Consider this My Black Friday Post for 2022…

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While in college, I got a job as a salesperson at a store that carried fraternity and sorority merchandise. I worked my way up to management and had discussed with the owner possibly buying him out after college. He passed, the store got new management and I was not too fond of their management style so I got a new job as an assistant manager at a clothing store at a nearby mall.

I struggled to find a job after college and kept working at that clothing store, moving up the ranks from assistant to store manager, to manager of a bigger store, and then a bigger store, and then a trainer and merchandiser for the district. I made more money than my friends who got desk jobs, and I also had perks like sales bonuses, an employee discount that spanned across all the stores owned by the parent company, and free clothing. But I worked soooo much.

I left that company for a different niche (skincare/beauty) knowing it would be fewer hours, smaller teams to manage, a simpler dress code, yet more money. I was a trainer, a promotion, with prestige. I had paid business travel and was paid to learn about skincare, ingredients, makeup, and body care to teach others. But I still worked ridiculous hours when someone quit, was sick, or needed coverage at another store… and from November 1st until January 1st I hardly had a day off.

When I got engaged (around midnight the night before Thanksgiving, stinking of sweat and cardboard and beauty products from filling the shelves before the Black Friday rush), I started thinking about quality of life. I wanted to have weekends off with my fiance, holidays free where I could possibly have the time to host, and maybe even travel. I began looking for jobs outside of retail and found one a few months before our wedding.

As I moved up the ladder in Corporate America, changing companies and positions, my goal was always better quality of life. Sometimes that was with a bigger paycheck, sometimes that was a shorter commute, sometimes that was being able to work from home a few days a week.

When I quit my day job to be a full-time blogger way back in 2017, it was to have my life back. I had excelled so much at the blog and the job that I had two successful careers, both making good money, and both slowly eating away any time away from them. The blog was more fun, more creative, and I felt more potential for creative passive income, or at least having more free time.

I am writing this Wednesday morning. I went away this past weekend with my sister for a much-needed getaway and a celebration as my sister finished the busy season for her job. It was a lovely time, but I don't know if I was fully present, thinking about what was on my plate when I came home.

We were hosting up to 17 folks that Thanksgiving in our New Deal-era row home. We had cleaning and food prep and home repairs and borrowing tables and chairs and grocery shopping and hitting up Home Depot multiple times.

We had applications for high school and Girl Scout Silver Award projects and report cards and two-hour early releases and distributing nut and candy sales from the Fall Girl Scout fundraiser.

We were leaving Friday after Thanksgiving for a weekend on the Eastern Shore with relatives. We plan a trip together every Thanksgiving weekend, but this year it feels a bit more… cramped with everything else.

When we get home Sunday, it's putting the house back together from Thanksgiving because relatives are coming to visit Monday and Tuesday. While they're staying in a hotel nearby, they haven't been to our home before or been to DC as a family so we are hosting meals and playing tour guide for the fabulous place where we live.

And there are pre-Black Friday sales and Small Business Saturday sales and Cyber Monday sales. If I played my cards right and continue to do so for the next few days, I can make some serious bank from promoting these sales. Some influencers make more this weekend than they do the entire rest of the year. I can look at past years' analytics and see when I dedicated and took the time (go ahead and sing that like Kelly Clarkson, I did), I'd make great money. It would be worth it, right?

When I quit my day job to be a full-time blogger, folks thought I was stupid. To give up that income, those benefits? Slow down with the blog, keep doing both, reap the rewards. But if you've read this blog for any period of time you know I don't do things half-ass and I take great pride in the quality of content I create for Wardrobe Oxygen. I wasn't rich by any means, but I had enough money for my family to get by. What I really needed was time.

And here I am five years later freaking out that I have no time. That I am having all these wonderful experiences this holiday season with friends and family and they are going to be a blur because I am so worried about how I am going to fit in all my sale content and promotion. I am still not rich, but we have enough. We don't need the money I can make from Black Friday. Sure, it would be great, we could take a fantastic trip or we could do that home renovation we've wanted to do for a long while. Our kid's college fund isn't as large as I'd like it to be, nor are our retirement funds. But none of that is worth the way I am dreading the coming days.

I don't want to dread the coming days, I want to enjoy them. So I am not covering the sales this weekend. And that is TERRIFYING to write. But I chose this job for quality of life, not to be rich, or famous, and surely not to be the person you look to for the best deals.

As you shop this weekend, shop with intention. Have a list, not just of who you are buying gifts for, but for yourself. If you didn't need it at full price, you don't need it at 40% off. Don't buy just to buy. You don't need it.

