This last weekend, my Facebook feed was full of posts from friends announcing their abstention from the madness known as Black Friday. I admire these people, much as I admire my friends who run marathons or stick to hard diets. I wasn’t one of them.
With my mother, brother, and sister-in-law, I spent time on Thursday looking through the newspaper ads. After a day spent cooking, eating, nursing the baby, and playing tag with the older children, when night came, my mom and I headed out to the stores. And you know what? We had a great time. While there were a lot of shoppers out, most of them were pleasant and courteous. (Although granted, we avoided the big chain stores that tend to be the worst offenders in Black Friday craziness and stuck with an outlet mall that was hosting a “midnight madness” sale.)
I know that a lot of people have strong opinions about this commercialized post-Thanksgiving ritual. Some people love the rush of the hunt, of scoring an incredible deal. Others (like my husband) couldn’t be paid enough to brave the crowds. Still others don’t appreciate the over-commercialized focus of the rush, or the tendency of crazed shoppers to forget their apparent humanity.
For me, though, the ritual isn’t really about any of this. While I admit that my mom and I did find some great deals, what I enjoy most is the chance to spend one-on-one time with my mom. We talk about her work (she’s planning to retire soon) and my kids. We talk about concerns we share and hopes that we have. And we shop. Of course, there are probably other ways that we could spend quality time together, but this annual ritual is one that we enjoy, and one that works for us.
So. This is my confession: I shopped on Black Friday. And I enjoyed it.
What about you? What’s your take on Black Friday? Do you love it? Loathe it? Couldn’t care less?