My “Reverse” Black Friday

This pre-Thanksgiving year is the time in which the internet seems to be abuzz with what various retailers are going to have on steep discount on “Black Friday” in order to get people in the door.

For those not from the United States, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that occurs on the fourth Thursday in November, roughly one month before Christmas. “Black Friday” is the nickname given to the day after Thanksgiving, which many people take off of work in order to travel and enjoy time with family. Because so many people are off of work and the holiday season is approaching, that day is often seen as the “kickoff” for Christmas shopping and many retailers offer steep discounts to get their holiday season sales numbers off in the right direction.

Several times a day, I have an email from a PR firm telling me all about the latest Black Friday deals. As I browse across the web, I see countless articles telling me all about the things on sale on Black Friday.

And, frankly, I don’t care all that much.

Yes, I utilize Black Friday for part of my holiday shopping, but I do it in a way that’s essentially the “reverse” of all of this.

My first step in the process actually started long before now. I drew up my Christmas list several months ago and put some thought into what each person would like for a Christmas gift. What sorts of things would this person actually like? I actually wound up making a small item list for each person on my list.

At that point, I started watching for sales, making homemade gifts, and slowly eliminating (or partially eliminating) people from my list. If I had a complete gift for them, I crossed them off. If I had a partial gift for them, I eliminated some of the items on their list.

At this point in the year, I only have a handful of potential things that I might actually buy, which is where Black Friday comes in.

Starting with my list, I scan the Black Friday ads using online services like BlackFriday.com.

An example: someone on my Christmas list has a very high likelihood of receiving the Toy Story 3 DVD/Blu-ray combo as a gift this year. Knowing that, I start searching the Black Friday ads for Toy Story 3 until I find that some retailers are selling it for as low as $9 on that day.

Another example: I’m helping someone look for an Amazon Kindle as a Christmas gift, an item I might be contributing a small amount to. Thus, I can use Black Friday ads in advance to find which store is going to have the best bargain on a Kindle, saving $40 or maybe even more.

This doesn’t work for everything, of course, but it works for enough items that I’ll likely save a significant amount of money on Black Friday, either out in the stores or on the ‘net.

Why do it this way? There are several reasons.

First, by starting with the list, I’m thinking of the person first. If I look at a Black Friday ad without any goal in mind, I’m quite prone to convincing myself that someone on my list will want “sale item X,” which they may or may not want at all. By doing it the other way around, I’m ensuring my list contains items that will actually bring joy to the recipient, not just ways to make Black Friday fun for me.

Second, since I have a list of items already, using the Black Friday flyers in this way is basically the same thrifty technique I use for weekly grocery shopping. I have a list, I hit the flyers, I develop a plan, and then I shop – with a shopping list in hand, of course. This process works because it makes you do all of the decision making (or almost all of it) outside the store before you even go inside and be tempted by the sales and displays and marketing.

Here’s a tip for you all: make your Christmas list before you even look at a Black Friday ad. Come up with gift ideas you think people will really like – or even several ideas per person. Then, hit the ads and see if you can find any matches which will enable you to save some cash this holiday season.

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49 thoughts on “My “Reverse” Black Friday

  1. kjc says:

    “Thus, I can use Black Friday ads in advance to find which store is going to have the best bargain on a Kindle, saving $40 or maybe even more.”

    If you’re buying a new Kindle, isn’t it sold ONLY at Amazon??

  2. Katie says:

    I think it’s at Target and maybe Best Buy too. But Google didn’t turn up any Black Friday deals on it for me. Any pointers? This is what I’m planning to get my parents.

  3. Jenny says:

    From a recipient’s perspective, I think this is a good approach. My husband and I don’t shop on Black Friday–it makes me so anxious and sad to see people grabbing for stuff it’s not worth it, but we do receive lots and lots of gifts that it’s obvious the givers got great deals on. Frequently there will be ten or more of these gifts, and one of each will be given to everyone in the family. Honestly, I’d rather only get one or two things I really needed. I’d rather if people didn’t spend a fortune on me. I know it feels great to get a good deal, but I’d rather if they saved their money, or donated the excess to charity, or something. So good advice. Don’t get too excited and lose your head on Black Friday.

  4. Nick says:

    I will continue to boycott ‘Black Friday’ and celebrate ‘Buy Nothing Day’ instead. I think it is the ultimate display of how our culture has become enamored with consumerism and materialism. Especially when crowds of people will trample and kill store employees just so that they can get a great deal on a Tickle-me Elmo.

  5. kjc says:

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain you can only buy a Kindle at Amazon. Target and Best Buy sell Kindle accessories. Here’s the statement regarding Kindle at BestBuy.com –

    “Although the Kindle is not available for purchase on BestBuy.com, you can shop for Kindle accessories.”

    The latest gen Kindle is $139 at Amazon.

  6. Tricia says:

    “Buy Nothing Day” I love that idea!

  7. rosa rugosa says:

    I’m with Nick! I now think of it as Jdimitai Damour day, and I make a point of not spending anything. I usually pot up amaryllis bulbs in my basement the day after Thanksgiving.

  8. kjc says:

    Sorry, I was wrong – you can buy the Kindle at Best Buy stores – but not at BestBuy.com I imagine that pricing on the Kindle is very consistent, no matter where you buy it.

  9. kristine says:

    I am done with my Christmas shopping long before Black Friday, on purpose. No temptations! Almost everything sold on Black Friday is a luxury item. I try to give practical, special gifts anyway.

  10. jim says:

    There was a news story in Sept. saying that Best Buy would start selling Kindles “this Fall”. I don’t know if they have them in stock yet.

  11. Daddy Paul says:

    I look at Black Friday as a way to make money.
    I enjoyed your article.

  12. Kate says:

    Is there something wrong with me that I don’t buy Christmas presents for very many people and I don’t really care if I get any? I would much rather have someone donate money to a worthy organization.

  13. Tricia says:

    I work in health care, I will be working on Black Friday… I switched with a co-worker, who wanted it off to go shopping! I agree too, that BF items tend to be luxury items.

  14. LeahGG says:

    When I lived in the US, we usually avoided shopping on Black Friday – crowds, noise, annoyance, and everything stays on sale afterwards anyway. “Black Friday” was one of those nice days when everyone was home and we had plenty of leftovers so no one had to cook.

  15. Here are my thoughts about the holiday season (taken from my latest article on my blog…yes, shameless plug):

    Before we know it, many of us will be sitting around the Christmas tree opening countless gifts from friends and family. If we’re lucky, someone will have read our wish list and whatever it is that we’ve lusted over for the past couple of months will be among the pile of presents. We’ll tear through the carefully wrapped paper in anticipation and squeal with glee when we finally find that piece of plastic we’ve been waiting for. And when the chaos of opening presents has finally subsided, the floor littered with the dead remains of wrapping paper, we’ll feel like we’ve just had a great orgasm; both exhausted and satisfied.

    Is the meaning of Christmas to just buy a bunch of $h-it for each other?

    Over the years I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the holiday season. