For the past several years, Cindy and I have headed out before dawn on the day after Thanksgiving to hit the big sales. This is the first year that I've heard them called "Black Friday," but apparently that name has long been in use and refers to the fact that this is the day that retail businesses finally get their accounts in the black after running in the red for the entire year. Christmas sales make or break such businesses, and we jumped into the midst of the bedlam that helps make their day!!
Getting up early is not the hard part. I wake up easily and surprisingly so does Cindy though she is not exactly functioning in top order at that time of the day, being the night owl that she is. BUT she'll do almost anything to get a deal, and the deals at these sales are phenomenal! We donned hats to cover our sleep bent hair and vests to be warm but not too hot in the stores and jumped into her truck to go. I drove because her night vision is poor and the sun had yet to rise. She nudged me along to faster speeds: "Snails don't make good door busters," she cajoled as I poked along at 35 miles an hour. So I stepped on the gas, and we screamed into the parking lot at the Junction just as they were opening the doors to Gottschalks at 5am and BUST the door with 100 or so other folks.
We have learned to avoid Wal Mart where at least 1000 people are shoving through the doors (and if you read the news where a man was sadly trampled to death in NYC this year as the doors opened). No, I can't handle that scene at all. The closest we've come was the year we pushed through with a huge crowd at Staples because we were after electronic equipment for Cindy's mom. This year was very mellow, however, by comparison, though there was a rush of adrenaline as we skipped through the aisles in different directions to get the super deals we'd circled in the sale paper.
The thing I like about this kind of shopping is that it's purposeful. On Wednesday night, we carefully circled the things we wanted to buy and planned the order in which we would go to the stores related to our highest priority and the best deals. In each store, we went different ways to grab the things we'd circled, and we met back at the check-out stand. I'm good at this kind of shopping because there is NO perusing all the possibilities, which drives me simply nuts. The purpose is just to get in and get out!!!
This year we made out like bandits! We got every deal we were after and were on our way home before 7:00 am. When we got home, we did online Black Friday shopping which happens from 2am to 11am across the country. We shopped from our respective computers, eating cinnamon toast and drinking tea as we called back and forth to each other to ask questions and confirm choices.
By 8:20, we fell back into bed to sleep for a couple of hours, having happily completed a major chunk of our Christmas shopping.