Black Friday shopping is a tradition in my family, and one of the ones I like most about Thanksgiving weekend, though I often wonder why when I pass out after.
The stores are continuing to be evil, pushing their sale starts back earlier and earlier. Pretty soon we'll be shopping on Halloween. It doesn't really bother me that much, I tend to stay up all night before I go out anyway, so sales starting at 3am, or even, as they were this year, midnight or even 10pm the night before. However, there are many other shoppers, like my grandmother, who simply cannot stay up all night shopping, and are quite sad about this development.
So, with this happening....we of course, stayed up all night, starting at 10. Toys R Us opened at 10pm. We went to Toys R Us last year when they started at midnight, and stood in line for 2.5 hours. I'm not sure why we were expecting something different this year. But when we arrived, only about 15 minutes early (our fault, I know) the line stretched all the way across the front of the building, the front of the building next door, and around the back of the building further than we took the effort to look. You have to wait so long because Toys R Us has this crazy notion that they can only let so many people in at a time because of fire codes or some nonsense. Now, I'm not saying that fire codes are nonsense, just that no other store I have ever been in follows any such rule on Black Friday. Anyway, we quickly decided that Toys R Us was a lost cause. This was a bit sad because we were intending to get my uncle the android ipad (which I'm sure has a technical name, but that's basically what it is) and that was of course gone in the first probably 50-100 people. They apparently also had $80 netbooks, which was part of why the line was so long.
With Toys R Us out of the picture, we then decided to just get a head start on our Wal Mart shopping, since they were starting their good deals at midnight. Of course, none of the midnight items were available yet, so we bought a few random things and then hung out in the car planning our 'route', because yes...you need to have a plan in Wal-Mart, and they gave us a map and stuff. Wal-Mart took longer than intended, mainly because the fleece jackets were not easy to find (and I needed 16 of the damn things). It went moderately well though, we got everything that we wanted, which was: 4 little vaccuums, a tool chest, a bunch of toys for the prize booth, the jackets, an art kit, tupperware, and blocks. Huh... is that really all we got there? We weren't interested in any big-ticket items or electronics this year, which was good, since there were people standing in line inside the store for the tv and computer when we got there at 10 (and they didn't go on sale until 5)
After Wal-Mart, we tried Toys R Us again. No more line outside, but there was an hour+ line to check out. We found the few things we wanted (none of which were big ticket items anyway, since the android thing was way gone) and hid them to come back later. We then cleaned out the car some by stopping at the restaurant, woke the rest of our crew up, and headed to Herberger's. We were supposed to meet my aunt, cousin and grandma there at 3. They were all very late, leading to us checking out by the time they arrived. This, unfortunately, was a trend that then continued for the rest of the day, leading us to not spend much time with them for the rest of the day. I didn't get anything for myself at Herberger's, but we got a lot for everyone else, I think 6 down comforters and two pillows.
We then hurried to Target (which was to open at 4), to stand in line for 30 minutes, because my mom was getting a tv. She was very excited about it. We hurried to the place where the tvs were supposed to be and there were three people holding onto the last two tvs. Mom asked where they got them and was told, "This is it." She went "Aww, damn it!" and turned to walk away. Then, not 20 seconds later, a woman walks up to the SAME WOMAN WE JUST TALKED TO, and says "Are you getting both of these?" And she says, "No, you can take this one." My mom practically flew into orbit. But yeah, we did not end up with a tv. They did, however, have lots of the digital camera that my cousin wanted, so we picked that up for her and then headed off to Shopko.
At Shopko I once again waited in line for a half hour, for it to open at 5. We were a bit less hurried on this trip, but managed to get everything that we wanted, mostly gifts for a lot of other people (that may or may not read this blog, hence the lack of specificity) and a bunch of prize booth prizes. Mom got a suitcase and gloves, but nothing exceptionally exciting. They were very efficient with their line that wound through the entire store, but moved very quickly.
We then went from there to Menards, which opened at 6, to meet up with the rest of our crew. They beat us there, and the store had been open a bit when we arrived. Holy mad house! I always thought Wal-Mart was bad...it had nothing on Menards. I guess I should have expected that though, since after going through all the ads, Menards was both my aunt's and our longest list of 'things to buy'. They had some crazy good deals. A lot of them on toys, which we grabbed a lot of. But yeah, at Menards, they had hardly any carts and everyone was just lugging around giant boxes and piles of things. My aunt had managed to corner two carts. She took one, and promptly filled it to 3x it's recommended capacity. My grandma had the other and we went immediately to meet with her so we could use that cart for our list of stuff. She was already in the very long check out line. So, I left her, my mother and my littler cousin to push the cart, a shop vac, and the cousin's two bean bag chairs through the line and I ran all over the store, grabbing whatever I could find off of our list and bringing it back to them. It worked pretty well and I got most of the things we wanted. We got waaaay too many things for me to list them all, but just as an example...they had boxes of christmas cards (cute ones too) for $.77....$.77! But yeah, many good deals there. My cousin got completely fed up with my aunt by the end of that trip, because she was doing the same thing as I was, only it took them twice as long to get out of the store.
After we left, and while they were still trying to check out there, my mom and I managed to run all the prizes back to Peppy's, show my dad everything we got, and go back to Wal-Mart. I had somehow forgotten 2 jackets, and we apparently needed more remote control trucks. We then sent the walmart associates on a wild goosechase for a dump truck that was supposed to be a 5am doorbuster.... so we thought. Well, no, it was, just it was a doorbuster at Toys R Us, not Walmart. Oops!
Then we all stopped for breakfast. Usually we don't do that until 10:30 or 11, but this year, since we started so much earlier, we ran out of steam around 8am. We went to Perkins, had a lovely half hour of sitting and relaxing, then had to run home and take care of the baby. My brother was willing to watch him, but refused to change diapers, and then run a quick errand for my dad. We then met everyone back at Herbergers to do some more leisurely clothes shopping. At least, that was the plan, except that we had Pickle with us, and shopping with Pickle is everything but leisurely. He was very cranky and we'd forgotten his stroller and he kept running off and getting into everything and would cry if we held him too long, and guh. Anyway, it became a very short trip, but we finished up our present buying. Then we made a short stop at Toys R Us. Our hidden toys were still there! Looked for the dump truck, which we couldn't find, and then headed home.
I think we made it home around 11:30, where we promptly passed out for three hours.
I'm hoping to do a little more shopping over the course of the weekend. Mom still needs a tv, maybe cyber Monday? And I have a coupon for Kohl's, which I didn't manage to make it to today. I need a couple more pairs of jeans, so I'll probably do that tomorrow.
But yeah, Black Friday is exhausting, but we had fun. =)
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