Thanksgiving is over – you survived the long week of cooking, cleaning, multiple trips to the grocery store because you forgot to bring your list with you when you went on Monday after work …..
It’s time to relax and enjoy your long weekend, right? Maybe …..
For a lot of folks, the day after Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the madness that we lovingly refer to as the Christmas Season! It all starts on Thanksgiving night gathering around the kitchen table or reclining in the living room pouring over all the “Black Friday” ads that have magically appeared throughout the day (Uncle Dave brought some and Cousin Julie had to bring hers as well, in case someone forgot).
Hours are spent making a game plan to maximize your time and get the best deals on the gifts you want to buy for family and friends.
For some, “Black Friday” is one of the most exciting shopping days of the year. As the name implies, the fun would start right after Thanksgiving when most stores would open at midnight and last throughout the day on Friday. Now, a lot of retailers have started offering “Black Friday” deals soon after Halloween! This is definitely the season to watch for great prices on high-ticket items as most stores have continuous deals from the first part of November all the way until Christmas Eve.
Now we have never participated in this shopping frenzy, but our family and friends have! Let me just say that I have major respect for the level of patience and tolerance they seem to possess. It takes a very special kind of person to not only spend hours in the planning process, but to have the dedication to get up and out of the house at ridiculous times (yes, 1:00 a.m. is pretty ridiculous!), stand in lines that stretch sometimes around the building, fight through crowds of people to grab that last LEGO Death Star kit or Disney Princess accessory, only to hurry to the car so you can drive to the next store and do it all over again.
If spending your day running from store to store in search of the perfect deal on items on your kid’s wish list isn’t your thing then maybe “Cyber Monday” is your day to shop. After the weekend of in-store price slashing has ended, the Monday after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to grab a cup of hot cocoa and sit down in front of your computer in your comfy clothes and let your fingers do the work.
This is the day when companies like Amazon and other online retailers run their best deals for the virtual shopper.
This is the way we like to spend our money and time! It does take some planning, and having a good idea of prices pre-Thanksgiving is always a bonus. But for us, spending hours in our warm comfortable home where there is never a line to use the bathroom is preferred!
In more recent years though we have gotten away from the materialism that’s associated with Christmas and the entire holiday season. Our family has celebrated Christmas with gifts that have been hand made, repurposed, or collected at yard sales throughout the year. There is so much fun and joy in taking the time to create something for a loved one with your own hands, or walking around a yard sale and finding that perfect trinket that you know will make someone smile. Giving in this way is so much more fun because each item has not only had a lot of thought put into it, but a lot of love as well.
When we do decide to purchase items for friends or family, more often than not our shopping is done locally.
We try to support small, local businesses and giving a gift card to the theater or mom-and-pop sandwich shop is a great way to do that.
We are also pretty lucky to have a circle of family and friends who share similar visions and goals. For example, we have downsized our life considerably over the last year and don’t “need” anything, so our wish list for the gift giving season is minimal (unless it’s hiking gear or van building supplies – we will ALWAYS need those things!!)
How did you spend your “Black Friday”?
Did you hit the stores to get the best deals?
Did you prefer to wait until “Cyber Monday” and shop from your couch?
Or did you skip the madness altogether and plan on supporting local businesses or give gifts from your creative side?
Thoughts shared by Kris