It has become a national tradition to spend Thanksgiving morning pouring over newspaper and online ads looking at Black Friday deals. The next morning, moms get up at the crack of dawn to line up for sales on the season’s hottest items. While the marketing screams that there are deals to be had, you won’t see me out shopping this Black Friday.
It seems like before the Halloween candy even left the shelf, winter holiday displays were put center stage at stores. We’re flooded with gift ideas, coordinating family pajamas, and “T-minus ____ days left” warnings about Christmas. This creates anxiety and a need to buy. And why not jump into the holiday season the first day it begins, right?
Because Black Friday deals are not worth it.
Now, I love a good deal as much as the next person. I clip coupons, follow sales, and belong to rewards clubs. I look for ways to stretch my money and put time into planning how to give my kids a happy Christmas. But throwing elbows in manic crowds isn’t going to do that.
Thanksgiving day is a time to be thankful for all we have. Hours later, we’re lining up for 15% off our purchase. Stores offer door buster items with a first come, first served policy. Therefore people rush, push, and, as evidenced by viral Youtube videos, fight, for limited stock. While an item’s advertised price may be attractive, I am going to focus on the love of my family and the blessings I already have and keep my stress low.
The Importance of Time
Shopping requires driving a car. With lines out the door, parking is at a premium. I don’t want to spend my holiday weekend driving circles in mall parking garages trying to race charging SUVs for tiny parking spaces. My time is better spent with those I love and enjoying time off of work.
There are roughly 33 days this year between Black Friday and Christmas morning. That period of time covers one credit card payment. For any items buyers are putting on credit, they’re paying for it before the holiday or accumulating interest on their balance, which can cancel out money saved.
And while one item may be on super sale, other items store offer may in fact be higher. In the rush of getting my shopping done, I don’t want to mindlessly purchase marked up items.
Not Always the Latest and Greatest
Some stores, especially clothing stores, empty their stock during Black Friday and replace it with new stock the next week. What consumers buy isn’t the newest item available. These items were already going to be on a sale, and I don’t have to fly out the door to get to the store on Black Friday.
This holiday season, I’ll be shopping in my pajamas on my computer. Any physical items I need to pick up will be done so on a random Tuesday away from crowds. And I’m going to remember what’s important this year – my family, our health, and already-existing happiness.