You also don't need a new look for every situation on your holiday social calendar. Rock a black turtleneck and black ponte pants and switch up the top layer with an ugly Christmas cardigan, a beaded kimono, a sweater coat, a denim jacket, a satin bomber. Take that crepe shift and pair it with tights and boots and a turtleneck, a sheer turtleneck and ankle booties, a white blouse and ballet flats, a sweater coat, and Mary Janes. Add a festive brooch or earrings and a bright red lip and done.

Shop the retailers you already know and love. Here are my promo codes, try them along with the sales to save more (I have some good ones for Printfresh pajamas, Universal Standard, Dagne Dover, and Necessaire, and if you're looking for a sleep upgrade check out the Eight Sleep mattress cover, I have a promo code and will do a review soon).

A new dress, lipstick, or pair of shoes will not change your life. Think signature style, not a new look for each moment. Consider deleting social media apps this weekend so your screen time is more focused and you have more time to be in the moment. My therapist taught me when I felt stressed to write down five different things each day I am grateful for and I can't think of a better time for such an activity than this weekend.

You never know, I may get insomnia this weekend and craft up a Cyber Monday blog post, but the plan is to shut this computer and not open it again until Monday. It's what my 2017 self would find to be a true sign of success.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. One thing I am truly thankful for and grateful for is you and this wonderful community. Much love to you all!!!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I miss working retail so much….well I miss the parts of it that I loved. But I had to leave and join corporate America, as you would, for better pay and a consistant schedule. And I don’t miss customers, at all. But I miss merchandising and all the behind the scenes work so much!

  2. The only thing I dislike more than all the hype/nonsense/etc. with Black Friday is the summertime version, “Black Friday” in July which happening more and more.

    1. Beautifully sad! I did something similar this year, and decided not to buy a bunch of outfits I didn’t need for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend away. I rocked a couple of US dresses with tights and cute boots or sneakers, added a pin or a bracelet here and there, a red lip, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I was comfortable more grounded and felt like myself, and was able to focus more on the things that really matter: long walks, great food, curling up with my son by the fire to watch movies…

      Wishing you and everyone in the WO community a wonderful holiday season. ❤️

  3. As a Working Mom I was chronically short of PTO and usually volunteered to work on the Friday after T-day b/c husband got the day off and could watch the children.
    So the whole Black Friday shop thing isn’t embedded in my life.
    In my ideal world my Christmas shopping would be done by Thanksgiving so I could devote myself to decorating an baking.
    To that end I think you’ve done your bit with the amazing list of gift ideas you’ve published in recent weeks.

  4. Hey, this post shows some real integrity, knowledge of what is important in life and a willingness to actually live your values. Bravo!

  5. I’ve been a devoted WO reader for many years, and each of your posts is better than the previous one. I really admire you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  6. I love watching your evolution as a blogger! As I am not in the USA a lot of your promotional content is not relevant to me anyway, but I follow with appreciation for your throughtful commentary on being a modern woman, your smarts and your honesty. Here in Australia our retailers have adopted the Black Friday concept wholeheartedly, and it’s rather horrifying to see how our leisure time is being eroded by this huge pressure to buy new stuff all the time. As a society we need a different approach, this endless commercialism is slowly killing humankind. Thank you for *not* participating in this, hoping you can find other ways to share your smarts and still make a living! Happy thanksgiving to you and yours.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! I appreciate how thoughtful you are about consumption, and this is an example. I tend to go to your website before I buy anything, so you’ll get the credit for the sale, but I was especially conscientious about doing so for Black Friday shopping this time around. I hope you don’t have too much of a financial hit for taking care of yourself and your family.

  8. I totally feel you. Been completely burned out for 2.5 years now. Trying to get it together to host for the holidays. Fortunately, it’s a small group — my family — and we always all contribute on the food, potluck style. This Thanksgiving, happy to let my sibling host. We’ve ordered a cooked turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce. Also apple pie. My spouse is recovering from a minor surgery and isn’t interested in cooking as he usually would, esp a heavy turkey. We’re chilling out and enjoying each other’s company.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  9. Enjoy your time off with your family. Honestly, the holidays are getting to be a bit much. While I’m grateful that a few of my favorite brands offer great discounts this time of year that I do take advantage of (got some things from your Colleen Rothschild link and some Banana Republic Factory things) most sales are not that great. It seems like Black Friday started Nov. 1st. Stores were full of Christmas/holiday decorations before Halloween. Some houses in my neighborhood have been decorated for Christmas for about 2 weeks now. I’m starting to get over the whole thing at this point. But I’ll still be reading your blog. The content is great and I’d continue to read even if you never posted about another sale ever again. Happy Holidays Allie!

