Some people get really excited about the start of the Christmas shopping season. That person is not me.
I don't know if it comes from all the years I spent working the day after Thanksgiving, or if it never held any appeal for me in the first place.
Twice in my adult life have I gone shopping on Black Friday. Both times were a disaster and I have no desire to ever do it again.
The first was during residency and a friend of mine couldn't believe that I hadn't been Black Friday shopping as an adult. To her shopping was a sport and she took me along for the ride. I didn't have an excuse. My husband was home, and we were starting at 11:00 pm so the kids didn't need me. It could be fun, right?
Our mission: Toys R Us. For what I don't remember.
What I do recall is the freezing weather. Lines that wrapped around the building. Hot Chocolate. Crazy people.
When we finally got in the store we split up because it is nearly impossible to stay together. On my shopping list: Nothing. She couldn't believe there wasn't anything there I wanted! Trying to explain to her that we didn't buy our kids much for Christmas was like explaining quantum physics to a 5 year old. I can still see the baffled look on her face. I came for the experience and to enjoy watching my friend and the other lunatics who were there.
What ensued reminded me that saving a few bucks is all in the eye of the beholder. When you are with masses of people who are all stuffing their carts you take on the mentality of scarcity and before I knew it I had things in my hand I didn't really need. But I felt like I had better get something before they were gone. Thankfully, the hour wait in line (that is why I was really there - line place holder so my friend could shop more) I came to my senses and put my things down. I didn't need them!
For me saving money is more about NOT buying things in the first place than buying things that are on sale just because they are on sale. And that is really my mantra around the holidays. I don't go in for quantity. I don't feel the desire to load the tree with things. I don't think that will ever change.
To enjoy Black Friday shopping you have to have a certain special something in your personality. For me, I don't enjoy shopping in crowds. I don't enjoy feeling rushed. I don't like the energy of the crowds - people aren't nice.
Now, Cyber Monday. It is mid-day and I haven't bought a thing online. Since I am on the computer now, I may browse... but I haven't made a list yet so chances are good anything I buy will be something I don't need.
Are you a big holiday shopper? Love or Hate Black Fridays?