Monday, November 14, 2011

A Holiday Tradition by Rita Hestand

Why Did I think of this one!

I wanted to take the time to talk to everyone about the holidays. I know it’s a busy time for everyone and that reading probably will take a backseat to preparing Turkey dinners and baking that scrumptious pecan pie, so I thought I’d share a little bit of my holiday ritual with you.

It all begins during Thanksgiving and what they call Black Friday. It started in my family almost twenty years ago and is still going strong. We have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, bask in our too full tummy’s and bring out…the newspaper, the ads to be exact. Now some of you may not know just how hard it is to get the sales ad for Black Friday. Try picking a paper up on Thanksgiving, right after you eat would be best, because if you wait too long in a small town like I came from, you won’t get one. Instead you’ll have to wait for the early morning edition, get up at four thirty and rush around town to find one copy of the paper, three or four is better if they have them.

Okay after we do get our copy of the ads, me and my two daughters sit down at the table, which is now free of everything but maybe the pies that we are considering with a cup of coffee. We have assorted family lists of wishes for Christmas from assorted family members. We hunt the ads for the best price. Now mind you, if this is your first time at this, you will find it overwhelming, because you need a notebook to jot down the price and store, and the hours the stores open. Once you get used to a system, then you are on your way.

After scouring the ads, we venture out to Garden Ridge, it’s now about 10pm on Thangsgiving day. At Garden Ridge we find all kinds of Christmas decorations, a few inexpensive gifts and small things for like Teachers and people we don’t know that well. Then we head for I-Hop to have breakfast. By now, we’ve sung a few carols, drank a bottle of water and we are ready to get primed. At I-Hop we make all kinds of noise, happy noises that is about the money we’ll save for staying up all night to get them. We spread our ads on the table and we map out the first stores we’ll visit. Remember your system, this is part of it.

One thing, men are not allowed. Men don’t shop, they buy and go home. Women shop.

Now it’s going on 3AM and we’re getting just a bit sleepy, thus the coffee and plenty of it. Some might prefer a monster drink, I like coffee myself. After we have taken care to fuel up, we begin our journey to the first store to open. Now naturally most of you know that Wal-Mart, commonly referred down south as Wally World, is open all night, but you can’t buy the sales items until the store sale time begins. So you might as well check out another early store first.

Be prepared to be mowed down by mobs wanting in the door, long, long lines of people with the same idea. Our Best Buy store in Plano is always wrapped around with lines to get in on the best deal, some bring tents, some bring sleeping bags. Some cover with newspaper. Some hop around to keep from going numb with cold or numb with waiting.

Once you are in the store, you must know exactly what you will buy. Where it is, and be prepared to pay for it. Sounds easy enough, but in the rush to do it all, see it all, get it all, it sometimes is an after thought. Now you rush to the counter, you’ll only have to mow down a few dozen in your way to get to the man at the counter who directs you to the other end of the store where the sale is going on, instead of in the department where it is sold. There are multi lines of waiting, and not everyone observes the rules to this. Be prepared. Little ole ladies are just as anxious to get their presents as you, I should know, I’m one of them. Push comes to shove, be prepared for the worst.

Now, before you ever leave home to go to one of these all-nighters, be sure your credit cards are current, have credit on them and there is no hang-ups. Be sure you tuck your cash in a safe place there are thousands out there on this night.

After waiting endlessly for your item you are rewarded by getting a good deal on the present you wanted to buy. If they aren’t a limited quanity and you are number 36 for 35 copies of it. Then you cross them off the list and go to the next. If you are wise and experienced at doing this, you will have enough family members along to help station you at each place you need to buy, this way, you don’t wait at every line and aren’t the last to get a “Sorry we’re sold out” message.

By now, after one or two stores you are asking yourself why you engaged in such a crazy idea of buying presents at Thanksgiving and why aren’t you home sleeping or decorating the tree. But believe me, if you indulge in this new sport as I call it, you’ll know why. It’s fun, and rewarding at the same time.

The end result is sore feet, tired body, sleep induced comas and a happy smile on your face because you got the deal of the century. It’s a tradition at my house, I hope you’ll join me and the millions who are catching on. Happy holidays everyone!!!!


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Rita - I love the holidays and Black Friday. I heard that this year some retailers (Walmart, Kmart, others?) are going to be open late on Thanksgiving. Don't think I'll be going out then, but I have a couple of friends who are mega shoppers.

Redameter said...

Well, sometimes it depends on your childrne's age, what they want and how many are being sold as to whether this trip is necessary, but for a lot of your parents, it's the way to save a buck at Christmas.

It is also fun, especially if you have your entire female family with you. Never take a man, they really don't understand the concept of shopping, you know, browsing and figuring the best deals and getting in and they usually know how to get out, but waiting in line is something else.

However, I have found a lot of male shoppers at places like Best Buy where a hard drive or laptop is practically free for the first 24 people in line. Just because there are 200 in line, doesn't discourage them.

I hope eveyrone has a safe and great holiday.
Love and blessings

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I'm exhausted reading about Black Friday. I've never participated in the after Thanksgiving torment of Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Too full of turkey I guess. My favorite way to shop is order online and have it delivered to my door. I know. It's kinda lazy and maybe not very Christmasy but there ya go. Does Hum Bug apply here?
I wish you all the best, Rita.

Redameter said...

WEll, sured didn't get and audience here for it. Guess there are a bunch of bah humbugs. Oh well,it's holiday time and no one has the time to stop off I guess.

If you have little ones this is definitely how to save money. But then if you don't, having it delivered to your door is nice.
I've never tried that Sarah.

Love an blessings Rita

Fiona McGier said...

I will find out tomorrow night what hours I will be working at my retail job on Black Friday. Somehow it doesn't seem right that minimum wage employees have to give up their family time to go to work on Thanksgiving day, or in the middle of the night, and they don't even get any extra pay!