Good news, Black Friday shoppers!
This year, you don’t even have to go to bed for a couple of hours before picking up bargains. Stores will open at midnight. Some will offer Black Friday deals a few hours earlier.
I know you’re thrilled.
After all the stress of making the big meal and “enjoying” your family, you can add more by fighting the crowds at midnight. When all you want is sleep after that big turkey dinner, you can go to Wal-Mart. Be still, my heart.
Last year, my son’s girlfriend rushed out of our house at o’dark-thirty on Black Friday to snag bargains. When she stumbled in the door empty-handed a few hours later, she whined about the lines, the parking lot, the crowds, the sold-out inventory. It took less than 120 minutes for Black Friday to defeat this hearty shopper.
I wouldn’t know anything about it. I’ve never been shopping on Black Friday.
I figure it’s something that advertising people cooked up to torture their fellow man. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I used to be one of those advertising people, devising horrible events like Black Friday and the Day After Christmas Sale.
I don’t believe the hype, because I used to write the hype. So after hearing her horror stories, I said to my sons, “Black Friday was created by advertisers to torture us. What do we know about advertising?” One son replied, “There is no truth in advertising.” The other said, “Lies, all lies!”
When my twenty-somethings were in their single-digits, they would see something on TV and beg to have it. I would explain that Mommy used to write those TV commercials. That toy could not possibly be as fabulous as it seems on TV.
This didn’t stop my youngest child from participating in Black Friday once. When he was in high school, he and his best friend went to one of those large stores at 5 a.m. and purchased the hottest toy and newest electronic game. They bought as many as their savings would allow.
As it got closer to Christmas and those toys became scarce, they sold their toys at a profit and paid for their holiday gifts. They actually sold one of the electronic game systems to the friend’s mother, so that she could give it to him for Christmas. Somehow, I don’t think that they quite captured the spirit of the season.
I have friends who pick up gifts throughout the year and have all their shopping done and paid for by the first of December. I hate them. Don’t they know that Christmas shopping should be akin to Chinese water torture?
Internet shopping has improved my life a bit. Unfortunately, I usually wait until the week before Christmas and end up paying huge shipping fees, if the gift is even in stock.
I suspect my sister-in-law hates shopping, too. Last year, she suggested making donations to our favorite charity in each other’s name instead of exchanging gifts. I didn’t have to shop or ship a gift. The charity of my choice got much-needed funds. I didn’t have anything to return after the holidays. And we both got a tax deduction. Everybody wins!
I’d suggest this idea to my children, but they would probably tell me that this is a scheme cooked up by someone in advertising to torture them.
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Kathy Koch Joyce is married with three grown-up children. Read her Tuesdays on momaha.com.