Well, I can finally say that I have participated in the crazy holiday shopping season right from the start. Though, I can boast that so far I have most of my holiday shopping done and December is just beginning, I braved the crowds and went out for the start of Black Friday which some have called either Brown or Gray Thursday.
The only other time that I have gone out on what is often considered the first day of holiday shopping was when I was in college and went with a friend to her small town in Arizona. That was nothing like the horror stories I grew up hearing about when it came to Black Friday shopping or as it is depicted on television shows.
My best friend and her mom have sort of a tradition when it comes to going out the day after Thanksgiving to find deals on certain products. As I’m sure with most, they organize a plan, look at the circulars for deals and figure out what they want to save the most on. For years I have wanted a certain electronic and have refused to pay the same price as when it was brand new when it was released a few years ago. I decided that this would be the year that I would get it myself, as long as there was a deal.
So, very last minute, I decided to tag along on Thursday night to get my deal. It was a success as well a few impulse buys as well.
What I was most surprised about is how organized the stores were. And I also did not encounter any angry shoppers or employees when I was out which was a nice surprise.
While Black Friday shopping was fun, even more so I enjoy finding unique gifts at small businesses. A good portion of the gifts that I have bought for friends and family have come from craft shows and the local businesses. Not only do I have a chance to talk with the people and get to know their names and hear their passion for their products, but I also have the chance to get gifts that cannot be found at every single story across the country. I look forward to the surprise on people’s faces when they receive a gift that they have never seen before. We are very lucky to still have the “mom and pop” businesses and it’s great that there is Small Business Saturday to remind people that they can find great gifts there.
Having now participated fully in all of the big holiday shopping days (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday), I can honestly say that each works in its own way and makes it possible to find something for everyone while at the same time saving some money.
Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.