Is Black Friday named for the mood it puts you in?

Went shopping this year on “Black Friday” with 5 family members for the first time.  Many people think of getting up early to beat the crowds, but we had a different plan.

  • read all the flyers and work up a frenzy
  • make a list of stores, times they open, and things we want from them
  • draw a map of where each store is
  • pack a lunch and some drinks with caffeine
  • blankets and pillows in the car in case we need a nap
  • establish the rules – no complaining, no whining, no saying “I want to go home”
  • head out at midnight and shop till we dropped
  • don’t commit to a time you will come home

Things that happened / observations…

  • one kid trying on a coat hit a lady in the face (lady was trying to slip through where there was no space, kid was innocent) – and lady commented “I kinda like my face”
  • Bath and Body works gives you free stuff with everything you buy to the point that you ask them to stop giving you more
  • pizza and breadsticks at 5am from a food court taste better than when you eat them later in the day
  • if you spend enough money, you can get a “free” stuffed bear
  • your feet will hurt if you stand in line – and there is a chance for people to get grumpy if you don’t set up the rules first
  • there are deals to be had for sure
  • if you go with people you like, you can deal with a lot
  • if you are in a store with a long line, you will end up with a LOT more merchandise when you pay than when you got in line
  • shopping in the middle of the night is fabulous, the crowds, traffic, and slow credit/debit transactions start about 6am (so go home and sleep at that time)
  • you would be surprised how many people will stand in line for a furniture sale at 6am (including us, don’t ask questions…somehow the grandparents realized if they convinced the kids and grandkids to shop in the middle of the night they could get a new table and chairs for a terrific price while they slept)

  • cheap mittens and pajama pants in the middle of the night are exciting
  • some people will stand in line at Best Buy for 30 hours straight just to be first in line –  the guy second in line made fun of the guy first in line who went to another store (I guess he had a family member hold his spot) and got all the things he wanted, but still stayed in line so he could be first and didn’t know what he would buy
  • 500 people will stand in line at Target before the doors open because there are 40 t.v.s on a half price sale
  • if you take pictures with the mannequins and your family members to keep the kids busy, people will look at you like you are crazy (we were the picture takers, not the judgemental people)
  • complete strangers will take your opinion when trying to decide between two sweaters
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and soda with caffeine taste great and get you through the 3am slump

There is fun to be had if you drive around to each of the lines to ask people how long they have been waiting in line, and what they will buy when they get inside!

Planning and executing on this Black Friday experience is a thrill once, but I’m not sure we would ever do it again.  Who knows, the memories, the laughs, and the camaraderie were actually pretty exhilarating so we might forget the torture of the sore feet and the sleepless coma we lived through the rest of the day.

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12 Responses to Is Black Friday named for the mood it puts you in?

  1. yellowcat says:

    I’m not into shopping. I run in a store, get what I want and run out. Christmas isn’t a big deal around my house since I buy presents all year round.

  2. Gosh, we don’t have anything like Black Friday here in the UK. It sounds like something I need to experience at least once:-) Your post has definitely “set up” my imagination. Probably go as a karate kid or something- that way no one (or very few folks) will mess with me. Lol. Ciao.

  3. Zahara says:

    Howdy, WTM, glad you wrote this, now I can have my son read it and decide for himself whether or not he really wants to shop on Black Friday one of these years. He brought it up this year, is very taken with the whole idea, but, alas, I had other plans and no desire. I did tell him we could do it once, just to see what it’s like, so this post was great!

    • Hi Zahara. Like I said, it’s an experience to do it once but you really have to know what you are getting into – and make sure to establish the “no complaining” rule! Electronics deals and the lines at those stores are not worth it in my mind, but I might think differently if I was a college student doing it with a group of friends…almost like free entertainment for a few hours if you are with friends…and if the weather is nice!

  4. I hate shopping. When I step into a store, a giant cloud of molecule-scrambling toxins surrounds me. Lights flicker, alarms go off, the “check price” scanner won’t read the tag no matter which freakin’ way I turn it, the sales clerks never let me use any of my coupons…hey, I think I have my Christmas blog here.

    That’s why I do all my shopping in front of a computer monitor.

    • Hi Margaret…come to Toronto…I’ll take you shopping and everything will work out. I get them to honour deals that are over, always find a parking spot near the door, and people move out of my way. (okay, the last part isn’t true, but things mostly work out for me!)

      Good idea for your Christmas blog though.

  5. huffygirl says:

    Glad it worked for you. Me? I’d sooner stab my eyes out than shop on Black Friday.

  6. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    Taking pics with mannequins eh Gord?….that’s how it started with me…years ago….. Yup…..you are well on your way to being as warped as I am…. don’t deny it…..just accept it and roll with it….. – Mock

    • Oh no, if there is anything that will make me start acting like you I will have to curb the urge quickly! It’s one thing to have you as a friend, another altogether to act like you. 🙂

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