Surviving Black Friday Stress
I love the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone in my family has developed a routine that we all thoroughly enjoy. My husband and brother-in-law participate in the annual “Turkey Bowl” where all the guys from high school get together for a morning of playing football (and yes, at least one person a year ends up in the ER). My boys get to spend the morning at their Grandma’s house, and my dad swaps the lawnmower in the garage for the snow blower and preps for the upcoming winter. But the women, we assume the role of hunters and gatherers. We brave the crowds and head out for Black Friday.
Preparation begins Thanksgiving morning. While the kids are watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the turkey is in the oven, we are browsing the newspaper. Then after dinner and dessert, we start making Christmas lists. Later that evening once all the kids are asleep, the real prep begins. We coordinate lists, figure out where we need to go when, synchronize alarm clocks and set out our clothes for the next day. Black Friday is the one day of the year that my kids’ early morning wake ups actually come in handy.
But this year, I’m starting to get annoyed by Black Friday…because it’s already started. Commercials and websites are telling me sales have already started or will be starting at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night. I’m starting to fear that we’ll miss all the good deals if we don’t head out as soon as dinner is over! We don’t have many traditions in our family, and while this may seem like a silly one, it’s not just about the shopping (I actually do a lot of holiday shopping on Etsy). It’s about bonding with my mom and sister (and now my 11 year old cousin), sharing a sense of camaraderie with all the other shoppers and spending a nice day without kids. I know the economy is bad and retailers are trying to get all the money they can, but I’m not happy about it. Not one bit.