Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday Soapbox on Tuesday

As I created the title for this article, I realized that the title alone gets the message across. But for clarity, I will explain.

Each year, consumers anticipate Black Friday as a day for shopping and bargains and fun and leftover turkey sandwiches slathered with mayo and topped with crispy lettuce. Yum.

The turkey sandwich is predictable, and usually so is the fun. But the shopping and bargains are left to the imagination until the Thursday paper arrives.

On Black Friday, it has become a casual tradition (definitely not set in stone) in our family that we - two sons, one future daughter-in-law, hubby and I - make an adventure of it, early, splitting up and going to different stores to get the early bird deals, and then meeting back up for breakfast or brunch. We sort through all the ads Thanksgiving night, and plot our plan. It's all part of the fun.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, my son sent me a link to The Black Friday, a Web site that hosts flyers from many major retailers, and most of them have already posted their Black Friday ads on this site. I know they are hoping to build up excitement, but it seems to take all the fun out of it. I've looked at the sales (yes, I could have NOT looked at them, but I couldn't resist) and I just don't see that there are many bargains.

Amazon.com seems to have as good or better deals - with some fun contests thrown in (In one of the contests, it may be possible to purchase a laptop for only $129!) - and their Black Friday sale start today. Black Friday sales on Tuesday. (We keep wondering why my days get all mixed up!)

We'll probably go for the experience - it is quite fun being out in the madness for a couple of hours anyway. Our shopping budget this year is tiny - practically non-existent - so we'll definitely just be window shopping. But it will still be fun. With the shape of the economy, I do wonder if there will be crowds at all.

What about you? Do you shop on Black Friday (or another day participating in the Black Friday sales)? Do you have traditions surrounding it? Share with us!

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