Has the world gone stark raving mad? On the news this morning there were very graphic images of people getting into brawls over products being offered on the black (Friday) market. I will pose to you this question: Is there any object worth the craziness that folks are willing to subject themselves to in order to save a few bucks? I say "NO, absolutely not!"
I have never been a Black Friday shopper. In fact, I avoid Black Friday like the plague. There happens to be several reasons for this. First of all, I do not like crowds. Secondly, I do not like to stay up late and I do not like to get up too early. My sleep is worth way more than I could ever save on an item that I can only purchase after midnight on a given day or before 6:00 a.m. on a given day. For example, if I save $20 on an item and don't get the sleep I require (as everyone in my circle knows I desperately need), I have saved $20 but I have lost valuable inner beauty acquired by the proper rest and someone will most definitely pay for it later with my grumpiness, lack of patience and shortness of temper. Thirdly, I have never, ever NOT been able to find a great deal on pretty much every Christmas present I have ever bought in my lifetime. Now, that's a bold statement, but I have found that virtually all stores have awesome sales every single solitary day between December 1st and December 24th. Pretty much guaranteed.
I have wondered if it's the madness itself that really attracts people to the Black Friday sales. Is it so they'll have a really funny story of their bravery to tell the family on Christmas morning? Is it so they can guilt the recipient of the gift by reminding them year after year of what they went through in order to give them the present of their dreams? Maybe it's because people just want a little drama in their life, I don't know. I, for one, don't need any more drama in my life. I find that drama comes very naturally if you just let life happen. Drama has a way of finding you without your trying to find it. You might be saying, "No, it's none of that, I just want a good deal." Nonsense, that is a total cop-out. Who would really put their life on the line just for a good deal? Don't answer that.
My Christmas shopping goes something like this. I try not to wait till the last minute but I will confess that the hubs and I have gotten quite a few great deals on December 24th right before the stores close. I will admit that it did in fact happen a time or two. This is actually his favorite time to shop and it drives me crazy. But for the most part I try to have all my shopping (which isn't that much) done a week or so before Christmas Eve so that I'm not wrapping gifts at midnight on the 24th. That's another one of my pet peeves, but that's for another discussion at a later time. Sooo...I find a day that nothing too special is happening, like a Tuesday or a Wednesday when most people are at work. I start early (but not too early), and I plan my rounds to my favorite stores which ARE NOT part of the mall insanity. I slip in and out of a handful of stores quietly and quite efficiently like a church mouse, but it's hard to be too incognito when you're dragging large bags of great deals purchased without the throngs...just me joyfully cruising to my car when I'll cruise to the next store and do a little more damage. But not before I slip into one of my fave lunch spots where I grab a bite for shopping energy. When I finally arrive back home in the evening, the sun is dropping behind the horizon, I flip on all the Christmas lights in the house, light a candle, and begin my gift-wrapping marathon while Michael Buble plays on Pandora. A day that is profitable for sure but, more than that, peaceful and joyful. And isn't that what Christmas is really all about?
I know that being in the retirement years affords me the time I need to do what I just described and it's not that easy for young moms to find a pocket of time to do such, even though you would like to make it happen. But your time will come when they kids are grown and, believe me, it's a trade-off. Even if you're not able to carve out a day all to yourself, you can take measures to avoid the madness of shopping on Black Friday which will only lead to stress and regret. My point is this: Do everything within your power to make Christmas enjoyable not just for your family, but for you. There was a day when I was so intent on making Christmas perfect that I forgot to take care of my own self, and who was affected by that? Everyone! I also learned early on that the true Christmas spirit is found in not how much we give, but in how we give it. Plus, do you want to teach your kids discipline and a way of life that is not given over to excess? Make gift-giving smaller and more meaningful. I promise you, it will only serve them well in the future.
But if you are one of the ones who insist on the dramas of Black Friday, whatever your reasons may be, just remember this: YOU HAD FOREWARNING!
And an official Merry Christmas to you...
Posted by CC
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