Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Black Friday Must Be Stopped!

Welp…it’s that time of year again, folks. No, not Thanksgiving. Well, it is but that’s not exactly what I mean. Just stay with me. It’s the time of year that almost every person working in retail dreads (and even some shoppers)…BLACK FRIDAY. Or as I like to call it, The Special Kind of Hell.

And you wanna go shopping because why?!

And you wanna go shopping because why?!

It’s the time when seemingly normal people lose their damn minds over some cheap shit that no one really needs. Sure there are some good deals from time to time but for the most part it’s not really worth it. Seriously, why the hell would you wanna waste precious family time or wake up before the ass-crack of dawn to save some money on sheet sets or a damn Xbox One? Even if your family sucks or you actually enjoy being up that early, fighting the hordes of psychotic moms fighting for discount towels makes it not worth leaving the house. It’s winter, my least favorite season, so my ass would rather be home, in bed, wrapped up in a warm blanket, sound asleep. Unfortunately for me, I work in retail. Dammit.

Unlike last year, I have to work during the insanity. I was lucky enough to miss it before but this year, I guess my luck ran out. I have the fantastic displeasure of getting to enjoy the “company” of all of the “wonderful people” who will make the decision to forego Thanksgiving festivities to trudge and fight through crowds of others just like them in order to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars for junk that will probably get returned for things that the gift receivers really want. What makes it even better is that I will miss Thanksgiving celebrations with my family (not by choice) to spend time with these brilliant folks. Oh joy.

Remember when Black Friday was ONLY on Friday? I do and I thought that was just fine. There was no need for an extra day. But then some genius or geniuses got a the “bright” idea that they could sell more shit if they started the sales even earlier, like maybe the day before. Ya know, on Thanksgiving. I mean, no one is doing anything important during the evening of Thanksgiving anyway. No one is slipping into a turkey coma or catching up with family members they might not have seen in a while or watching football or getting an early start on setting up their Christmas tree or just enjoying a break from work. Nah, no one is doing anything like that. So they should be shopping. Yeah, that sounds like a logical thing to do. If waking up ridiculously early to stand in line to wait for stores to open wasn’t crazy enough, skipping out on the majority of Thanksgiving in order to wait in line for under-priced junk definitely takes the cake.

At what point did a majority of the human race decide that standing in line, either outside in the freezing cold or inside among a cesspool of human “existence”, rather than relaxing at home with loved ones, was a good idea? Dammit, people! Check your priorities! Enjoy this time away from the insanity of the world. Take time with the people you love; your spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, partners, kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. DVR the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watch it over and over again, play some board games, sleep off that food coma, decorate for Christmas, have a few too many drinks and sing some karaoke…terribly. Enjoy life for once. Save Black Friday for Friday and leave Thursday to Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you have, not for the things you can save a few bucks on. Maybe if enough people stop shopping on Thanksgiving, the stores will switch back to a one day sale. Probably not but a man can dream.

And if you get the urge to go shopping on Thursday, remember a few things:

1. A lot of people do not shower before these events and they will stand in line all night long. You may end up next to one of them. Some of these people will not even leave the line to use the restroom. They’ll just go where they’re standing. I’ve seen it. It’s not pretty.

2. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is awesome. It can be watched on repeat and never not be awesome. Same goes for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

3. If you drink, don’t drive. So spike your eggnog or punch or whatever, curl up on the couch with a blanket, throw on Christmas with The Rat Pack or Michael Bublé Christmas, and just chill.

4. I enjoy spending time with my family and relaxing and watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and listening to Sinatra and Bublé sing Christmas tunes. However, I truly DO NOT enjoy spending my holiday at work with YOU. I don’t care who you are. It’s the last thing on my list of things to do on the holidays, right below watching every single Casper Van Dien movie ever. Believe me, it’s a long list.

So just do the right thing and stay home this holiday. Besides, most of the deals are online anyway. Buy all the crap from the comfort of your home. Boom, done.

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What The Cool Ship is Thankful For

We here at The Cool Ship would like to take a moment from our hectic holiday schedules and tell all our wonderful readers what we give thanks for.

Rob A.

I am incredibly thankful for my outstanding wife and daughter, who fill my heart and soul with such love and joy everyday of my life. For the wonderful family that was included in the deal when I got married. They’re an unbelievably welcoming and caring group of people, who have accepted me as one of the family since day one. A guy couldn’t ask for better. For my family on my dad’s side, who are there for me no matter what, always supporting and loving. For my true friends, the ones who are there through thick and thin. For my fellow Cool Shippers because you gotta have a great crew to pilot a ship this awesome. For Doctor Who (no joke), because I’m sure many of you out there will understand, it truly does bring such wonder and magic and feels of all kinds into your life. Doctor Who isn’t just a show, Doctor Who is a way of life. I’m thankful that I’m happy, healthy, and able to take care of my family. I’d be more thankful if I had a better job but this isn’t the time to complain. And last but certainly not least, I’m thankful for all of you, the readers. Without you, we’d have no reason to keep doing this, day in, day out. Seriously, without readers, we’d just be keeping an online journal that no one reads. So thank you for your continued support. You guys are the best!

