Black Friday

My family has participated in Black Friday before Black Friday was cool.

I remember waiting in line with my sister with a handful of people for Target and Mervyns to open at 6 am. Mervyns gave out gifts to encourage people to come (Barb still has the penguin snow globe.)

Years later I’d convinced my little sister to spend Thanksgiving night at my place. I got up well before my alarm (as usual), and was downstairs when it went off. By the time I got back up to turn it off, she was awake so I suggested that she join us (Her version: I arranged it so the alarm would be right by her head to trick her into joining the insanity). Many memories were made that day, including one involving velvet bras.

Now each year Ma, my other sister, and I go. We have a system … at least we did before the stores started opening at midnight. We left at 4 am last year, which led to picked over merchandise and no lines, and bad fashion choices.

Ma on Black Friday wearing a not quite matching all white outfit

(I do love you, Ma!)

My favorite years are the ones when I’m organized enough that all my shopping is done that day, and my holiday cards get dropped into the mail when I get home. I’m normally quite good at the latter and only pull off the former when tight deadlines (like knee surgery) have meant I had no choice.

There have been times when I have thought of not going. But now for me it isn’t about the shopping, but rather the tradition and spending time with family. And it is a tradition that will be ending this year since my sister is moving next summer.

This year the insanity begins on Thanksgiving Day. It looks like we will be having two separate outings (one Thanksgiving night and one Black Friday morning) to take advantage of differently timed sales items.

I can’t imagine that my family will be the only ones out there. Do you participate in Black Friday? Am I the only one who really misses Mervyn’s?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

6 thoughts on “Black Friday”

  1. No! I am not that brave nor half that patient. I sat home yesterday for 3 hours though and got the last of my retail shopping done – all on line. Even down to the Christmas stamps from the post office. The only line I’ll be standing in is at the post office to mail packages. You have your cards finished and ready to mail already? I’m so very jealous.

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    1. Good for you for getting the last of your retail gifts bought! How refreshing that must feel to have it all done.

      Well, the Thursday night part was a bit crazy, but the stores we went to were well organized. The portion of the shopping adventure on Friday was painless. No lines, tons of merchandise, and lots of cheerful (albeit sleepy) staff.

      I did mail all of my cards out on Friday. I have two packages to mail, but those will go through my little postal annex that never has a line and doesn’t charge a premium on top of USPS rates.

      I’m down to only 4 more gifts to buy, most of which will be online. It feels good to have the pressure off.

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  2. Does your mom know you posted that pic? LOL, we’ve never been a Black Friday family – my husband and I were just discussing whether either of us could EVER remember going shopping on that day as kids, and neither of us can. My family was more of a “hit the gym to work off the turkey” kind of clan.

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    1. I sent my mom the link … and I warned her last year what the ramifications of the outfit would be. It was fun saying to her what she would say to me growing up, “Are you really wearing that out of the house?”

      Next year, since I won’t be going with family, I will hit the stores at a time I now know will be uncrowded. Years of experience will serve me well.

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  3. Hey Tammy,

    As weird as it might sound, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a store on Black Friday before. I guess I’m not that big of a shopper. But then again it sounds a big part of why you go is to hang around family. I think that would be a good reason to go. It would be fun and is an activity everyone can get into. That’s why I would go. Honestly I’m not a big shopper so I probably wouldn’t even buy anything that I wasn’t going to eat.

    Steve

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    1. I even went to a store on Black Friday when I wasn’t living in the US! I’m committed, or maybe I should be.

      I must admit, though, that since I’m never looking for electronics, the sales really aren’t that good. There is a great deal of sticker price inflation right beforehand so that the sales seem better, but for the most part, equally good (if not better) sales can be found closer to the big day.

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