Black Friday fun
December 12, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

Yes, I went out shopping on Black Friday, and enjoyed it. Well, actually Black Friday shopping started on the evening of Thanksgiving Thursday. That is my major complaint about the whole experience. Go back to early morning deals instead of the 10 p.m. or midnight starts. Aside from that, Black Friday shopping is about the whole experience for me.

Really, Black Friday almost seems like a holiday in and of itself. I look forward to it. I peer through the ads, make notes of the best deals, and make a plan. This is all part of the Black Friday frenzy, as many may call it.

I don’t get caught up in the ugliness of it. Actually, I have experienced the opposite. I know there are the well publicized stories of the negative acts or violence that have occurred during Black Friday. This year, the story was about the woman who used pepper spray on her fellow shoppers, all in the name of an Xbox 360. People were injured, which is certainly not a positive outcome – uncalled for behavior by irrational adults.

In my experiences with Black Fridays, I have shared conversations, lots of laughs, stories, and just plain camaraderie with fellow shoppers. This year, my third stop was Menards. I was at the end of the mile-long line, but was next to some very pleasant people. With a cup of coffee in my hand, mild temperatures, and pleasant company, the wait was more than tolerable. I was set.

Now, I am usually a looker and a hunter, but this time, I knew what I wanted. The mission was on. I found all items on my list and a few extra (that’s always the problem) and headed to the checkout line relatively quickly. I got behind a retired couple from rural south central Minnesota, who had a plethora of gifts for their grandkids. I commented to them that they had lucky grandchildren, and our conversation sparked from there.

During our wait, the gentleman would leave the “fort,” with his wife guarding the stockpile. He would dash back for another of something else that they forgot on their list. On one of his dashes, he was kind enough to search and get me an item on my list (well, it really wasn’t on my list, but it was in their pile) so I would not lose my spot in line.

We shared conversation about where we lived, our families, our upcoming holiday plans. When we got to the checkout, and the couple was done with their purchasing, they bid me a most wonderful adieu with the words, “May you have a most blessed Christmas. It was a pleasure spending that time with you.”

Now, how can you complain about that shopping experience?

On top of those encounters with pleasant personalities, I had a midnight “snack” with my 14-year-old son, two of his friends and my 11-year-old daughter, who experienced their first Black Friday outings. How often do you get to share hot cocoas, cinnamon rolls, and hash browns, and the conversation and company of your children and other very nice teenagers in the middle of the night? It was a pleasure. We laughed and shared holiday stories.

We started a new tradition – my son and his friends did. They bought some movies as part of the shopping deals and when we got back to our home, they put in a movie, found spots on the floor, couch, etc. and enjoyed a long nap while the movie was running. This was OK with me because I found my own spot in the house to catch some good shut-eye after a most pleasant Black Friday experience.

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