6 Alternatives to the Black Friday Frenzy

Family making a gingerbread house together.

It seems like everyone spends the day after (or the evening of) Thanksgiving in a shopping frenzy. But if you’re tired of getting up early to fight the crowds and want to make the holiday weekend a little more meaningful, try some of the following activities this year. 


The Thanksgiving holiday is about being thankful for what you have in your life. An easy way to spread happiness after the feast is over is to volunteer in your community. 

Choose a cause you’re passionate about and do some research to see what you can do to help. Whether it’s a local animal shelter, a food bank or a senior center, you’ll make a difference with your generosity. You can even try exploring virtual volunteer opportunities that can be done anywhere.

Related: Here are some creative ways to give back during the holiday season >>

Spend Time with Loved Ones

If you don’t get to see your family much throughout the year, the holidays are a great opportunity to catch up and spend some quality time in each other’s company. And family time doesn’t have to be limited to the big days themselves.

Get your family together for a board game day or make some creative crafts instead. Not seeing each other in person? Set up a virtual meeting for everyone to join and catch up. 

Make Cards for Deployed Military Service Members

Not everyone can be home during the holidays. To honor our active-duty military members and their families, get your craft supplies out and make some greeting cards to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication. 

Operation Gratitude and A Million Thanks are just some of the organizations that welcome cards and letters. You can also see if there are deployed military members in your community if you’d like to add a more personal touch. 

Clean Out Your Closet

Woman cleaning out her closetFor a great way to combine helping yourself and helping others, donate clothing and additional items you don’t need. Take some time to clean your closet to rid it of unneeded items, then toss them in a bag and take them to a donation center. 

Especially this time of year, take stock of winter clothing you no longer wear or need and donate it to someone who could use it. If you’re planning on adding new items to your closet, this can also help free up space and declutter your wardrobe.

(It’s best to donate the items immediately – you might end up forgetting and having bags in the trunk of your car for months!)

Related: Start saving and stop stressing with these tips >>

Enjoy the Outdoors

Burn some calories while enjoying the fresh air and autumnal foliage this Black Friday. Hike a new trail with family or friends, or try your luck at geocaching. 

Some stores, like outdoor retailer REI, have even decided to close their doors the day after Thanksgiving and encourage people to head outside.

Bring a phone or camera to document your adventure and make a photo album afterward. You might even capture the perfect shot for your family’s next holiday greeting card.

Make a Time Capsule or Scrapbook

If you want to preserve some incredible memories from the past year, consider using Black Friday to create a time capsule to store those precious items. Newspaper clippings, funny stories and photos are great places to start if you’re unsure of what to include. 

If you’re crafty, you can use this time to put together that photo album or scrapbook you’ve been meaning to create. 

Need Convenience on the Go?

As you’re preparing for the holidays, take advantage of Minster Bank’s many online and mobile banking options, like mobile deposit, instant alerts, mobile wallet and more.

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