My earliest memories of Black Friday started way back when I was just a kid. My dad has always been an avid Black Friday shopper and I can remember BEGGING him every year to let me come with him. He always told me I wouldn’t be up early enough to come along, and I never was. Once I was old enough, I couldn’t wait to make my own Black Friday memories.
The evolution of Black Friday.
Many years ago, it was typical for Black Friday to be on, you guessed it… Friday. In the last several years though, stores started opening on Thanksgiving Day to get ahead of their competitors. Places like Target, Walmart, and JCPenney would open sometime in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, promising good deals and low prices for sought out items like flat-screen TVs and other electronics.
Recently though, stores seem to be boycotting opening up on Thanksgiving. I think that’s a good thing. Although there were many years when I would go out Black Friday shopping late at night, I would never think about missing Thanksgiving with my family. Working retail in high school and college, I remember the crazy Black Friday hours well. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to miss out on Thanksgiving dinner to work a Black Friday sale.
Lately, I have noticed that Black Friday doesn’t seem as busy as it used to be. I love Target Drive Up and Amazon Prime just as much as everyone else, but with the world of online shopping, things are different. Brick and mortar stores are closing frequently and I’m afraid Black Friday will become a thing of the past. It makes me a little sad to walk through stores on what should be the busiest day of the year, and have it seem just like any other day. A tradition and a day with my girls that I always look forward to, may one day, not even exist.
There are many reasons why I am so fond of Black Friday.
I love how Black Friday seems to kick off the holiday season. It’s in that one day that life transitions from the fall season to the Christmas season. This day starts the Christmas season for me and I look forward to it all year long. In my family, Thanksgiving weekend is a busy one, usually full of food, family celebrations, and traditions, one of which is Black Friday shopping.
There is just something about going shopping on Black Friday when you should be home in bed. For me, it always felt like the equivalent of having ice cream for dinner or having a sleepover on a school night. Going shopping so early in the morning or late at night while it’s still dark out is kind of taboo when you think about it. And that has always made it so fun.
Black Friday has evolved a lot for me, over the years as well.
I remember the years where after Thanksgiving dinner was over, my family would be making ourselves little turkey sandwiches using the leftover turkey and rolls, flipping through the Black Friday ads plotting out our night. I have such fond memories of my family getting together for Thanksgiving. All of us eating too much food, teasing and laughing with cousins, sometimes playing cards. Going out late at night to go shopping just extended the holiday for me. It meant that Thanksgiving didn’t have to end.
Black Friday shopping has evolved into a yearly tradition for my sister and I and one of our best friends from high school. We’ve been doing this for years and it has become so much more than going shopping and scoring some good deals. As adults, we don’t get to hang out together as often as we would like. We are all busy with our jobs and our own families so this is always a day we know we will spend together. I love that Black Friday has a way of bringing us together.
As we have gotten older and started our own families, things have changed a little bit. We don’t usually go out shopping late at night anymore. After dragging a baby to multiple thanksgiving celebrations all day long, I practically fall into bed at night. BUT, you can bet you will see the 3 of us setting our alarms for 5 am, getting breakfast and coffee together, and shopping our hearts out all day long.
Make the time for new traditions, or to keep the old ones.
This is a crazy time of year. There are family celebrations to attend, cooking to do, and memories to make. I urge you to join me in making some Black Friday memories. Get your girlfriends together for a morning of breakfast and shopping, support our local malls and department stores. Spend the day picking out gifts for your loved ones and getting yourself in the holiday spirit. It may just become a tradition you look forward to all year long.