Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh Black Friday...

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and is having a nice, relaxing weekend spent with family and friends. The holidays are always an interesting time and this "Black Friday" was no different. I chose to be less than wise and go to Guitar Center yesterday on "Black Friday" and found quite crowd of teenage boys playing all sorts of metal and hard rock tunes on guitars in the store at just below ear blasting levels. Now, this by itself wouldn't be so bad, but then throw in the same number of kids trying out drum kits, running around the store with their parental counterparts, and then trying to check out. What that leads to is irritation of many levels. I managed to stay calm and collected without freaking out, but that was not the case with other shoppers. Some left after waiting in line for 15 minutes because they just needed small items.

Evelyn is an enthusiast about "Black Friday" and all of it's shopping grandeur. She's become quite the frugal queen and finding the best bargains has been the challenge for her shopping adventures. This includes grocery shopping with coupons, as well as using fliers to find the best %50 off deals possible. The other perspective on this is that she probably wouldn't have bought some of things she bought because she wouldn't have been in the store to be lured in to other "bargains." We try to stay focused on what we go to the store for, but we all know that sometimes the lure of other sales or specials are too tempting to pass up. This is the result of constant exposure to marketing that we are all bombarded with and the spending is the after effect.

Now, when it comes to Christmas (and we're really only buying for close family and a charity family that we "adopted"), we don't mind being generous and getting people more than they expect, but we really try to keep the spending reigned in so we don't have holiday spending regrets. Evelyn and I are not the typical consumerists, but we do like to treat ourselves and others well with gift giving.

Is "Black Friday" worth the effort? This is a very subjective question, of course, but do you feel that it's worth it to spend the effort to wake up early, go shopping for bargains, and fight the mass onslaught of the holiday crowds? I don't. I would rather pay $5 more on a gift that spend my time that way. That's my priority. Yours may differ and I accept that whole heartily. Regardless, we all need to keep in mind that we're all out for the same purpose.

I hope your shopping experience this year, whatever it may be, is not a stressful one. Good luck! Just a reminder, there's always the online shopping option. :-)

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