J. Fortune

I am thankful for my wife and son (soon to be sons!!) and the blessed life we lead. I am thankful to live in a country where I can write, read, or say whatever I please, and for the men and women who have made, and continue to make that possible. I am thankful that because of pizza and other fine Italian foods we need not question the existence of our Creator or His love for us. Finally, for entertainment. For the idea we as a nation have time to sit and stare at art that has been created simply for our appreciation (or in my case critique), I am truly thankful. Have a fantastic holiday.

Colleen K.

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year. I mean, I do every year, but this year stands out. I’m thankful to my husband, my friends, my family, The Cool Ship staff, and the thousands of people around the world who supported my catcalling campaign with Hollaback!. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Catch up here and here.) I’m glad that I have a job that I like. I’m glad I work from home meaning that I never really have to change out of yoga pants unless I’m leaving the house and not on my way to yoga in which case I put on jeans.

I’m grateful that my first full year of marriage was like a “Get Psyched” mix tape made by Barney Stinson – it just gets even more awesome the more you get into it.

And I’m grateful to the readers of The Cool Ship. You guys are intelligent, funny, and a wonderful community who I am glad to write for. A toast to you!

TJ J.

I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had this year: From meeting folks at Gen Con to expanding my freelance career, this has been a good 12 months.

I am, of course, thankful for my wife and my kids, all of whom can drive me crazy, or amaze me, but still gift to me the love and support I so desperately need.

I’m thankful for The Cool Ship. It gives me a creative outlet and lets me write about the extremely dorky things I love, like board games.

I’m thankful for my friends. Whether we talk every day or go months without speaking, I am immensely grateful for the people who are close to me.

I am thankful for the massive amounts of food I am going to consume tomorrow. Much like Galactus destroys planets, I plan on destroying turkey like I was the last survivor of the previous universe who was chosen to become a demigod that keeps the cosmic balance by eating turkey.

Finally, I am thankful for whoever reads this. Seriously, God bless you and yours. I hope that  the next 12 months will be better than the previous. Thank you.

For one for all - high fives!!!!! [Gif courtesy of celebuzz.com]

For one for all – high fives!!!!! [Gif courtesy of celebuzz.com]

From all of us, here at The Cool Ship, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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The Pros & Cons of the Oncoming Storm Called Christmas

After working for almost 13 years in the retail business, I’ve grown quite disenchanted with the holiday season. But over the past few years, it has started to regain some of its magic. Some, but not all. This year looks to be a bit brighter than recent years thanks to my girlfriend and her little girl.

Something about the joy expressed from a children during Christmastime, that sparkle of wonder and splendor in their eyes at the sight of snow falling and presents under the tree, really brings a warmth to your heart. I look forward to reading Christmas stories to the new little girl in my life and watching her rip through the wrapping paper on all the great gifts I got her this year.

There are a few other holiday events that I’m looking forward to… and some that I’m not. I thought I might compile a list for you. I’ll start with the Cons of Christmas, so hopefully the Pros will rebuild your holiday cheer.

Cons of Christmas

OBEY. [source: greenlivingtemple.com]

  1. Marketing and Consumerism– It seems that, in the retail market, Thanksgiving is getting skipped over and we’re just jumping straight to Christmas. It’s still being celebrated, there’s still parades and everything, but Turkey-time has been getting the cold shoulder lately. (And I understand the irony of this statement, seeing as how I’m writing an article about Christmas before anyone from this site has written one about Thanksgiving. Not a care is had.) Nothing lessens my holiday cheer more than hearing Christmas tunes playing the day after Halloween. It has even come to the point where it looks like Halloween may soon be looked over as well. I noticed this year that Christmas decorations and paraphernalia went on sale before Halloween was over. Outrageous!That’s not the worst part. That “honor” goes to the After-Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales. Mobs of insane shoppers lining up and waiting for hours on end, all for ridiculous bargains on a lot of second-rate crap, I mean merchandise. Stores have even resorted to started the sales on the night of Thanksgiving, as an effort to reduce casualties during this time of madness. I don’t see it working. Nothing can quell the rage in an over-worked mother’s heart when she’s barreling through a pack of like-minded moms, in order to get to that prized toy or electronic device that her ungrateful, heathen child covets so.

