Black Friday Deals

photo credit: flickr.com/dmeemai

I don’t participate in Black Friday.  Never have.  Never want to.  I figure I come out ahead as I’m not  buying stuff just because it’s on sale.  Even a sale price is a loss because I’m probably buying a thing I wouldn’t have bought if it wasn’t on sale.  You with me?

I sit in my stretchy, black pants and XL sweater, sipping hot apple cider and watch the news coverage of people who line up at the front doors of stores as much as 24 hours in advance.

I must admit, I’m fascinated.

Tents, blankets, barbeques, generators, televisions and video games are hauled in to keep those waiting occupied.  What are they lining up to purchase, I want to know? ASK THEM, I shout at the TV. But the reporter never asks.  She just keeps asking how long they’ve been lined up for.

I need to know what they’re lining up for.  What kind of deal would bring on that madness?  I could maybe, MAYBE be talked into going to a store at five in the morning.  But not at seven months pregnant.  Or maybe seven months pregnant would work to my advantage?  You know, incurring sympathy and whatnot?  I’ve got a feeling though that you Black Friday nutters don’t give two figs for a pregnant woman.  You’re knocking her down same as you would the spry twenty-something that stumbles into your path, right? I understand. If I’d just camped out in the parking lot of a Best Buy for 24 hours I’d be damned if some pregnant chick was going to get my deal. Seven months along, nine months along, in labor? Whatever. Get the hell out of my way, I’ve got a flat screen to purchase! I hear you.

Still, I feel left out. Almost guilty that I’m not taking advantage of sales even though I have no idea what I need to buy. I’m kind of tempted to go to the mall and see what’s shaking.  Just plop Violet in her big, ol’ stroller and bash the hell out of anyone who gets in my way.  I’m thinking that any amazing deals have already been snapped up hours ago but I still want to go and just watch the madness.

After this I’m going to do as the esteemed Michelle Horton advises and click around the web in search of online Black Friday deals. Scoring deals without getting out of bed is right up my alley. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll wait for the so-called Cyber Monday.

If you’re a Black Friday junkie, I must know, what drags you from the comforts of home and leftover turkey to wait in line for hours and then sprint into stores, elbowing folks out of your way? Am I missing out?

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Black Friday Starts Tomorrow, Which Means Christmas Does, Too

black friday, black friday sales, holiday creep

Ho ho no! Gimme back my Thanksgiving, Santa!

The New York Times revealed today that Black Friday sales, traditionally reserved for the day after Thanksgiving, will start tomorrow (Friday, 10/29) at several big-box retailers.  Wal-Mart and Sears will both be offering their customers deals this week and into the beginning of November, along with Amazon and Target.

According to the Times, “Black Friday creep has been around for a while, but analysts say this year breaks new ground: the range of stores offering early discounts is wider, the discounts are steeper and the sale periods longer — in some instances, a full month before the real thing.”

Along with sale creep, of course, comes holiday creep.  Santa has already reared his ugly head in the candy isle at various drug stores, which is ridiculous.  If retailers had their way, people would be passing out reindeer-wrapped Crunch bars in stockings next to jack-o-lanters with a sleigh carved in their side this Halloween.  If Christmas creeps up anymore, soon it really will take place in July!

I say let’s reclaim Thanksgiving this year – for the kids.  After all, do you want your son or daughter drawing a hand-turkey with a red nose and white beard?  I can envision a future in which our children refer to the brave souls who get up at 5 am for those doorbuster sales as “pilgrims.”  Remember years ago, before rampant consumerism destroyed the holidays, and there was a season we used to know as fall?  Sure, some fancy types called it autumn, but nonetheless, it was about leaves changing colors and family coming together, it was about acorns and overeating and football.  It was about pumpkins and cornucopias and Indians (oh my!).  November wasn’t about Santa and putting your Christmas decorations up before the first snowfall, which, thanks to the global warming caused by all the junk plastic gifts made in China that we buy at 70% off two months in advance, doesn’t come until January if we’re lucky.

I have a few holiday policies in my house, one being that Halloween doesn’t come before my daughter’s October birthday.  I just don’t think it’s fair for her to have to look at bats, witches and spiders on her special day, when I know she’d rather celebrate with Princesses and Hello Kitty.  The second holicy, if you will, is one that I hope some of you already embrace, and if you don’t – think about it.  It’s simple: don’t decorate for, shop for or even think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.  (You know, the day we used to refer to as Black Friday.)  I hate to even walk into the drug store after November 1st, because hearing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving makes me feel sick.  Maybe it’s because my birthday falls around Thanksgiving, and I don’t feel like sharing it with Jesus.  (Something my sister, born December 23, has to do.  Ouch.  Merry Birthday.)  Or maybe it’s because too much of a good thing – even Christmas – really isn’t that good of a thing.  I miss the days of my childhood, when hearing Christmas music playing from the loudspeakers downtown was really special.  The dulcet tones of Bing Crosby floating in the crisp air had a romantic quality to them.  Now we’re forced to listen to Mariah Carey belt All I Want for Christmas is You 24/7 starting November 26th.  But all I want for Christmas this year, Santa, is Thanksgiving.

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