I'll admit, with the commercials, newspaper ads and email blasts, its easy to get swept up in Black Friday and just buying stuff in general. I'm even guilty if throwing some links up on the old blog last week. But, it's starting to go too far.
The wife and I even went the past two previous years to run the gambit of shoppers to get some good deals. We took care of the kids lists, our lists, family lists and just some other things around the house that would be nice to have. Last year wally world started Black Friday on Thanksgiving night at like 11pm or midnight or something like that, I don't remember specifically. Which, was actually ok. We didn't miss family time and the kids went to bed and the family was home to stay with kids while Em and I made the rounds. We then came home, slept for 3 hours and hit the next round at like 4am.
This year has gone too far. Sales started at 8pm at wal mart and other stores started opening thanksgiving day as well. Have we as a nation become so ate up with being consumers that we forego family and the meaning of the holidays? Sure, I like a good sale on some gear I had my eye on like the next guy, but bolting from thanksgiving dinner to hit the sales, really? Sorry uncle Joe, I know we have not hung out since last year, but there's a sale!
I do appreciate the stores online that just stopped the teasing and opened black Friday on line. I spent 30 minutes filling out the list we came up with forthe kids and then I was done. No dealing with elbow throwing, nasty attitudes and the cold. Is saving $100 worth the hassle? Do we really even need the crap that's on sale?
Small business Saturday
Get real. What's next, throw grandma under the bus thanksgiving Thursday? Let's face it, Christmas came out in stores the week before Halloween. Retailers cannot wait to separate you from your cash and Christmas is the best reason to do it.
In full disclosure, I'm as guilty as the next guy. But, I do it in moderation. We asked the 4 year old what she wanted and deliberated on what would be in the best interest for our kids to have. It was not a mad frenzy to get the latest gadget or toy. We had a list, we filled it in the comfort our own home and we are done. I much prefer this to what we went through last thanksgiving. No lines, no rude people and no sleep deprivation.
Now, if we can just minimize the impact of school and what they propagate there in terms of Christmas. You know you have hit a roadblock when your 4 year old says;
"Daddy, thanksgiving is the best holiday! Santa Claus is coming tomorrow, right?"
We plan to minimize the impact with some community service work and limiting exposure to tv and the toy commercials. Reruns of Ice Age and Megamind on the dvr might be the best bet. We might even look towards church to explain the real meaning of Christmas. ;)
Hope everyone else is having a consumer friendly cyber Monday!