Back in the early 1990′s the day after Thanksgiving was simply called what it was: the day after Thanksgiving. It was a big shopping day. I remember my mom braving the late fall snow showers and hitting the mall at 7 AM and returning in the late afternoon. She put dinner on the table, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen and went back out shopping again. She accomplished nearly all her Christmas shopping in one single day. I thought she was crazy.
Never did I think twenty years later I would be braving the cold (and thankfully November in Oregon is usually 15-20 degrees warmer than in Michigan) standing in a long winding line at 11:55 PM at the end of a Thanksgiving day in a parking garage counting the minutes until Kohls opened their front doors. No, I am not a crazy person. But I do love a good deal.
We have a Thanksgiving tradition of scoping out the ads, circling gift possibilities, making a schedule of store runs, and strategizing where to go first. Four years ago it meant sleeping in, having a relaxing morning, and trying hit the stores before noon. Now it’s a little bit more intense. Again I love a good deal.
And Kohls was our hot spot this year. My kids had toys on their list that we would not be able to afford at full price. It was beyond our budget.
Honestly we don’t go all out with Christmas gifts and we never have. Our kids get three gifts from us plus a few stocking stuffers. They are using their own spending money now to buy gifts for one another. They also buy and make gifts for teachers, coaches, cousins etc. We try to emphasize giving as much as possible–not lusting after “stuff.”
Black Friday gets a bad rap and I see why it does–pushy crowds, materialism, people cutting in line, cutting Thanksgiving Day too short. The truth is I saved approximately $110.00 buying the doorbuster items at Kohl’s at midnight on Black Friday and using a coupon. I can’t think of any other day of the year where that would be possible. Plus I had a great conversation with another lady in line–she gave me the 15% coupon. I got to go shopping by myself which hardly ever happens. Even though we kept commenting about the strange people that early morning Black Friday brings in (and I guess now I am one of them), everyone was generally upbeat including the employees.
Call me crazy, but I would do it again next year.
By the way I was running off adrenaline after I left Kohl’s and went to Wal-Mart where I scored a few deals (but most of the better deal occurred a few hours earlier). I went to bed at 2 AM. Then my family went shopping from 10 AM – noon. And the best part of it was fun, a bonding experience, and we’re almost done with our Christmas shopping.