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!”

happy-thanksgiving-banner-4

Around the Table

cranberry sauce

When you have a turkey dinner while you are in the hospital, here is the cranberry sauce that you get.  I just thought it was the cutest little thing!

This year, I’m very thankful that we won’t know that is the type of cranberry sauce you get in the hospital.  As much as I miss my brother this Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for all of the time I did have with him and I know that he is out of pain and looking down on us today.

Very soon we will be gathered around the table and everyone will state what we are thankful for.  Every year this tradition always makes me a little teary eyed so I try and plan my statement in advance.  I had no clue what I was going to say, what could I say that wouldn’t bring myself to tears? 

So, naturally, I asked a friend.  She suggested, and I’m pretty sure I’m going with it:

I’m thankful for the time that we got to spend with Lee.  And Lee, if you’re here with us listening, I’m still going to plant a tree and your honor – and I’m so going to decorate you!

It’s a joke that Lee was okay with his ashes being spread around a new tree as a memorial, but he really didn’t want to be decorated every Christmas!  He’d just laugh at me and go “yeah, no!”  every time I brought it up!

So, this year, I’m thankful for all of you  out there in the blogosphere who have been with me as I journey along, I’m thankful for my friends who have held me up when I couldn’t stand, and I am very thankful for my family and the time we’ve had together!  I’m also thankful for the eye candy that Dean Winchester supplies, Starbucks coupons and decorated sugar cookies!

Wishing all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving and for my Jewish friends – Happy Hanukkah!

Happy thanksgiving