I’ve been a Black Friday shopper since I was old enough to get up and shop with my mom. It’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. My mom and I would get up at about 3am to be in line a few minutes later (because we lived down the street from a mall) for the stores that opened at 4am. We would stand in line at JC Penny first because they always gave out snow globes. I have about 10 years’ worth of snow globes collected. We would usually be finished shopping around 8am, and we would meet my dad and brother somewhere for breakfast.
Now that I live on my own and own my own house, I don’t have that much money. We’re not broke by any means, but we also can’t spend $100 on everyone’s Christmas present. I love Black Friday because I’m able to get my family something nice for Christmas without breaking the bank like I would otherwise.
When I got married, I got my husband to start black Friday shopping with me. He’s all about getting good deals too. So our tradition was to go shopping, drop all our stuff off at home, meet my parents for breakfast, and then come home and start decorating for Christmas. I loved that tradition. And we got enough sleep before going to the stores, that we didn’t feel crappy or get cranky.
The last several years the stores have opened earlier. I was able to handle midnight. I was still able to get a little bit of sleep before having to go out shopping. And let’s be honest, once you get home at 7 or 8am, the sun is up, and it’s hard to go back to sleep. For me it is anyway. Last year the stores opened all over the place. Some opened at 10pm, some opened at midnight, some at 2pm. And then some not till 6am. It was miserable. We went out for the 10pm, then drove and waited in line for the midnight. I think we may have hit one that opened at 2am, but then we tried to go back home and sleep for a couple hours before the 6am. We were both tired, exhausted, and cranky. We actually started feeling sick because we hadn’t gotten any sleep since the night before. The 2 hour nap didn’t help much. We were miserable when we went to lunch and cranky all day while we were putting up our Christmas decorations.
Last year, JC Penny didn’t even do their snow globes!! They did these stupid little pins with codes on the back. I think I got a couple $5 off $15 coupons with about 33% of the pins I received. But I would have rather have my snow globe to keep my tradition live. I ended up just pinning all those mini pins to the white fluff on the top of our stockings. But I set all my snow globes out every year, and didn’t get to add one to my collection last year. I hope they bring it back this year. Overall, last year’s Black Friday was the worst I’ve ever had. It’s miserable.
But this week I saw the hours for Best Buy’s Black Friday 2013. They are opening at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. I can’t believe that! I can’t even finish dinner with my family before having to be in line to get doorbusters! And then all those store clerks have to be there too…and having a brother and husband who worked retail, the people who open actually have to be there several hours before the store opens. So instead of eating dinner with their families, they will be setting a store up. What kind of holiday is that? And it’s not fair to those people who still want to have a Thanksgiving, but need the doorbuster deals to be able to give their families a nice Christmas.
I refuse to give up my Thanksgiving. Christmas already overtakes even Halloween in stores now. I never minded that stores would put out Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, because honestly, there is really no “Thanksgiving season”. Thanksgiving is mainly about the day. So as long as Black Friday stayed on Friday, I was okay with retailers putting out Christmas stuff early. Last year there were a lot of people ranting about the stores opening at 10pm. But again, I was okay with that (despite the fact that I didn’t get any sleep before shopping), because I was done with my Thanksgiving dinner a few hours before. But as soon as I saw they were opening at dinner time this year it crossed a line for me. Retail stores are trying to take over Thanksgiving. It’s not going to be Black Friday anymore. It will be Black Thursday. I don’t want to lose Thanksgiving all together. We as the people of the country need to take a stand and say NO to retailers continuing to open earlier and earlier. We need to stand up for Thanksgiving or the holiday is going to be lost. Or we people who value Thanksgiving will lose out on all the good deals and only the people who don’t value Thanksgiving will be out shopping. I know we won’t be leaving dinner early this year. Thank goodness for Best Buy’s early access to deals for premier members – this way we’ll still be able to get most of the deals we want. I hope more people take a stand and don’t go to the stores at 6pm when they open.