My eyes popped open at 3:30 this morning. I tried convincing them to close again but they didn't agree. I gave up at 4:15 and decided to join the rest of the crazy people for a little Black Friday madness. I've never really participated in Black Friday so I thought I would see what all the fuss is about. Well, in truth, I think my aunt and I ventured out when I was a poor college kid but it was probably looking rather than shopping. Doesn't really count.
I put my furry hat on, brushed my teeth, made a portable cup of coffee and stealthily tried to avoid six dogs. Once outside I took a deep breath of the silent mountain air, filled with falling snow, and I smiled. The world just felt right! What could be better than sneaky Christmas shopping in the middle of the night when it's snowing? The answer: John Denver and the Muppets wishing me a merry Christmas on the radio when I started up the truck!
The first two stores had people lined up outside and I saw no reason to stand outside with a bunch of cold strangers. I drove on to Target where I found a very organized madhouse. I actually saw people with walkie talkies and many people had been shopping since midnight! As a general rule I don't really like shopping, whether it's Good Friday or Black Friday; I'm sort of a "have a list, bag it and bring it home" kind of girl. I had the boys' wish lists but I wasn't really aiming for anything in particular which seems the best way to avoid the stress and disappointment that many shoppers seemed to be experiencing. Of course, their lack of sleep was likely a contributing factor. I found a few things, moved through the ridiculously long line fairly quickly and made my way to K-Mart and Shopko, finding a few items at each store. All in all it was relatively inexpensive, definitely painless and sort of fun. I enjoy being totally alone and I really like it when I am anonymously surrounded by strangers who don't know me and want nothing from me. I enjoyed smiling at clerks and telling them "Good Morning." Most people seemed in good cheer and the whole experience left me feeling full of Christmas spirit, singing my fool head off in the truck on the way home.
I can't say that I am a Black Friday convert and that I'll do it every year; I didn't really see a huge amount of price difference to make the early hour worth it. It was fun, though, to have most of my shopping done before my family was even out of bed! Now I just have to get it all wrapped before anyone sees it!