  10. Hurrah for Alison, you are definitely doing the right thing. It’s the right thing for you, personally, and it is also the right thing as a leader, or influencer.

    We all could benefit from some time thinking about the difference between “what I need” and “what I want’, as my very wise friend who is a Bhuddist monk would say.

    I hope we all have a chance to feel happy celebrating, connecting, just enjoying the day. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

  11. I am honestly tired of all the emails, social media ads, and blog posts promoting Black Friday sales. It started two weeks ago, before Black Friday. I feel like the holidays have become inundated with shopping and materialism which takes a lot of time and money. I wish that it wasn’t this way. It seems to take away from a higher meaning for the holidays. I appreciate that you are backing away from promoting Black Friday sales. It’s actually refreshing! I love your blog. Thank you for the work you do!

  12. Good for you! Life is short, enjoy Thanksgiving, your family and friends. Thank you for all you do for us and we’ll be waiting when you have the time to post again!

  13. We Canadians only get a fraction of the hustle your Thanksgiving brings. But we also experience the stress of children, economics, holiday. Hang on Alison. It’s all over too soon. You’ll look back and wonder why you were so stressed about it.
    Enjoy yourself. Make sure the getaway IS a getaway. Don’t pressure yourself to see and do anything.
    Many women have learned a lot from your blog. Looking forward to seeing you next week.

  14. Alison, wishing you & your family a lovely & joyous holiday.

    And as if we need any more shopping days this weekend, Sunday is Museum Store Sunday. My local museum pairs it with Community Free Day: see the exhibits, get a little shopping in, enjoy coffee & a pastry or lunch out.

    It’s a great way to support the arts in your, & other, communities. I find museum stores have interesting accessories, especially scarves, home decor items, & kids stuff. For ex, another blogger introduced me to lacquered ball candles from Italy at Moma that make a great hostess gift. & the Met has a glass tile print scarf as part of their baroque exhibit that’s in my shopping cart waiting for a sale (I tend to buy stuff the day before a sale.)

  15. Love this….and it’s nice reminder that we all have enough! Enjoy the time and savor the moments. Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. I love this. Thank you for your ALWAYS good, fresh, important content. And best wishes for a wonderful holiday weekend! (Writing from Almunecar, Spain, where for the first time in 28 years we will not be stressing over Thanksgiving dinner. Moroccan restaurant on the beach for the win this year.)

  17. Bravo Alison on doing what is right for you and yours! It sounds like a wonderful and fulfilling week, so enjoy yourself and take catnaps when you can. Remember you’re a badass woman who knows you don’t need perfection at the Thanksgiving table, just good company and fun!

  18. This is amazing! I am so turned off by all the Black Friday pushing. I am a Thanksgiving purist and I don’t even think about gifts until Cyber Monday! Well, we do draw names for Christmas. We have really scaled down what we buy and spend. Also, with prices so high on everything it just makes me feel bad for people that cannot afford the holiday anymore.
    Try to be present in the moment of each wonderful event. Outsource and delegate and remember that no one expects perfection. They just want YOU. You are such a wonderful blogger, writer, content creator, and just wonderful human. Thank you!

  19. I’m all for making money, and I definitely identify with your feeling torn in several directions. Providing for your family and working when your particular career field is at its seasonal money-making height are important. And, this idea of work-life balance seems like just another myth to make us feel bad, because who ever achieves the perfect balance?! Glad you can get away with family and hope you enjoy a little down time!

  20. Brava, Alison! I admire your integrity. I hope by the time you read this, you’ve had a wonderful, unplugged holiday!

  21. Life is short. As you get older you will not regret the days spent with people you love, but you will regret the opportunities you missed. Enjoy your family time. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Thank you for this post, best Black Friday post I have seen. This says so much about what we’ve learned the last three years or so.

  23. Way to go, Alison! Thanks for setting a good example of responsible life balance.
    Also for the reminder that signature look is a plus.

  24. You are doing the right thing, Alison! Time off where you actually get to enjoy yourself, rest, and relax is invaluable and not to be missed (when life’s circumstances permit it, of course). Personally, I make a point to head to your promo codes anytime I’m shopping online because you are my favorite blogger & I want you to be successful. Seeing a WO post in my inbox always makes me happy, but that only happens if the woman behind the blog is doing well mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. So, go enjoy your time off!

  25. I am so glad to hear you are putting yourself and your family first. I’m feeling overwhelmed as a consumer by Black Friday sales — I can’t imagine how you as a blogger deal with all the noise. I wish you a wonderful and fulfilling and peaceful family time.

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