Saturday, November 26, 2016

A different kind of Black Friday experience

Yesterday, I read on my friend’s Facebook page about how she didn’t take any pictures on Thanksgiving because she was too busy cooking and enjoying the day with her family. That was me on Thanksgiving, minus the “too busy cooking” part because my husband was cooking, too. (We had a really nice and blessed Thanksgiving!) And that was me again yesterday, on Black Friday! (Also minus the "busy cooking" part, because the only thing I cooked yesterday was rice!)

Now I normally don’t do Black Friday, because I prefer to shop online. I know, I know. I should support local businesses. But I hate going out and being around a bunch of strangers, dealing with traffic and dealing with the crowds. (And I guess long lines, too! My husband was going to buy something at Best Buy that was on sale for a really good price on Thanksgiving, in the afternoon, but when he got there, there was a looooong line stretching all the way to another store!) That’s pretty much why I stopped doing Black Friday on my own. But this year, my daughter wanted to go shopping on Black Friday. At 15, it would be her first Black Friday experience! So I agreed to take her shopping on Black Friday. I am not doing anymore Christmas shopping for the kids, as I have been doing Christmas shopping for them all year long and my husband is getting their December gifts, so I’m done shopping for them. But I DO need two more gifts for two other people, so I made a mental note to keep my eyes peeled for those things. (I’ll be sharing my experience of Christmas shopping for the kids all year long shortly after Christmas. It was the first time I have ever done this!)

So, we decided to plan for it. We got a newspaper on Thanksgiving that had all the Black Friday ads in it and went over which stores we would go to. I told Jen we would have to leave really early. Like at around 5. (Most of the stores we wanted to go to were opening at 6.) I warned Jen about the long lines and that some people might go crazy while they are shopping, grabbing things and pushing people around to get through. There might also be some trampling as some people got through the doors finally opening. (Yet another reason why I don't like shopping on Black Friday!) Jen was nervous about this but we figured we would be okay. We figured out what time we should go to bed on Thanksgiving in order to get a sufficient amount of sleep and I decided on 10 for me, to wake up at 4.

But what happened was, I woke up at 3! I actually woke up from a bad dream and decided that it was probably better to stay up now, because if I went back to sleep, I might end up being too tired to get up when my alarm went off at 4. I was wide awake at 3 a.m., anyway (this actually happens a lot!), so I decided to just stay up. I was in the shower by 4 and tried to wake Jen up at 4:30, but she wouldn’t wake up. When she DID wake up, she told me she didn’t want to do Black Friday this year and I said that was fine, we can just go out to breakfast like we usually do every day after Thanksgiving. She went back to sleep and I headed out to the couch to watch Star Trek. But later, I fell asleep. When I woke up an hour later, Jesse was awake and playing computer games at the desk.

So Jen and I went out for our annual “Black Friday breakfast” (too bad restaurants don’t have Black Friday deals, too!). I usually get coffee with my breakfast, but this time, I ordered hot chocolate, just like Jen did. It was very good! As we ate breakfast, Jen asked if some stores would still be doing Black Friday sales. I told her that some of them probably were. We both knew all the good stuff would probably be gone, but hopefully there were still some sales going on. So it was decided that we would still hit some stores!

I got my husband some breakfast to go from the restaurant and went home to drop it off. I told him about our changed plans and so Jen and I headed out again. The first store we went to was Target, and while a lot of stuff was indeed gone, Jennifer still found some good deals. She was VERY happy with what she was able to buy at Target! Then we stopped off at home so that I could grab some more coffee and she could drop off her purchases. Next we headed out to Barnes & Noble and Jen found a good book to buy there, too – plus, B&N was still offering 30% off purchases! Sweet! That extra money we saved went towards the kids getting hot chocolate from Starbucks on the way home. (I ordered one for Jesse and took it home to him.) That was the second time Jen got hot chocolate that day – and I also had a second hot chocolate later on, when I made some in the kitchen. (Jesse also had a second serving of hot chocolate right along with me.)

In all, my daughter and I had a good, enjoyable and PEACEFUL Black Friday experience. I am glad my daughter’s first Black Friday was a successful and injury-free one. And I am glad that stores still had Black Friday deals and specials going on later in the day. If stores continue to offer Black Friday deals later in the day, I just might change my mind about not shopping on Black Friday! 

Jen and I also had a really pleasant time together. I really enjoyed the mother-daughter time I had with Jen when we went out for breakfast and while we were shopping. (And the ONLY pic that I took and shared from that day was of what I ordered for breakfast at Ye Olde Pancake House!) Jen later said that she felt bad for not getting up so early and she apologized to me because I got up so early just so I could get her up so early, but I told her it was okay. I had some alone time, and that was really nice. (It really was! I got to enjoy my first cup of coffee, read, get on Twitter, and watch Star Trek while I was at the desk, tweeking a new book outline. I should get up at 3 a.m. more often. LOL)

The rest of the day was a good one, too. I chatted with my sister through text messaging, did some more reading, finished writing that week's short story, spent time on Facebook and ate some of the Thanksgiving leftovers (like pie!). We also watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and started planning for when we would do Christmas decorating. (It’s not happening this weekend! Foo!) So it was a good day and I am glad that it all went well.

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