I love a bargain like the next girl. Alright, I concede I may love a bargain more than maybe anybody. I get a rush out of spending a little and getting a lot. For example: on Monday, I went to Walgreens, Publix, and Walmart, spent $30.28, got 24 items (including big-ticket items like Tyson pre-cooked chicken, Downy Unstoppables and 2 Sara Lee pies), and saved $40. That means I paid just a little over $1 for each item. Heck yes, coupons and BOGOs!
All that to say, I stinking LOVE a bargain. This has made Black Friday a must in my past. However, I was never one of those who would stand in line for hours, just to get the first of three TVs for half off, or whatever, and risk literally being trampled to death. But I do enjoy going out with my mom and grabbing some cool loot for a cooler price. Last year was particularly fun, as we were getting lots of clothes for my NYC honeymoon!
I found last year that we found sometimes even better deals the day before Thanksgiving (since we weren't looking for that season's most popular toy or overpriced electronics anyway), and then went out at a reasonable hour of the morning (read: not when it was still the pitch-black of night) and caught some good Black Friday deals, too.
One year, I tried to do the 5 a.m. thing. Turns out I had bronchitis and never fell asleep the night before anyway. Hband (who was my boyfriend at the time) didn't think I should go. So instead I lay on my couch, visions of cheap vacuums that I wouldn't own, dancing in my head.
One year, I did do the 5 a.m. thing... with my dad. Mom had broken her leg, and Dad said he wasn't going to let me go out alone and get killed by the crazies (like a 55 year-old man would be any match for those crazy Moms like the lady on the Target commercials?!). So Dad and I got up early and headed for Walmart. Then I fell in the middle of the street, tore up my knee, gave my dad a near- heart attack, didn't even bother with the line, and headed over to Target where it was crowded, but I'll admit... kind of fun. Until we had to get in line. That's where a tag-team comes in handy. I kept a place in line and he ran around to find the items we needed. That year I was looking specifically for an electric toothbrush (stop judging me!). I got it, after rebates, for like, $25. WORTH IT.
But I've determined I don't really want to ever do that again. What does it say about me, really, if I want something, nay, think I need something so badly that I'll get up when all decent people are sleeping, worry myself sick that I won't get it, and fight back the crowds like the greedy little buzzard I am to get what I want? Maybe you do it more gracefully than that, but essentially, that's the game.
And now, retailers have let their greed ooze right past their moral strongholds of all that is good and family and tradition, and have completely passed right over Thanksgiving. It's not bad enough that they start playing Christmas commercials, Christmas music, and putting up Christmas decorations as soon as Halloween has said goodbye... I've felt for a while now that they're just skipping over Thanksgiving, probably because it only makes money for grocery stores. Now, they are starting their big sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. That means, if you want in early, you have to be lined up all throughout your Thanksgiving dinnertime, or run (maybe waddle?) right out after eating it. Forget about family time. Forget about tryptophan (how in the world is that spelled)-induced naps. Forget about yelling at the TV during a football game or playing a wild round of spoons (no? Just my family?). I take umbrage to that. Leave Thanksgiving alone, and keep your grubby little greedy hands out of my pockets until the next day, when all heck can break loose.
Anyway, I'm not planning on doing the early morning Black Friday thing ever. I'll do my Wednesday before and my normal time of day on Friday, and the Cyber Monday. Leave the early morning hours and the Thanksgiving Day shopping to someone else. I will be enjoying my family, my turkey, and my sleep. That's where I draw the line.