Holiday Traditions: The Post-Black Friday Shopping Trip

Every family has their own Thanksgiving traditions. Ours is a little different than most— It doesn’t have anything to do with food, or has any special religious meaning, it is not out-of-the ordinary… really. It might surprise some of you.


Yes, and I type this out in all caps for good reason. Ever since I was old enough to remember, my mama, sister, aunt, and grandmother have been shopping either on Black Friday, or after on what is sometimes called Small Business Saturday.

I’m sure many mamas have some Black Friday shopping stories. Here are some of mine and as you will see, they morphed into what I call post-Black Friday adventures.

My family first started shopping on Black Friday when I was a kid. Maybe it was because we were all together the next day and we wanted to extend girl time. Maybe we thought we would help grandma get a head start on her Christmas shopping (which meant she would buy us something we liked, or what we could put in her cart). Maybe it was the amazing deals you could get. I can’t put my finger on it, but we did it.

Image by DJlicious under Creative Commons License

A couple years, we tried going early to get some bargains, and mostly found we had to get to the store super early and fight a potentially crazy crowd to find those amazing deals. So, we learned to send my dad. I will never forget convincing my dad to buy me my first TV and VCR set on Black Friday so my little middle school self wouldn’t have to go. He was going to Walmart anyway, right?

Image by John Aho

“Hey dad, would you do me a favor? When you go to Walmart today would you mind getting me a TV and VCR? Here is my money. Thanks, love you!” I’m so thankful he went. Especially, since you hear about people getting pushed around at those type of stores over DVDs these days.

Eventually, instead of going super early, we started going at around 10 a.m. This gave us plenty of time to get up in the morning, get ready and load everyone into the car at 9 a.m. and travel into the city (a population of 40,000 is a city to me) in search of shopping treasures.

It also meant the shopping zombies were out.

I gotta hand it to those brave people who wake up before the crack of dawn and head out with that extensive shopping list to conquer one of the biggest shopping days of the year. You probably get better deals than me on those hot ticket items, but you look so tired!

When my sister and I were about high-school-age, we went to Shopko. Keep in mind this is a high schooler’s perspective on the early shoppers. We laughed as we saw people with huge carts of “stuff.” We couldn’t figure out why they needed to buy so much at one particular store. They were also really slow, really tired and really cranky. That year we named those shoppers “shopping zombies.” Our shopping group also learned that year that we weren’t really after the hot ticket items. We were simply shopping to get things on our lists and get ideas, (don’t forget that good present from grandma).

Fast forward a year or two and we had busy work schedules and college boyfriends to work around. We finally decided to go shopping on Saturday. We wondered would many people would be out? Would the roads be busy? Would we find everything on our lists? To our surprise, a nice lady at one of the department stores told us the prices and discounts were actually the same.

WHAT?! THE SAME? Have we been shopping on Black Friday for years and we could have gotten the same amazing gifts and bargains the next day?

As you can tell that discovery made my day and thus ended our Black Friday shopping trip, potentially forever. Our shopping style also morphed from Walmart, Shopko and the like to more specialized stores and the mall. Yes, I am admitting I shop there for gifts and it is OK. They have cool things and good prices.

Now to the present-day post Black Friday adventures. We head out on Saturday! We still go at 10 a.m. Which still gives us plenty of time to get up in the morning, get ready, load everyone into the car at 9 a.m., and travel into the city in search of shopping treasures. We usually head to one of the stores that opens earlier than the mall does. We hit our favorite electronic store for that techie on our shopping list. Then, we grab some lunch for a pick-me-up and try to relax a little. Finally, we venture to the mall to finish up.

At the end of the day, we stop for coffee and a cookie at County Market. Oh the comfort and relaxation a grocery store can hold! On our way home back to the country, we share our stories, what great gifts we bought, how much we spent and the love a family can share on Thanksgiving.

This year we will have little M with us so we can see what she thinks. She was only about six months old for last year’s shopping trip. This year, I’ll probably have some toddler stories from Post-Black Friday Adventure 2014. I can’t wait!

What are your Thanksgiving Traditions?

One Response to Holiday Traditions: The Post-Black Friday Shopping Trip

  1. We’ve never done Black Friday shopping in my family, but we definitely take advantage of Cyber Monday! Another tradition we have is to run a 5K in the morning (The “Turkey Trot”) and to gather with family for dinner at my mom’s house. I love Thanksgiving!

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