living an unconventional life, one cocktail at a time

Black Friday Fun.

Every year, my mom and sister and I (and occasionally a sister-in-law or two) brave the crowds on the Friday after Thanksgiving for our annual shopping trip.

We’ve been shopping on Black Friday for at least the last six or seven years, and it’s become a tradition that we all look forward to. But we’re not the crazy shoppers you read about in the newspaper; we’re not standing in line at midnight, freezing to death waiting for the stores to open.

We aren’t usually out of the house before 8 a.m. on Friday. We head to Wichita and hit up Target, Wal-Mart, the mall and usually a few other random stores. We’ve got notebooks full of lists, a pile of ads and circulars from Thursday’s newspaper and all the coupons we can find.

Some years, I get most of my holiday shopping done on Black Friday; other years I don’t buy much at all. But that’s not really the point. This day has become more about spending time with my family, who I don’t see often enough, than shopping. The fact that we all love to shop is just icing on the cake.

This year wasn’t quite the same. None of the sisters-in-law wanted to go, and my sister’s kids were sick so she had to stay home, and at 34 weeks pregnant I wasn’t exactly a bundle of energy. Mom and I continued the annual shopping trip by ourselves and enjoyed a few hours’ worth of Black Friday madness. We always end the day by taking pizzas from Pizza Hut back to the farm for everyone.

My best deal of the day? Probably a two-pack of swaddle wraps for baby that I found on clearance at BabiesRUs. I also checked in on foursquare when I arrived at the store and was pleasantly surprised to get a coupon for 15% off a future purchase. Also, a triple pot slow-cooker for Dave to use at the bar. Maybe now he’ll serve nachos or tacos or something fun after work on Fridays.

I get frustrated when other people are so judgmental of Black Friday shoppers. Not all of us are pepper-spray-carrying crazies who wait in line all night to save ten bucks on a piece of crap we don’t even need. Just because I choose to shop on the day after Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I’m materialistic. For me, Black Friday is the one day of the year I can spend with my mom and sister, without husbands and kids and other distractions from daily life, regardless of whether I buy anything or not.

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