argument that is trying to be made here.

  2. Oh, yeah, I get that. I wrote more about that last year in the link I put, so I didn’t delve into that. I probably should have gone more into that this year. And I get that – but there are also a lot of people who don’t have family on Thanksgiving and are grateful for the opportunity to work. I hated my job shut down in college b/c I was just sitting alone and poor then. I probably should have gone more into that in this entry but since I wrote too much about it last year I left it short.

    The other thing I brought up last year is that no one does the same thing for Movie Theaters at Christmas. If you don’t want to shop because you want the employees to be with their families, why don’t they rant the same thing about movie theaters at Christmas?

    My point is always to just be aware that other people live other lives and to not judge or ruin their joy. I’m not sure if I made that clear, I might need to edit more.

  3. I’ve seen that argument made as well (about how the workers are deprived of time with their families), but the flip side to that is that some workers are very happy to get the extra shifts so they can buy Christmas gifts for their own families. Especially those who work at stores that pay overtime wages for working on a holiday.

  4. I actually just recently shared your Thanksgiving shopping post on my FB page, because I completely agree….some people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, or they might celebrate it differently, or they may not have anyone to celebrate with, so they’d rather go out and shop, or work at one of those places that are open. As for the workers, most retailers who are open on Thanksgiving either hire holiday workers who know they’ll be working that day or take volunteers for the Thanksgiving shifts. My husband works at a very busy Old Navy in town, and they never need their year-round people to work on Thanksgiving because there are enough people who volunteer or who are holiday hires.
    And I was always one of those people who volunteered to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I worked at hotels all through college, and someone had to work the front desk on the holidays, so I did it for the extra money (making time and a half is always nice when you’re a starving college student!). Like you said–we never here people talking about the problem with the movie theaters or the gas stations or other random places that have to stay open on Christmas (or the hotels!).
    My whole thing is that if I don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving, no one is forcing me to, so why should I be pissed off that other people might want to do that?

  5. Thank you! I’m one one of those people that does shop on Thanksgiving evening. My family eats at lunch time and I go shopping with my best friend and her Mom that evening. It’s a fun outing for us that we look forward to. I worked in retail before stores opened on Thanksgiving Day but I always volunteered to work that weekend because it meant extra hours. Everyone is different and have different ways of doing things. I know when I was living away from my family holidays were hard so I would go to the movie theater or something like that to take my mind off being away from family.

  6. I agree that the argument is more about people being forced to work on Thanksgiving than anything else. But when I worked in the service industry, I ALWAYS volunteered to work on holidays. I worked Christmas day for like 8 years in a row, as well as Thanksgiving. Not in a Black Friday type store but a grocery store, then a casino and then an animal shelter. I needed the money and , frankly, i didn’t want to spend the holidays with my family. I’d bet a good portion of those in the service industry need the extra money, too.

  7. Here’s the thing that always bugs me, nobody gets upset about people being forced to work in healthcare on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. I get that most people don’t want to work on holidays and that’s great, but here’s the thing YOU DON’T GET TO JUDGE EVERYONE ELSE. Having done this for years, sometimes you don’t get a choice about working, sometimes you do. They take volunteers first, but if there aren’t enough of them, you are working Thanksgiving and in some instances if you call off that day you are subject to termination.

    I also don’t understand why people don’t get worked up about all the minimum wage people working at football stadiums that day either. For some reason that’s tradition and don’t even think about criticizing that.

  8. I agree we need to be more careful about what we post. The last thing I want to do is hurt someone I care about. However, there is something to be said for developing a thicker skin and reminding yourself that people aren’t purposely trying to hurt you. I know I struggle with this in regards to infertility a lot and I’m trying to adjust my attitude. Maybe that person isn’t being insensitive to my pain. Maybe they just don’t understand and I need to be stronger and more forgiving.

    That said, overall, we could all benefit from a second thought before posting some things.

  9. Love this post! Everyone is different….different lives, different traditions, different goals, different needs, different thoughts . ….be considerate and cognizant of those differences.

  10. But what about us who DON’T do the elf and then have to field questions from our kids about why the elf doesn’t like them? Huh? Huh? What about us? (Seriously, people. Rein in your excitement about the elf so I don’t have to look like the bad guy, okay? Is that too much to ask?)

  11. Oh, my kids are excited about the Elf a little bit – not that much because our Elf is boring – BUT – they cause similar problems in ALL families of friends b/c their Mimi has a special Gnome called “NORM” that brings them treats and they’re always asking other kids if that have a “Norm” in their garden. Their friends parents have NO IDEA what to do about that.

  12. I just love you to bits. It always annoys me because people are all high horsey about retail being open and people being forced to work, blah blah blah. But no one ever complains about the forty seven other jobs people still have to do on a holiday! Do the rest of the workforce not count?! People need to mind their beeswax.

    As for the Elf? We have one and I freaking LOVE him! My parents bought him for my boys back in 2007. His name is Fizbee and they look forward to his arrival every year. I have a pinterest board devoted to him! It’s a fun tradition that my children will remember their whole lives. And that gives me the warm fuzzies.

  13. I have been known to bitch about the Elf on my personal Facebook, mainly because my kids are SO VERY SAD they don’t have one at their house. The Elf makes me crazy for a myriad of reason I won’t list here.

    But… I can see your point about not making people feel bad about their own Elf. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book and I loved her “Good For You… Not For Me” mantra. I will take this piece of Zen wisdom and apply it to my Elf rages this year. The first step in solving an issue is admitting you have one, right? 🙂

  14. I would love to see some ideas on how to deal with a family full of “Non-Christmas” Scrooge type people. What traditions or things would you do to make it different from any other family meal???

  15. Not everyone is Christian, but everyone should celebrate being thankful whether they have a little or a lot or are with big families or are alone. So your theaters on Christmas argument doesn’t quite match up.

  16. I’m not trying to argue. Especially not “for” Christian holidays since I’m not even a Christian. I’m just asking people to consider the feelings of their FB friends who do those things. If you feel strongly and don’t mind hurting feelings then that’s find. I feel strongly about a lot of issues. I’m just pointing out the everyone is different and the harsh attacks on “people who shop on Thanksgiving” just seems…well…harsh.

    But if you need something different, then NFL games on Thanksgiving. I don’t know. I’m not trying to argue with anyone. I’m just pointing out how it’s possible to hurt feelings if you don’t mean to. No argument intended. I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.

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