Black Friday Used to Mean a Goodie Bag

I remember when Black Friday meant getting up at 3 am and being in line by 4 am so that you could get the goodie bag the store was giving out.  Filled will all kinds of swag to make my 19 year old heart swoon.

Similar to this!

Similar to this!

Snow globe ornament with your logo bigger than the ornament itself? I’ll take it! So worth standing in line for.  My tree is 3′ tall – it doesn’t even have a tree stand, you fill the base with water so it doesn’t tip over and put it in a planter!

English tea? Of course I’ll take that sample! Never mind that I don’t even drink tea, it was free!

Coupons galore? Load me up, I’ve lived on cereal this past week.

A granola bar? Score!

Fast Forward 5-10 years and those goodie bags faded from existence and were replaced with MASSIVE DEALS.  Flat screen TV only $99!!!

TV sale

I got mine out of the return pile, because what most people didn’t realize was, the screen WAS flat, but it was still a tube TV.  (I think that was the start of deceptive advertising!)

Fast forward another 5 years and I’ve come to realize that I love a good bargain, but I have to really, really love it in order to stand out in the cold waiting to get in the store!

A few years ago I did, with my brother Lee, because he wanted to get everyone a gift but had a very tight budget.  But let me tell you, we divided and conquered at Target and he did score some amazing deals!  Even I was impressed!

My son and nephew have wanted to experience the thrill of Black Friday, so I’ve gotten up early for them and taken them out and around.  And we stopped by 7-Eleven on the way home, had them make us a fresh pizza, and ate pizza at 5 am and went back to bed!

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast of champions!

So, there are some great memories associated with Black Friday.  But, it’s not really the shopping or the deals, it’s the time spent with family.  It’s the times we walk into Kohl’s and I immediately go stand in the check out line, which is wound all the way around to the back of the store, and my mom and sister one by one bring me a cart and then fill it with their purchases, and then take my place so I can so scour the store!  (We have since learned that it’s best to hit Kohl’s after lunch, after the crowd has died down!) It’s spending time laughing with my siblings, and teaching our kids fiscal responsibility comes in all forms.

It’s also the times I get to stand up and say “Yes, I was one of the crazies in that line.  And you know what, it was pretty awesome!”

It’s also been the times that we’ve bought so much we weren’t sure if the back of mom’s car was going to close.  I think cokes and pillows were on sale that year, add in the popcorn machine, well, things were getting tight!

It’s pouring over the ads in the Thanksgiving paper while we are cooking the meal and the Littles are running around  underfoot.

It’s having a kid run up and jump in your lap and go “I want this and this and this and this” and that’s when you learn that the Toy’s R Us ad pretty much never needs to be left on top of the pile!

The Littles - both in my lap :)

The Littles – both in my lap discovering the joy of seeing yourself on camera! 🙂

It’s the tossing of the ads back and forth trying to figure out what to get my grandmother.  “Do you think she’ll like this?  What about this?” and the occasional “Do we have to get her something? Didn’t we get her a gift last year?  That should cover it, right?”

No, we never really say that!

Out loud.

No one show my grandmother this post, okay?  Thanks!

So yes, I’ve been part of Black Friday madness, and I’m sure I will be again.  Having been on the retail side, I’ve had to work late the Wednesday night before setting everything up, and I’ve been up well before the sun to get to the store.  So, I’ve been there.  I needed and wanted a job, I was willing to make that sacrifice.  And I’m not here to debate the open on Thanksgiving or not issue.

Because you know what?

I’ve gone shopping on Thanksgiving Day, too.

And I have the most beautiful tree in the world to show for it!  No regrets!

Having admitted that, I’ll also admit that this was many, many years ago, back when the stores were actually still closed on Thanksgiving Day, but one retailer broke the mold that year and opened Thanksgiving Day afternoon, and my cohort, which may or may not have been my mother, told me “Move fast so the TV camera’s don’t catch us, I don’t want anyone to know I was shopping on Thanksgiving Day!”


45 thoughts on “Black Friday Used to Mean a Goodie Bag

  1. Now I really wish we had one of those here 😀 Such a funny post Kate. Though everything was pretty blur after looking at that Pizza ! Lol

    Happy Thanksgiving with lots of love and happiness. Hope you had a glorious one ❤

  2. So from what I gather Black Friday means awesomely cheap prices for the first ones to get to the shop? Is this some American thing or am I purely ignorant (I am pretty sure it is not a Finnish thing though 😉 ) ? If it is about shopping, can this North European girl ask why it is called Black Friday?
    But I have to say that I was in for a pleasant surprise: after reading the title I expected to read some horror story about a massive killing or something… I much rather read about massively good shopping deals! 🙂

    • hahaha! Okay, clearly this was a post that was centered towards America! The Friday after our Thanksgiving day has been the “official” start of the Christmas season for us, and the stores have always used it to have a sale to draw you in and get you started on your shopping. The police started calling it Black Friday because so many traffic accidents occurred as people were trying to get to the sales, and then so many arrests would occur as people were fighting over the items “I touched it first!” “It’s mine!” “Don’t cut in line!” Apparently back in the 60’s that’s when the police gave it the inside nick-name, and naturally the retailers didn’t like that, and so they did their best to turn it into a positive.

