Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Posted By :Dan Moore
Posted At : Monday, Nov 22, 2010
Thanksgiving dinner, arguably the most heralded meal of the year in America, is also the best forum our society has for personal reflection. Thanksgiving is one of the few days on the American calendar in which nearly the entire populous is empathetic and grateful, proud yet open-minded. The dinner table upon which that lavish meal is laid is a perfect place to evaluate and reflect on the path you are following–to ease your financial anxieties, and reassure yourself of your place in the world. And that’s why the way Black Friday (the most notoriously stressful, claustrophobic shopping day of the whole year; the day in which pressures to embark on a renegade spending spree that snaps your carefully thought out budget plan into two twigs are higher than any other) falls a day after Thanksgiving is so ironically cruel.
As contradictory as it seems to have the most obnoxious shopping day of the year scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, it appears as if Black Friday will be a part of our culture for the rest of eternity; it must be adapted to and dealt with. Yes, you could skip the whole day entirely; opting to sit at home instead of stand in line, or you could scour the Internet for early-morning deals rather than venture to a physical store location. The problem is that the best deals really do exist down in the Black-Friday trenches, in those three-block-long lines strung-out underneath a moon-lit sky. Here is some advice for braving the one Friday of the year society has painted black.
Be Prepared for the Store
Flip through the pages of ads in the morning paper and take them with you when you park yourself in that line at four in the morning (having the ads with you will help you win any dispute regarding how much an item is actually on sale for). Do your homework: Before you get to the store, go online and research product reviews, prices and consumer reports.
Be Prepared for the Line
Possibly more crucial to your success on Black Friday than doing your homework and clipping ads is showing up to the line ready to do battle. Dress warm for the often frigid early-morning weather. Bring your own food to avoid the packed food-courts. Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to make allies with people in line–having someone to hold your spot while you go to the bathroom is vital.
Be Prepared to Shop
Last but not least, after you have braved the lines and walked into the store armed with ads and research, be prepared to shop efficiently. Bring a solid shopping buddy. (IMPORTANT: Leave your kids and your spouse at home! Unless, of course, you want to spend the entire day arguing.) Shop with a list so you know exactly what you want so you can get it before those products are all gone, thus making for optimal shopping efficiency.
Do not let a fear of Black Friday ruin your Thanksgiving experience. Do the aforementioned homework before Thanksgiving dinner so you can make the most of it without being anxious about the next morning. Thanksgiving is a time to re-charge the batteries, to put your life in perspective. Black Friday is intimidating, but it will not impede on or hinder your family’s Thanksgiving unless you let it.