Mother: One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Black Friday shopping. My first experience of Black Friday was at least 20 years ago maybe even more. A local discount store had DVD players cheap, and I wanted to get one for my son. I am not sure why I was in town for Black Friday because I usually spent the four days in WV. But I was on a mission. Since this was new to me, I figured getting to the store by 3 am sounded right. When I got to the store, there were about ten cars in the parking lot. No one was out of their car, so I hunkered down in mine to wait. By 4 am there was probably 50 cars in the parking lot, and people were forming a line at the door. The store was opening at 6 am and back then standing in line in the cold for two hours didn’t sound like a big deal so of course, I joined the queue. Long story short I was probably the 25th person in line and the store had stacks of the players so I could have gotten more than one if I had wanted but I got one and moved on.
Some years later after daughter had the girls, she and I were talking over the ads on Thanksgiving and decided we needed to join the fray for the Black Friday bargains. We were out of the house by 3 am, stopped at the local Speedway for coffee and a pepperoni roll and off to the stores. We had our ads organized by the times the stores opened, and if a store had an item that we knew was going to be in short supply, we would go there first and stand in line till they opened. We mainly stood in line at Target because it was a toy we were after. Sometimes we got what we were looking for and sometimes not. We were not one of the crazies willing to scratch and fight to get what we went after.
I am not sure what year two of my sisters started joining daughter and me. Sister three was the first one to become part of the shopping spree. We discovered that she had been Black Friday shopping at one particular store for years and every year they have overcharged her on at least one item. Now it is a family joke as to whether she stopped at this store before hooking up with us and how bad did they cheat her. Sister two started out by catching up with us for lunch. Sister two said there was nothing in the stores that made it worth her while to get up at 3 am. Her story changed though when we started going to breakfast. One thing you can say about any of us is that we never want to miss a meal.
This year was the best year of all sister four, and two granddaughters were able to join the madness. Sister four and her family have a tradition of coming to Columbus for the Thanksgiving weekend, but this year one of her daughters is pregnant and due shortly, so their plans changed and she could shop with us. Granddaughters were not very impressed they thought the day was too long and figure joining us was a one time venture.
The stores, the items we buy and the time we start have changed, but the excitement and fun continue. Something happens every year that goes into the memories. We have stories from every store and restaurant we have been to on our Black Friday excursions. Breakfast and lunch are both peppered with remembering when and do you remember. It does take me a couple of days to rest up after our Black Friday antics, but I wouldn’t trade the memories we have made for anything.
Do you shop on Black Friday? What are your pre-Christmas traditions?
Until next time.