Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Black Friday

I grew up in the middle of Phoenix in a low income family with 6 kids.  My mom made the majority of our Christmas presents and only bought a few.  I don't think my parents ever hit Black Friday sales, and if they did then I don't remember them talking about it.  Needless to say, I grew up not knowing what Black Friday was.
  As an early adult I worked jobs where I didn't really encounter such sales (or maybe I just don't remember).  Finally, in my early 20s, I got a job with Sears working in their parts and service department.  My first store was not attached to a retail store, and we didn't offer anything special, so I again had no contact with Black Friday.  Then I transferred to a store that was behind a retail store.  The other employees got so excited over the big sales going on in the store.  I stayed and manned the counter while they went and shopped.  I couldn't care less what these big sales were because I could barely afford my food and rent.  Big, expensive gifts were out of the question.
   After I married we moved overseas and I became really good at shopping online.  We came back stateside and a friend insisted that I go and do these sales with her.  So we got out the ads, made our lists, prioritized our stops, and got up at the crack of dawn.  I think I remember leaving at like 4am or some ridiculous hour.  I don't remember getting home until about noon, we only got a portion of what we went after, and I was completely exhausted.  I was quite content to pass on that Black Friday thing.
   Fast forward a few years.  We're overseas again and stores are putting Black Friday deals online! Now this is something I can go for.  I can stay up late (which the night owl in me loved), I didn't have to fight the crowds (just slow servers), and I could shop in my pajamas without finding my picture on the people of Walmart website later.  And to top it all off, they then ship my items to me, in a box that my kids can't see through, and I don't have to worry about them seeing through the bags as I hide them.  I was in heaven.  I happily soaked up the Black Friday sales from the comfort of my desk for many years.
   Then a few years ago Black Friday moved to Thursday night (Thanksgiving) at midnight.  I was a little bit unsure at first, but we figured we could have thanksgiving day with the family, take our afternoon/evening naps, visit some more, put the kids down for bed time, and then we could go shopping.  Again, the night owl in me was jumping for joy.  I could get my shopping done while my kids were asleep.  I still don't like the crowds in the stores, but if there's something good enough, then it might be worth the trip.  Then the sales started getting earlier.  First 10:00pm, then 8:00pm.
   This year I started seeing friends post on Facebook that they were pledging not to shop on Thanksgiving.  I have to admit that part of me was like, "that just means more for the rest of us!"  This week I did some research to start my shopping list.  I discovered that stores are starting sales much earlier on Thanksgiving day.  There are even stores that are starting at the crack of dawn on Thursday and staying open the entire day.
    What the what?  What happened to everybody is closed on Thanksgiving?  I remember when we would get up to start the feast and discover that we forgot to buy corn, or cranberry sauce, or something like that.  We would have to remember which two stores in town were going to open for a few hours that morning, and then pray that they were still open when you get there.  If they weren't open? Well then you just did without.  This is a holiday when we get together with our families, we get to remember everything that we have and all that we are thankful for.  This is not supposed to be a day when everybody is either working or shopping.  The stores are supposed to be a ghost town so that families can be together.  What's next? Boxing Day sales on Christmas Day? The return lines lining up around the corner on Christmas night?
   So this is where I stand.  The late night sales are ok, but no earlier than 10pm or midnight.  That gives everybody a chance to spend time with family, get a nice nap, put the kids to bed, and then employees can go to work as others line up outside.  Single parents get to teach their kids traditions before they put them to bed and head to work.  There's no reason to be open before the kids go to bed. I now understand why my friends want to boycott the Thanksgiving Black Thursday sales.  Heck, maybe I'll just go back to my slow servers and my online shopping this year.

2 years....

I knew it had been quite awhile since I wrote anything here, but I had no idea that 2 years had passed.  Where has the time gone? Well, I'll tell you.
*My hubby went to start a new job in Arizona and was only home every couple of weekends for 9 months.  I was busy to say the least.  Then we had to pack and move ourselves and make a new home in our new house in Arizona (which I love).
* I started homeschooling my oldest.  It has been a good experience for both of us.  We're using the k-12 curriculum, which works well since the school district here also uses it.  It'll make the transition back to public school a bit easier.  The first year he made honor roll all four quarters (something he never did in the past), and at the end of this year he wants to be done and start 8th grade back in public school again.  I'm trying to help him get to a place where that's feasible, and I think we're nearly there.  I really think he will go back for just a short time and then be begging to come home again.  I guess only time will tell.  My third oldest wants to come home next year though.  I was looking forward to the break, but I think it might be good for her.  I haven't decided for sure yet, and the jury is still undecided as far as prayer goes.  I feel like it would be ok either way.
* I'm really happy with our house and our neighborhood.  We have some great neighbors and the kids are making some good friends.  I'm hoping that we don't have to move ever again, and that the kids can get settled in finally and not feel like they have to move and start all over again.
  I know this probably doesn't sound like much, but life really has been full for us.  I have been thinking more about things I'd like to share here, and I'm hoping to make some time to do so.  Until then, I felt the need to say that I'm still here, and that I'm ready to ramble again.