Did you go out shopping on Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Did you get the bargains you had hoped? Any problems?
Thanksgiving began as a celebration when the Pilgrims finally had a successful harvest, and they invited the Native Americans to share because they shared information with the Pilgrims. Since then, it became a day focused on food, love and gratitude.
I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving, with whatever traditions you chose to follow. For me there was always a feast, or at least my childish eyes thought there was more food than we could ever eat, but we always shared. We stayed around the house inside or out. I don’t think we ever shopped for Christmas, but maybe I just didn’t remember.
We still prepare fantastic feasts of turkey, ham, duck, chicken, pheasant and special side dishes, all to be shared with family, friends and even those who have little to eat. And we’re grateful for what we have.
Lately, however, Thanksgiving is often more about the meal, parades and football. For many, the priority on Thanksgiving weekend is getting a head start on Christmas shopping. As an adult I’ve learned about “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” the Thanksgiving season’s time for bargains and sales. Retailers have organized and advertised for the busiest shopping day of the year, that day after Thanksgiving. Purchases might be for Christmas gifts, household upgrades like new kitchen items or TV sets, books, vacation trips for the coming year, or almost anything. Black Friday was born.
My daughter-in-law, her sisters, and their kids spend Thanksgiving afternoon going through ads and making plans, like deciding the order of which stores to go in first, and where to go next, and with lists all ready. They are so organized, and are done with their shopping by Friday afternoon. Recently, I heard recommendations from a professional shopper, and the rules were exactly like my daughter-in-law does it. I am impressed.
News reports covering Black Friday over the past few years have included accident incidents when too many people vie for too few sale items. This year, sales and travel had to compete with protests. There is an option for people who do not want to venture into the stores. Cyber Monday provides sales for anyone who prefers to shop online.
I am embarrassed to say I heard about Small Business Saturday for the first time just last week, but the first year was 2010. I think this sounds great because it encourages shopping in small, local shops. This shopping day is the result of American Express promoting small business account holders. It benefits more than American Express accounts. I think it benefits communities everywhere. Thank you, American Express.
These few shopping days are the official beginning of Christmas shopping season. Malls, big department stores, small local shops, and online stores will have special sales throughout December. Everyone can choose what works best for them. Most of my shopping, wrapping, and delivery is online. I enjoy stores, especially those decorated for Christmas, but some stores product and lighting arrangement bothers my very fragile MS eyesight.
So here is the question this week: Did you go out shopping on Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Did you get the bargains you had hoped? Any problems?