Wow. It’s hit Canada, too. All week I’ve been bombarded online by Black Friday BUY, BUY, BUY messages. I’ve spent time on book seller websites, and homeschool resource websites, and the apple website. And I have to say, I’m feeling the pressure. Like, if I don’t buy today, I’ll be missing out on … something? Even wordpress is offering a Black Friday deal. If I update my blog to a premium template, I can have free custom something-or-other for a whole year. And, I’m considering it, even though I don’t know what it is.

And to add to the pressure, Christmas is just around the corner and I haven’t given a thought to what to get for the boys.

Isn’t marketing just one of those things that gets your blood boiling? It can be so in-your-face, but it can also be so insidious. Sneaky and tricky, and it bugs me that, try as I may to market-proof myself and my family, we still fall for it. Because these marketing guys are good. They get paid a lot of money to be good.

I tell my kids all the time to: like what you like, and be true to who you are, and don’t fall for the advertising crap that makes kids want this or that in this or that cool colour. I love it when my kids are counter-culture. It makes me happy that my son … my weightlifting, guitar-playing, carpenter-wanna-be son … also knits. Just because he likes to. And I love that they think thrift stores are cool, and they don’t care about the labels on their shirts, and one loves Bon Jovi and another loves U2 and another thinks John Denver is the greatest. I love that my middle son is asking me for more history books to read, because he is finding it so fascinating. And I love the conversations I have with all of them about all of the things they are interested in.

And you feel the same about your kids!

And so don’t you, like me, just want to shout at those unscrupulous, high-paid marketers … leave my kids alone!

But it’s everywhere. And we fall for it. I mean, I fall for it. And this is about the worst time of all, this pre-Christmas season.

We’ll do our best to combat it the best we can. With hot chocolate, and Christmas music, and the constant self-reminders that it is about peace and a baby and a manger. About love and good will and sharing and faith.

And I’ll try to find the most meaningful gifts I can for my family and I’ll try to ignore the buy me whispers that will attempt to seduce me. And I’ll try to remember that, like all things simple, it is about the be-ing, not the buying. But it is a challenge, isn’t it?