i died on …

i died on december 31st.

so i made three changes before i died.

  • i cancelled thanksgiving.
  • i cancelled black friday.
  • i cancelled christmas.

what if you were going to die on december 31st?

what would you change?

well, i cancelled thanksgiving. 

ok. so i don’t have the power to cancel thanksgiving entirely. but the tradition of going to someone’s home who must cook and clean and polish silverware. and have the proper kind and number of apple pies. the proper number of pumpkin pies and pecan pies and whipped cream topping. too much stress.

i cancelled thanksgiving
we replaced thanksgiving with our outdoor thing and paper plates 

i (we) cancelled that kinda thanksgiving. i cancelled the chaos. and replaced it. we really did.

we cancelled all of that chaos and forced busyness. for thanksgiving, we are taking our combined families to a park. to blue jacket park in orlando, florida.

ok. we live in florida. so we can do this outdoors thing. so no one has to clean their house. we will cook hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill. turkeys don’t have to worry about us. we’ll be using paper plates and plastic cutlery. and plenty of outside time and activities for the children.

thanksgiving outdoors
thanksgiving at the park eating hot dogs and using paper plates 

our thanksgiving mess stays in the trashcans at the park. and no spilled cranberry juice on the new carpet. no one has to vacuum their house. and because we are eating outside, we will be less likely to overeat. and more likely to play frisbee, fly a kite. and less sitting on the couch.

less sitting in front of the television …

… and watching the parades and the football games. we will leave that to someone else. that’s traditional, maybe, but we / you don’t have to do it that way.

if you can’t picnic in a park

– for you northern states people – then serve food all day in a “soup kitchen” – with your entire family – including your out-of-town guests. get away from the dinner table and the football games. be thankful by doing something for someone else.

serve some american street refugees …

… by preparing some portable meals. drive around town and serve meals to the homeless. what i call our “american street refugees.”

since i died on december 31st.

i cancelled black friday.

black friday – this is strictly an american retail tradition. a national shame – where the corporate giants intentionally hijack any thankfulness that we experienced on the previous day – thanksgiving day. and those retail rascals replaced it with scary, angry mobs inside their stores and outside in their parking lots.

i cancelled black friday
buying things they don’t nEEd and cannot aFFord

black friday – where you get to watch youtube videos of angry people fighting each other to buy things that they don’t need and cannot afford.

black friday – a traditional american planned apocalyptic event. a corporate conspiracy where americans fight each other so they can buy unnecessary stuff to start their new year with more credit card debt in january. and designed to create amazing and unbelievable youtube videos of fighting people in the land of plenty. permanently preserving on youtube the tradition of crazy walmartians for future generations to enjoy.

black friday – i cancelled it. if we can’t buy it online (via amazon prime or best buy or … ?), then we just don’t buy it.

i cancelled black friday. so that black friday will no longer hijack all of the peace and serenity and family joy that we experienced on thanksgiving day.

i died on december 31st. so i cancelled …

i cancelled christmas, too

at least, the excessive spending part.

we cancelled the excessive spending
we cancelled the excessive spending

i’m taking my grandchildren to the dollar store to spend their christmas money on other people who really need some stuff. who need something as basic as a toothbrush and toothpaste.

my grandchildren do not need anything. they are all well fed have enough stuff. nice shoes and beds and electronic devices.

ten (10) electronic devices …

… for a family of four. drew, my oldest grandson, and i counted the number of electronic devices (flat screen tv’s and tablets and smart phones and …) in his household – 10 for a family of four. that’s plenty of stuff.

we have enough stuff. 

help to create a smile for a homeless person
help to create a smile for america’s strEEt refugees

so we’re going to the dollar store to create “care packages” for the “american street refugees” living on the streets of orlando. living in the woods near mc donald’s. so that they can use the toilet facilities during the daytime. and can eat from the dumpsters at night

you see them with their handwritten cardboard signs “working their corner” in the traffic. you see them everyday. i know i do. i try to avoid eye contact intentionally so they won’t ask me for money. but you and i still see them everyday. 

i cancelled christmas. and we’re going to the dollar store so that every grandchild gets to create a $10.00 bag with a toothbrush and toothpaste and … ? you get the picture. my grandchildren don’t have billions of dollars to spend. but we can spend our hundreds of dollars.

and create a new tradition. and, hopefully, put some “christ” (and joy) back into christmas for us and others. and let our children / grandchildren experience giving instead of receiving.

giving intentionally to help some of the “street refugees of the usa.” you can help a refugee for ten dollars.

here’s a good facebook update for ya.

“stop investing in life AFTER death. and start investing in life BEFORE death.” 

and it can be a timely tweetable.

so, yes, i died on december 31st.

and i changed my perspective and my priorities between now and december 31st.

so, what if? in 45 days, or 123 days, or 299 days?

what if you were going to die on december 31st?

what would you cancel?

what would you do differently?

tell me and then do it. 

tell me what you would change in the comments below.