Every year for the past 5 or 6 years, I have gotten up early to go out shopping on Black Friday. Since we go to Todd's brother's house for Thanksgiving, I do my shopping there. My sister-in-law Angela got us each a newspaper so that we could scope out the ads on Thanksgiving and make a plan for Friday. One year she went out shopping with me early in the morning but I think I am a bit too hardcore.
I was actually uncertain if I would head out this year after looking at the ads. We are cutting back on Christmas this year and I have already done some shopping. I just didn't see anything that looked fabulous or was a must have item. In previous years, I have headed to Best Buy or Circuit City to get a good deal on some sort of electronics for Todd. Now that we have kids, I imagine that all current and future trips will start at someplace like Toys R Us or Target.
I normally go out to get to the first store by 5am. This year I decided to change the strategy. And it must all work together like a well-oiled machine. If you get delayed at one store, it can affect where else you go. So I went out around 11:30 to get to the outlets at midnight. I was mainly looking for clothes for Michael and figured this would be a good place to get them. When I got there, it was already packed. I have never seen them so busy before and couldn't even park in the parking lot. I stayed until 4:00 and was able to go to 4 stores. The majority of my time was spent in one store's line but the rest went fairly smoothly.
Since I had already been out so long, I decided to just stay out until Target opened at 5:00 and get a few things there. None of the items were doorbusters so I figured I could get them with little to no trouble. I was able to pass the time between the outlets and Target by going to CVS and picking up their Black Friday freebies. It was pretty neat to be working deals with coupons at 4:30am and being the only one in the store! I guess the strangest things make me happy.
By the time I finally got home at 6am, I was exhausted. The adrenaline that had kept me awake all night was finally subsiding. For me, while I do enjoy getting great deals, part of going out on Black Friday is for the thrill of the hunt. I enjoy people watching and you can see quite a few interesting things if you are awake enough to pay attention. You strike up conversations with people you normally would not while waiting in line. It's also eye-opening to see what other people are buying.
I imagine that I will continue to go shopping on Black Friday, if not for the deals, then definitely for the experience!