It’s official. Halloween is over, and it’s finally acceptable for radio stations to begin playing holiday music. Yeah, I’m talking to you WENN 100.1 Birmingham. It’s time to begin ramping up for the biggest shopping event of the year. Yep. Black Friday is coming. Today is November 6th. This year Black Friday will be the 27th. You have exactly 21 days to psych yourself up for the feeding frenzy. Doorbusters, limited quantities, and messy aisles are what await you.
As a child of divorced parents, I spent every other year with my stepmother’s family. Thanksgiving with my stepaunt’s family was a completely different experience than with my mother’s family. Naturally, we’d gorge ourselves on turkey and pumpkin pie, pass out on the couch while watching whatever football game was on. Then we’d wake up around 5 and gorge again. Then, since we’d all had afternoon naps, we’d stay up way too late. The next morning would begin early, no matter what time our heads had hit the pillows. Of course, the menfolk wouldn’t attend our shopping trips, preferring instead to… well I actually don’t know what they’d get up to while we were gone. I guess, depending on when hunting season opened, they could have been out sitting in the middle of the snowy Pennsylvania woods on the lookout for an unlucky deer. More likely they were at home still sleeping, taking advantage of the fact that they had beds all to themselves in the pre-dawn hours.
The last time I remember going was in 1990. I’m not even sure what anybody else was on the hunt for, but I wanted the Yum Yums Peppymint Kitty. Google “Yum Yums plush” if you don’t remember these 80’s -90’s plushies. These toys were so magical. They had candy prints on their bellies and inside their ears. The best part was the smell. Whatever print was on the belly was the smell that the animal carried. Being that I loved all things minty and also felines, I was pretty well convinced that this toy would be the ne plus ultra of toys. Imagine my dismay when whatever store it was we went to didn’t have Peppymint Kitty! Well, I was disappointed. However, I was old enough not to throw a fit about it, and I settled on a white rabbit with a purple marshmallow print belly. Oh boy, did I love Smellbunny so hard. He went everywhere with me for the longest time. I still have him. He sits in my guest room closet so my dog doesn’t find him and chew him to ribbons. And you know the best part? He still smells as delicious to this day as he did when I bought him. Ah, the magic of chemistry.
Having been nine years old at the time of the Peppymint Kitty/Smellbunny fiasco/triumph, I don’t remember what kind of line we had to stand in. I’m guessing that it wasn’t all that much fun for the adults, and that I was too absorbed in how wonderful Smellbunny was to notice the tedium. As an adult, I try to stay as far away from any store as I can during the whole ‘Holiday Season’. I’ve worked in retail, and done many Black Friday opening shifts, and I gotta tell ya, nobody wants to be there. Not the people shopping, and certainly not the people working. The shoppers are cranky because the person ahead of them in line got the last doorbuster doo-dad that would have made the perfect gift for Aunt Mathilde. The workers are cranky because they’ve been up since before Dunkin’ Donuts was open, and they had to make do with home brewed coffee and stale bagels. Much better to shop at home.
On Friday I received the first emails detailing what would be the Black Friday deals at certain retailers. Most of those deals will be available online as well as in stores, and not only won’t I have to get up early, I won’t have to change out of my yummy sushi pajamas and slipper socks. Even better is the fact that many so-called Black Friday deals actually begin Thursday night, so I can laze around and shop while my husband watches football. Plus, the deals continue on Monday! Yes, Cyber Monday! Some retailers offer different products on this day, as well as free shipping. What’s great about Cyber Monday, and indeed, Black Friday is that you can do it anywhere you have an internet connection. So as most people go back to work, they can continue their shopping binge from their office chairs while wearing their snazzy blazers.
There’s no wrong way to shop, and if you love the frenetic pace of the Black Friday crowds, and the serendipity of finding just that right item, then don’t miss out this year. There’s something to be said for actually holding the product in your hands, which is something that you can’t do when you buy online. If you’re planning to buy anything for the holiday this year, at least shop smart and find the best deals. And if you don’t have to leave your house to do it? Bonus.
Posted: Friday, November 06, 2015