    If I woke up to this, I wouldn’t leave the house.

  2. Snow and the Cold– I have grown to despise the cold and the snow. I used to love them when I was a kid but now I dread them both. I think my hatred started once I started driving. When you’re a kid, you don’t worry about breaking down during the winter and having to suffer through the frigid weather. You play in the snow then you go inside and get warm. When you get older and you start driving, there’s a very good chance you’re going to break down and have to sit and freeze your butt off while waiting for a tow truck. Or maybe even sleep in your car on a frosty night. I know I have. And let’s not forget about having to wake up earlier so you can warm up your car and scrape the ice off of your windshield. Once you get on the road, you have to worry about not hitting a patch of ice and careening into a snow drift. Add to that, the horrible drivers who already can’t drive under normal conditions are on the roads as well.Making sure your kids are kept warm so they don’t get sick and winterizing your home to keep your heating costs down; all stuff you have to worry about as an adult. Also, add to list that once snow has first fallen and it is untouched, it’s beautiful. After that, it’s nasty slush.

    Yup. These Guys. [source: teamjimmyjoe.com]

  3. Spending Time With the Ones You Loathe – You know those friends and members of family that you ignore and spend all year trying to avoid? Well since this is the season of togetherness and caring, you’re probably gonna have to interact with them. More than likely in a wonderful holiday visit where they can regale you with news of how awful or better their life is, so as to guilt or gloat, ask you for money, and/or tell you what you’re doing wrong with your life and how they don’t approve. And a lot of times, you’re going to get all of that and more once alcohol starts fueling the misery train. It may only be for one day of the year, but it’s gonna be the worst day, that’s for sure. Especially if they decide that they want to spend more time with you afterwards and try to keep in contact. Prepare yourselves for that nonsense.
  4. Holiday Sensory Overkill – Too much of a good thing is bad. Some people should heed these words wisely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hurt my eyes from looking at someone’s Christmas display that was just way too bright and gaudy. When your lights start to number in the hundreds of thousands, you might be overdoing it. And for some, tens of thousands is too much. It was funny when Clark Griswold did it, but you sir/madam, are no Clark Griswold. This also goes for the people who like to fill up their yards with tacky, plastic decorations to the point where no yard can be seen. You’re doing it wrong. I don’t know how many artificial versions of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer you think you need on your front lawn, but one is truly enough. I know common sense goes out they window once “Jingle Bells” starts playing, but how about we take a small step in re-establishing it by easing back on the outdoor (and indoor, for that matter) decor. And to the person who decided the giant bags of cinnamon-scented pine cones were a good idea…I hate you.

Pros of Christmas:

  1. Spending Time With the Ones You Love– For all the horrid people that you have to visit with this time of year, there are a bunch of really great people that make it all worth it, and you get to see them too. The ones who brighten your day, make you smile and laugh, truly warm your heart, and give you a reason to enjoy the holidays; those folks are gonna be around to share the season with you. So when you’re utterly disgusted and annoyed after talking with the ones you can’t stand; turn to the ones you love, smile, give them a big hug, and regain your joy. Remember, those negative jerks don’t matter. That’s why you avoid them all year long.

    If you haven’t seen it, watch it. [source: acartoonchristmas.com]

  2. Quality Holiday ProgrammingA Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas with The California Raisins, A Garfield Christmas Special, The Grinch (animated and live-action), The Santa Clause movies…I love Christmas movies! I could go on and on listing all my favorites, but I’ll probably do that in another article. Nothing makes me feel like a kid again quite like sitting in front of the television and watching all of my favorite holiday specials, even when shows like Community and Supernatural have Christmas-themed episodes. The joy they bring is insurmountable. This includes the parades. Don’t judge.
  3. Holiday Sensory Nirvana – I have said before that some people can overdue it with the decoration, but there are a few, a great few, who know how to decorate well. So well that you must stop whatever you’re doing and stand in awe at the greatness they have created. Not too over-the-top and not too underwhelming, just right smack-dab at the center of yuletide perfection. The lights are done right (and sometimes splendidly timed to music), the yard ornaments are tastefully placed and not overcrowding each other, and there maybe be one inflatable Santa but they are keeping him constantly inflated. No flaccid Santa’s here (snicker if you must). It’s a display so wonderful that you want to run up and knock on their front door and when they open, give them the most awesome high-five you’ve ever given in your life–A high-five so powerful that it acknowledges their greatness in decorating on into the new year.
  4. Michael Buble – As well as The Rat Pack, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, and few other greats, but mostly Michael Buble.

Need I say more?

What are some of your Pros and Cons for Christmas?

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