Once upon a time, Black Friday was held on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Stores wouldn’t open until the early a.m. Now, however, Black Friday has breached the time parameter and is typically held on Thanksgiving Day. Despite the changing tides of Black Friday, loyal Black Friday shoppers have established fun, crazy, and determined traditions that make this day better than Christmas morning.
In my personal experience, Black Friday isn’t just about buying cheaper items. It’s about the excitement of the night, getting together with friends and family, and making new friends while waiting for hours in a crazy environment.
As soon as the newspaper hit the stand (or, now that they are available digitally, hit the web), our family gets together to go through the ads. It’s a tradition that’s almost as fun as the shopping. We look through every single store ad. If we see anything that we might remotely be interested in, we set the ad aside. Once we’ve gone through all the ads, we go back to those we found something in. We look to see if that item is also being sold at a store we found more items at.
Knowing what we want, the next step is to go create a route. Which stores open first? Can we get vouchers or do we need to wait in line? What are the big-ticket items that we need to be in line for first? Who stands in which line? Do we divide and conquer or stay together? Planning a Black Friday route is detailed and requires forethought. You have to be a team player and be willing to stand in line by yourself so everyone gets what’s on their list.
For us Sports Moms, our kids get an adrenaline rush from their sport. For me, Black Friday is my Super Bowl. I plan, I prepare, and when that alarm goes off and it’s time to beat the clock and the crowd, I get my head in the game.
It sounds intense, and honestly, if you’ve ever seen a Mama, with a shopping list, on the prowl, you know that I’m not even exaggerating. Once you’ve got your place in line, you start to make connections with the people around you. I have group pictures of the people I’ve stood in line with for hours.
Black Friday is a wild ride. It’s crazy, it can get out of hand if not handled safely and with caution, but it’s so fun and it makes Thanksgiving that much more memorable. What does your Black Friday look like?