The internet is eerily quiet today.

My e-mail inbox gave me a half-hearted greeting this morning – only three new messages. So, I tip-toed over to my blog. Silence. I sent an instant message or two and could almost hear them echo back at me.

Where is everyone? You’re out shopping, aren’t you? You brave souls.

I’m staying in today. I intend to snack on Thanksgiving leftovers and bring the Christmas decorations out of storage. Holiday music will be played. There will be squealing and bouncing and giggling. There will probably be dancing. I will likely be wearing jingle bells and a Santa hat. Perhaps some elf ears.

I hope that when you return from your shopping excursions, after you tally your receipts and depression starts to set in, that you’ll make your way here. Because, on this day of great spending, I have something to give. Five somethings actually.

My fabulous friend Mackey has a game going. This is from her site:

“The first 5 commenters here will get a small gift in the mail from me.
All you have to do is post this on your own blog and promise to gift the first 5 commenters on your post if they promise to gift the first 5 commenters on their posts… you see how it goes. What do they call that?
The domino effect.
After you comment jot your address in an email and click it off to me.
As soon as you participate in the game I will get your little something in the mail.”

Since I’m a big fan of small gifts in the mail, I commented and agreed to spread the cheer here. I’m going to make a few small changes, though.

First, I enourage you to keep the game going on your blog, but it doesn’t have to be with a small gift in the mail. You can spread the love by offering up links, blog reviews, an interview, a cute little button, a personalized poem or some other wonderfully creative thing for your commenters. Second, I won’t wait for you to participate to send your item. I’ll send it whether you participate or not. I’m too lazy to do the follow up.

So, to the first five commenters who shout out, “I’m in,” I’ll send to you one item of your choice from The store. Any item. You don’t have to be shy and choose the least expensive item. Pick what you want. Then e-mail me (admin at your choice along with your mailing address. And while this may be obvious, I feel compelled to state that if you aren’t willing to share your mailing address, I cannot send you the item. You can still comment, though. You can comment ten times if you want. You could even write me a song or something. You just won’t be able to receive the item without a mailing address.

Well, the giant inflatable Santa is calling for me to blow him up. Enjoy your Black Friday!