As we planned and prepared for Thanksgiving at our house, we have added a new tradition to our weekend activities that may be described as more of an adventure each year.  What is it you ask?  It is the ever earlier Black Friday Mad-Dash!  It started two years ago by my daughter.  She is the ever searching, deal-making shopper if there ever was one.  Her dad and I are proud that she is frugal at her young age, but sometimes I tease her and say that she could get change from a penny!  That’s ok though.

But this annual Black Friday Extravaganza has become quite the production for us.  Two years ago, we didn’t venture out until about 9am.  We didn’t feel there was enough reason to get up super early on a day off to hunt for deals, most of which we didn’t need anyway.  Then we heard about the deals folks were getting.

Last year, everything changed!  The daughter lived on campus at the university near us as a resident director and it was her duty week.  She came home for dinner at the nursing home with us and the grandparents then went back to campus.  Later that day we joined dear friends to hang out with their family and extended family for the rest of the evening.  We left their home at about 11pm.  While hubby was driving I got a text from the daughter.  “When you going home?”

I replied, “On our way home now, what’s up?”

She then called, “Since it’s pouring down rain and snow, you wanna take me to the door at the mall so I can run into Old Navy, they are opening at midnight and have door buster deals?”

I’m thinking, hold up, you want to go shopping at midnight in the pouring rain and it’s freezing?  So, I  replied with what any wise, caring mom would say, “Sure, I’ll pick you up and take you, but dad said he ain’t goin’, he’s goin’ home to bed.”  And thus it began!

I dropped off the dad, picked up the daughter and took her to Old Navy.  I waited in the car and nearly frozen my assets off waiting.  Yes, nobody warned us the lines are loooonnnnggg and ssllllooooowww!

She finally comes out and has hit a second wind.  She smiles and shows me her “finds”.  I have to admit, she got great deals.  She then smiles and says, “Walmart opened at 1 AM and it’s 1:30 AM now, do you wanna drop me off there?” Grinning very, very, very big!

And so I do.

She came out a while later and broke into laughter telling me she is WAY past her bedtime and has just shooed an older Asian man from her stash in her cart!  I’m like – “Huh?”  She proceeded to tell me the story including the little head gestures of go away, go away and the words (?)…Nahnah  Nahnah!  I busted out laughing and asked her what language that was.  She laughed and said, “I wasn’t sure of his nationality and couldn’t think of an appropriate “no” that he would understand.  Yeah, I’m thinking now that’s it’s 2:45 AM, I’m getting a little punchy.”

Next, ToysRUs is opening in 10 minutes and she wanted to see about some games.  We went there and she is in and out pretty quick compared to the other stores.  However, we still have an hour and a half until the next store opens that she wanted to go to.  We’re kind of on a second wind, but realize it won’t last if we just sit and wait.  We decided to go to the only restaurant open to get some Sweet Tea for the caffeine.  It’s Ron’s place.  You know the one.  The one with the Golden M out front!  Sitting for a while, I believe this is when the punchy began to fully set in.  The daughter and I were talking and laughing and getting caffeinated. I’m telling her a story about something our dog did and for whatever reason I still don’t know I decided to tell her what the dog said.  Yes, you read that right.  I began to bark like our little four pound teacup yorkie.  Mmm-hmm, I was that punchy!  Hey c’mon now – it is now 4:30 AM after all.  I had been up since 7AM the day before to get the bird in the oven and all the other stuff prepped.

We were quite the troopers.  We got great deals for ourselves and others, too.  We finally came home at 3:30 PM.  Yep, you read that right!

Fast forward to Black Friday, 2011…

Daughter decided that this year Walmart will be opening at 10PM on Thanksgiving, then Target and the list goes on through the wee hours of the night/morning.  So we scour the ads to see if there is anything that we are still looking for.  We make a list of store, time and what we want there.  Hubby has decided that he doesn’t want to be left out this year and says he’s in!  Daughter’s co-worker that joined us for Thanksgiving lunch says she’s going just to see the daughter in action!

It’s 10 PM and we leave for Walmart.  We let all the folks that are there for the big electronics get there first as they want to wait outside in line for the doors to open, then mad dash into the store to stand in line until the official release at midnight for certain door busters.  Our Walmart’s parking is ridiculous with a capital R.  Not only is this the Black Friday rush, they are remodeling and changing the entire store and have most of the parking lot blocked off with storage containers with their “stuff”.  There were cars all over and even across the street!  Wow!

We couldn’t get a cart.  The daughter was scooping up $1.96 DVD’s and soon we both have our arms full.  I volunteered to go over to a shelf nearby and let them both build their stacks and shop with free arms.   Within a few minutes, two ladies came by.  I’m looking the other way and realized the stacks are moving. I quickly turned around and see that they are beginning to go through all the DVD’s.  I spout out loudly, “No, No, these are someone else’s, you can’t have these.”

The ladies give me a nasty look and say, “Geez, sarr–rie.”  I now am “tickled pink” and began to laugh out loud as I realized that this event happened at about this time last year and at this same Walmart!  I spoke the same language as the two ladies, so it was not necessary to use shooing gestures and a foreign language–Nahnah Nahnah!  Hehe!

We continued on our plan of attack.  We did have to visit Ron’s place again for some sustenance and more Sweet Tea as we wait for our next stop to open at 6 AM.  Wait, can you actually consider the food we ate at Ron’s as sustenance.  Anyway, of course there was an outburst of laughter between the daughter and I that caused the sweet lady behind us to say to her son, “Oh, they are getting punchy!  They’re giddy!”  Ya think?!

We finally complete our list.  We got everything we were looking for and a little more.  We head home and arrive at 10AM.  Yes, we had been shopping for 12 crazy hours!  We all three crashed for a few hours nap.  When we woke up, the daughter started comparing prices and selections, etc.  She realized she could have gotten a better deal on a couple DVD’s between stores.  So, at 5:30 PM we head back out to make switches and buy other stuff that went on sale later if it was left.

When all was said and done, we arrived home at 9:30 PM.  We all collapsed in the living room, watched some tv and totally vegged-out.  I do believe we made it only to about 11 PM if that!

So, tell me…did you have a Black Friday Extravaganza of your own?  Did you go longer than you thought?  We didn’t encounter any mean, pepper-spraying shoppers – did you?

For us, we will continue to save some of our shopping for the Black Friday Shopping Party.  It has become part of our Thanksgiving Weekend-Christmas Holiday traditions.  And isn’t that what is important these days? Building joyful memories and traditions with people we love the most. We need to have great memories and do things that bring us joy.  As for me and my family, we will probably be hitting Ron’s place somewhere between 3 AM and 5 AM on Black Friday for some Sweet Tea caffeine and side splitting laughter!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Please leave me a comment or two below about your Black Friday Extravaganza!  I’d love to hear all about it!


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