Why should we care?


Graphic by Karl Enghofer


Last week, I encouraged you all to take care of yourselves. As the holiday season is officially upon us, let’s take some time to think of other people.

I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner for weeks now. Those of us fortunate enough to have a place to go with food delicious enough to have us salivating weeks in advance may find it hard to think about those who may not have somewhere to go.

Unfortunately there are people in the Eau Claire area and all over the state who will find themselves turkey-less next Thursday.

Even if it’s not on Thanksgiving, I encourage you to volunteer something:

— Turkey Trot: This event takes place early Thanksgiving morning. According to the Eau Claire YMCA website, more than 1,200 people participated and raised more than $10,000, last year. Proceeds go to Eau Claire YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club. The YMCA hosts the event with Festival Foods. Contribute your part by volunteering at the event or running or walking in the race.

— The Gift of Life: Blood donation centers across the state are always accepting donations, especially around the holidays.

— Cash: Skip one meal out this month and give the money to a charity you trust. In the area, Hope Gospel Mission is accepting small donations to feed people on Thanksgiving.

No matter what you give, you’ll be giving someone hope.


At this point, Black Friday is becoming inseparable from Thanksgiving Thursday. Literally. Some of the bigger stores are starting their sales before the leftovers are even cleared off the table.

I actually like some aspects of Black Friday. I know it represents everything that’s wrong with American consumerism, but I have very fond memories of peppermint lattes, Christmas songs on 94.9 and tracking down the perfect gifts with my mom.

Don’t get me wrong — I think Black Friday has definitely gotten out of hand and it’s become more of a headache of long lines and gridlocked mall parking lots.

So here’s what I propose: don’t go out on Black Friday. Use that day to sleep in and catch up with family. For us college students, we only get a few days at home. No use wasting one of them at the mall.

But don’t give up on holiday traditions, either.

Nab the sale prices on a few big things on Cyber Monday and then use your shopping time to check out local stores. Give up the Starbucks peppermint mocha for one from a local coffee shop. Find unique gifts at a small business.

You’ll find better gifts at better prices and have a much more relaxed holiday shopping experience.

Plus there’s a very small chance you’ll get trampled or pepper-sprayed at the little shop around the corner … one more reason to avoid Black Friday.