Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Friday

Having spent some time in retail in my 20’s, let me pass on a gem of knowledge to all you shoppers: there is nothing – nothing – that you can buy the day after Thanksgiving that won’t also be available three days before Christmas at a fraction of the cost. Nothing.

Macy’s will always sell that comforter set. Footlocker will always sell the best basketball shoe. And the Gap has bought so many black mock turtlenecks that they will be marked down to $6.97 on December 20th. The great sales that Wal-Mart, Target and Sears use to lure you in to their stores at 5:30 AM will be but mere markdowns when compared to the prices the panicked merchants will be setting just days before Christmas (‘cause they don’t want to be stuck with that crap the last week of December when their spring stuff is coming to the stores in two weeks).

I am not sure where this tradition started, but it invokes insanity with no comparison. After having to work a few Black Friday’s in my time, I always swore to never step foot in a store or shopping mall on that day again as a consumer. People are rude, pushy, loud and abrasive. They yell at you. And the whole “Well I don’t know what my child is going to do if she wakes up on Christmas morning and a “Bluey Chewy” (or whatever the hell is popular that year) isn’t under the tree for her!” Know what will happen? Your ungrateful child might be mad and might even cry. And if she does, you can consider yourself one of the worst parents in the world. Not because you didn’t get the toy, but because you placed so much emphasis on something that has little to no real value and in 5 months will come to mean nothing to your child anyway.

And another thing, leaving the Labor Day picnic to buy a sweater for Aunt Tillie is considered “shopping early”. Picking out a tie for Cousin Mel while paying for little Bobby’s Hallowe’en costume is “shopping early”. Not being able to get a savings bond for the new nephew because the banks are closed for Veterans’ Day is attempting to shop early, however even that is cutting it close. But putting the Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge after lunch and heading to the mall is not considered “getting a jump start”. If you are doing any holiday shopping in a store that is already selling holiday decorations, you are not shopping early. And mobbing the Hallmark store on December 26th in order to get next year’s wrapping paper is just plain pathetic.

5 comments:

  1. I confess to buying wrapping paper the day after Christmas- basically because I like the expensive papers and they are super cheap that day :(

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  2. "Know what will happen? Your ungrateful child might be mad and might even cry. And if she does, you can consider yourself one of the worst parents in the world. Not because you didn’t get the toy, but because you placed so much emphasis on something that has little to no real value and in 5 months will come to mean nothing to your child anyway."

    ZING! That's great.

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  3. >>>>>>>>
    Dop.....
    Bingo! You struck a nerve. We are in tandem on this one. The hair on the back of my neck curls when I walk into a COSTCO store out here in the middle of August...summer, can you believe it... only to see the beginnings of Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and ornaments. Hell, you can't even enjoy the traditional Labor Day barbeque first, the dressing antics and sweets of Halloween, the THANKSGIVING turkey. And they wonder why so many people tend to lose their interest in the the holidays.

    And 'kids losing interest in something within five months...' Nailed it baby!! But try 15 minutes. Hell, that's what I've seen my nieces and nephews do (not that they are ungrateful kids). They just plain get 'spinning' and overwhelmed at all the STUFF that is thrown at them. Cash for the ol' savings account spares me the headaches at the store. And if they don't understand cash on hand now, they will a few years later when they are older!!

    Got to love this topic...think we could all right a book abouut it.

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  4. I hate shopping in the morass that is "Black Friday" shoppers. I am amazed that people will camp out the night before or wake up ridiculously early to go spend their money. It's all nonsense. It's why I like online shopping so much... no crowds, they ship when they have it. The holidays are such a joke, a shadow of themselves in our materialistic society.

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  5. Excellent post. You rock.

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