Black Friday fun for kids
Dec. 10, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

I enjoyed yet another Black Friday shopping frenzy recently. I know there are many people who avoid the day and would not equate enjoyment with Black Friday shopping. I totally understand. I, however, have fun with the day, or I should say, day and night.

One day a year, I leave for shopping in the late evening, shop through the night and return home in the morning. It really is not all about the shopping. Well, as you know, I like to get a good deal, but it is more than that.

I generally find that most people who are out and about, doing the same crazy Black Friday thing as me, are extra polite and friendly. It could be due to lack of sleep, almost like being in some form of sleep deprivation trance, but I like to think that it is a “we are all in this together” train of thought that brings out the extra holiday niceness.

In fact, this year I had a woman that helped maneuver my cart through a crowd, so I could get to something or other that – at the time – was important to get to. I did not really care if the item was out of stock or not, I thought it was nice that she did this.

I have dealt out my share of apologies for bumping into someone and have received my share as well, and 99.5 percent of the time, the reception of the apologies has been extremely pleasant.

“Hey, that’s OK. We’re all here doing the same thing.”

For the past several years, I have not ventured out alone, and this year was no exception. I had a van full of teenagers. Both my junior high daughter and my high school son joined in on the fun, as well as friends of theirs. This year, we had two newbies in our bunch. The others have been part of this tradition with me for a few years.

We kind of have the strategy down, which really is part of the fun. We head to a bigger department store, like Wal-Mart, adrenalin flowing, get the items we want, and get in line relatively quickly. Not much waiting time.

The kids don’t ever really buy anything, other than some movies, which they watch later at my house. It has become part of the tradition. They really don’t watch the movie, they fall asleep – some on the floor, some on the couch.

Then, we head to another store, like Target. We pick out the items that we want, and just head to another store for looking. We come back, find the items that we had located and purchase the items without waiting in a long line.

After all that planning and execution, we head to McDonald’s (the only restaurant open at 4 a.m.) for hot cocoa and lunch or breakfast, whatever is available. We are certainly not alone dining. We are joined by other Black Fridayers (as we call them).

With hot cocoa in hand, we enjoy light conversation and lots of laughs and giggles. This has become my favorite part of the whole experience.

I didn’t get the Nook color tablet I wanted. It was gone before the door buster started, but it didn’t matter.

I did, however, get some really cheap movies, a couple of toys, a nice coffee maker, and my favorite item, a heated car seat that you plug into a 12-volt adapter. For $5, I got a great present for myself.

Above all, I enjoyed another great time and more memories that have become part of my holiday traditions.

Did you know that regardless of all the crowds of people shopping on Black Friday, it is not the biggest shopping day of the year? The Saturday prior to Christmas is, or if Christmas falls on a weekend, the Thursday or so before is.

Procrastinators still outnumber the early-bird shoppers.

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