Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator & Purdue Alumna
Let’s talk about the biggest holiday shopping day of the year. Black Friday. This day was originally known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season and has now become the biggest event of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend…after Thanksgiving, of course.
While the turkey is in the oven and Mom is madly mixing mashed potatoes and Dad and Uncle Joe are watching football, the ads for Black Friday sit on the table…waiting. There’s something in them for everyone! The annual Toys’R’Us ultimate wish list, the Macy’s blow-out sale and the Kohl’s early bird specials. And, best of all, in the past couple years these sales are now starting Thanksgiving Day! So now, right after Thanksgiving dinner you can change into your comfy pants and load everyone into your aunt’s minivan to go hit the sales, leaving the young and uninterested ones behind to fend for themselves on leftovers. And for those who aren’t interested in heading out Thanksgiving night, the 4AM sales still exist! Don’t feel like leaving the house? That’s fine! Cyber Monday now extends from Black Friday to the “traditional” Cyber Monday (aka the Monday after Thanksgiving)!
Regardless of how you’ll be spending your Thanksgiving weekend, here are some things to keep in mind in relation to your holiday shopping:
Everybody’s After the Same Deals
Don’t be that person who makes it on the news by tackling someone’s grandma (…or worse, really people?) for a slow cooker. It’s not worth it. Check out all the deals in your ads before heading out because chances are that more than one superstore in town has slow cookers on sale. Accept that you may not get what you want at the first store and move on. And, don’t forget you can always go back home and look for one online if you really can’t find it. Make a plan for when you go out shopping and have a goal for what you absolutely must have, then go for the wants. Split up to maximize your shopping potential.
Dedication for Sales
Every year in Lafayette there is a line that starts outside the local Best Buy at least 12 hours before the sale is going to start. These people will park themselves outside, regardless of rain/snow/sun, and wait because they really want to get that big screen/gaming system/laptop/tablet. Unless you are willing to be one of these people for one of the big ticket items, you can almost count on not getting that big ticket item. Only the dedicated will succeed (or the ones who find a similar deal online in the days after).
Thanksgiving is Not About the Sales
It’s about family and giving thanks for another great year. It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting good deals on presents for yourself and the ones you love, but it’s also about spending time with loved ones, not just buying them things. And sometimes these two things really do go hand-in-hand! I loved Black Friday shopping in my tweens because it was a family thing. My mom would wake up extra early to warm up the van, my sister slept in her clothes to maximize sleep time, and I barely slept out of excitement. We’d get to the local superstore and meet my mom’s best friend and her daughter, hit those sales and then travel down to Lafayette for the BIG shopping event: Toys’R’Us and the mall. And it was the first day that holiday music played on the radio.
I love the excitement and family time that comes with the Thanksgiving weekend, and that includes Black Friday! But, I think it’s important to keep family first still because the things that you buy don’t really matter as much as the memories you make with your family during the holidays.
So by all means, go get some deals this Thursday-Sunday, but don’t make it your absolute number one priority of the holiday.
Does your family have any fun traditions around Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Share below!