      Of course, there is still violence and incidents that happen all over – in fact, when we were at Walmart, there was an increased police presence, which reminded us all that last month, our Walmart was in the news due to the violence that happened!

      But, man, I got some great deals!

      • Ok, now the name makes sense! And when I asked about Black Friday at work turns out some shops have started to imitate here as well, apparently not in such huge quantities but there are some deals to find. I clearly have to do more shopping to keep up with great deals 😉

  3. Love the new Holiday blog theme! You’re so creative! Great idea for a goodie bag. I’m sure it makes shopping so much easier. I’m shockingly almost done Christmas shopping. Never happens but this year I was determine not to be a last minute shopper! Great post as always! Happy Thanksgiving! ((Big Hugs))

  4. I am not American and we do not celebrate Thanksgiving over here but I have heard so much about Black Friday sale. I WANT TO GO!!! LOL Must be really fun! We have midnight sale over here but, meh. Should add that to my bucket list. 🙂

  5. Oh Kate we don’t have Black Friday here is Melbourne, but I have lined up many many times especially at the big toy sales so that I could lay by all the Christmas presents for all the kids. And yes lots and lots of bargains were found and many many memories created xxx

  6. The only reason I don’t venture out on Black Friday is because I’m not sure I have the patience for it. I could get violent so, for the greater good, I wait until the Saturday. 🙂
    …Except I just realized I’m flying back to TO Saturday at noon, so I may have to risk violence if I’m going to get my Xmas shopping done. 🙂

  7. I’m with Kimberly ~ pizza deals are the BEST.

    I’ve never shopped on Black Friday or Thanksgiving and probably never will. But I enjoy watching the mayhem on TV! 😛

  8. Martha B says:

    I like your Black Friday spirit… It’s not greedy or nasty, it’s fun times with your family. I love shopping, and I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying it. Hope you have a successful haul this year!

  9. Kate, I know it is sad, but my favorite part was the picture of the pizza. I seem to be more motivated by food than shopping deals 🙂 seriously, I love how many family memories are tied to this event. That is what is really important.

    • I think I’ve been fortunate that we’ve always managed to have a good time! I did just have to text everyone “Uh, I may have to go shopping on Thanksgiving this year… I found some deals I need to try for!”
      Some one did step up to go with me, and someone else said we could do what we want as long as it didn’t interfere with grown up nap time!

  10. You have almost convinced me to GO! My favorite is the picture with the littles discovering themselves on camera and your joy from watching them. I had no idea there were ever even goodie bags. I have done this black Friday thing…twice I think but it was overwhelming to me. I had no game plan. So I just wandered around the store and left with only a few items. But making it a family fun affair with 7/11 pizza sounds kind of fun.

    • If I went to get the amazing deals, it would totally stress me out – but going to enjoy the experience and spend time with the family, and if I happen to get the sherpa blanket that is Black Friday priced at $10, then so be it! If not, then I’m still okay! 🙂

      I know that I’ll always hit Lowes, that always has a 24 pack of AA batteries for like $4. Maybe $6. But, it’s a 24 pack!! I get two of those each year and call my Black Friday a success! Everything else is just icing!

  11. How come I don’t remember goodie bags? Maybe because I rarely went shopping on Black Friday. I DID go shopping last year ON Thanksgiving Day with my brother. We stopped at Walmart and Kmart and I must say, it was actually a great experience but at the same time I felt a bit ashamed because shopping on Thanksgiving=bad. The one time I remember Black Friday shopping was 1998 when I joined up with some friends and stampeded Walmart looking for the Furby toy.

    • I have been at Walmart when an almost stampeded was taking place, and that was when I decided that it wasn’t worth that – if I got the deal, great – if not, then I wasn’t going to fret!

      And… I think I’m going shopping on Thanksgiving day this year… Walmart has a video game for Mr. T with a ridiculous price… Like half price… half of a $60 game is pretty worth it to me!

  12. Oh I love hunting down for bargains too, especially with my family! Haven’t done that in years! Here in England, I only hunt down for bargains online. As you know, we live in a small village and the nearest city is about an hours drive away. At the moment, I do all my hunting online. It’s not that bad, at least I avoid the crowds 😉

  13. I enjoyed this post! Whilst we don’t have Black Friday over here, we certainly have our share of sales and people lining up outside stores overnight to be the first in line, and fighting over the bargains. I’ve never done that myself, don’t get me wrong, I like a bargain as much as the next person, but I’ve never done the crazy lining up for hours or fighting for it thing. I won’t go as far as to say that I never would, all I can say is that I never have.

    • We’ve lined up – and with a family of five, there have been times that as soon as we got in the door we all headed to different items to try and claim dibs!

      And, not gonna lie, there have been times that we’ve gotten there and seen the line and the anxiousness level was too high for us – I don’t want to be stuck in an unruly crowd!!

  14. I don’t shop on Thanksgiving or the following day, so it is nice to get a perspective from one who has braved the shopping line madness! It sounds like you have some great memories of these excursions!

  15. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Right? Target had like a granola bar, candy, coupons, etc. All sorts of fun things. The department stores usually had jewelry give-aways too.

    We’ve been cheated the last several years now.

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