It’s kind of ironic that the day after we give thanks for our many blessings, the shopping craze known as Black Friday begins. And while there’s nothing like a good bargain, avoiding the madness is probably the best bet for your sanity and wallet. So, instead of joining the crowds and waiting in those seemingly never ending lines, here are 12 much better ways to spend Black Friday.
1. Deliver unused items to a food pantry.
Sure, the infamous Thanksgiving leftovers are just as important as the big meal itself, but oftentimes there are a ton of items that don’t get used. Rather than saving unused items, set aside time on Black Friday to bring them to a local food bank where they'll go to those in need.
2. Let the Viking Cooking School help you get ready for Christmas.
Now that the turkey and dressing are over with, it’s time to start planning for the next big holiday – Christmas. And luckily, Greenwood’s Viking Cooking School is ready to help. Sign up for the school’s Elegant Dinner Party where you’ll learn to prepare the perfect party fare. For more information or to sign-up for the class, click
3. Makeover your leftovers.
Your Thanksgiving leftovers will undoubtedly last for days, but instead of eating the same thing over and over again, spend time the day after Thanksgiving to come up with some new recipes for your leftovers.
4. Take in the Richardson Light Show.
For well over 10 years, the Richardson Light Show has been lighting up the city of Madison. The free of charge Christmas celebration includes more than 200 inflatables, over 100,000 LED lights, hundreds of lighted wireframe characters and messages, a 23-foot animated tree, and much more. For more information, click
5. Soak up some culture.
Black Friday has become synonymous with consuming sales, but why not spend the day consuming culture or history? Most of the state’s museums, art galleries, and military parks will be open and, most likely, not crowded.
6. Take a walk through historic Natchez.
Want to experience the river city in a whole new way? The Rolling River Bistro Walking Tour of Natchez just so happens to begin on Black Friday. The guided tour includes five historic churches and downtown neighborhoods, Memorial Park, and several of the city’s historically-significant landmarks.
For more information, click
7. Check out Christmas in Canton.
Each Christmas season, Canton turns into a winter wonderland with attractions and events that include everything from the Canton Animation Museum, an area filled with 135 life-size animated holiday figures, to historic trolley tours. The Christmas fun kicks-off on Friday, November 27th, and is definitely a much better alternative to shopping. For more information, click
8. Save your shopping for Small Business Saturday.
Mississippi’s small towns are filled with locally-owned businesses who would really appreciate your business. So instead of giving more money to big-box retailers, go shopping on Small Business Saturday and spend your dollars at a local business, which will, in turn, benefit your community.
9. Check out the Gulf Coast.
Obviously, the Gulf Coast is most commonly thought of during the summer months, but on Black Friday, Bay St. Louis and Waveland turn into a “magical coastal wonderland” thanks to the annual “Snowflakes in the Bay” celebration. Spend the day after Thanksgiving strolling among snowflake covered live oaks or take the walking path lined with art sculptures created by local artists. For more information, click
10. Treat yourself to a mini-vacation.
Surely there’s a sight in Mississippi you’ve been dying to see or maybe a town you’ve never visited. Well, now’s your chance to explore your state. And since most people will be busy shopping, you’ll likely avoid heavy traffic and long lines.
11. Ride the Columbia Christmas Train.
Experience your very own version of “The Polar Express!” Held at the Mississippi Expo Center and Holiday Train Station, Columbia’s Christmas Train offers fun for the entire family. The interactive train ride, which runs from Thanksgiving until Christmas, tells the story of the true meaning of the holiday. For more information, click
12. Use the day to get crafty.
Instead of spending Black Friday fighting for potential gifts, use the day to create homemade Christmas gifts and wrapping.
How will you spend the day after Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments section below!