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Take Time to Enjoy this Special Week

By Rep. Darrio Melton

Thanksgiving is a special holiday in my house. Not only is it a time to stop and be thankful for the blessings in our lives, but it’s a time to get together with friends and family, eat great food and kick off the holiday season.  This year, I want to challenge you to take advantage of this special week.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, everyone will be doing grocery shopping, house cleaning and preparing to welcome family and neighbors into their homes. When you’re making your plans, think about the people in your life who could use a helping hand. Send the kids over to rake leaves in a neighbors yard or bake an extra pie for someone at church. Last week, I wrote about giving thanks by giving back. Keep your eyes open for those opportunities amidst the holiday bustle.

On Thursday all the hard work will pay off when dinner is served. Go around the table and say what you’re most thankful for this year. What new blessings have come into your family?

On Thursday, we also have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football on TV. Sit back and enjoy these holiday traditions with your family, or make a few of your own.

This year, Black Friday is creeping into Black Thursday—stores are opening as early as 5:00 on Thanksgiving Day to let people get their shopping started as early as possible. Instead of rushing off to buy new things, spend the evening with your family enjoying the blessings you have in your life.

On Friday, we shop. Whether it’s to get the best sales or because you never know who you’ll bump into, Black Friday shopping is an American pastime that we cannot deny.

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But this year, I have another challenge for you: rather than running to the big box retailers and fighting a crowd, keep your shopping local and support small businesses. Huge corporations won’t miss you, but the local boutique or toy store would love to have your business. Keep your money in the community this holiday season.

After spending all week being thankful and enjoying our friends and families, all bets are off on Saturday. The state will divide into two sides for the most heavily contested Iron Bowl in years.

At 2:30 on November 30, the Tide and the Tigers kick off to determine the winner of the SEC West division and possibly who will go on to play for a national title. Either way the win falls, it’s going to be a rough day for half of Alabama. But it’s a tradition no one else in the nation quite understands.

Late Saturday night, it will be still and quiet again. Then it will be Sunday, and on the seventh day, we will rest.

This Thanksgiving week, enjoy each part of the week for the magic it will bring for you and your family. Give thanks by giving back while you are preparing for the holiday. Spend the holiday with your family instead of jumping up from the table and heading out to shop. When it’s time to shop, shop local.

And on Saturday, Roll Tide.

Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.

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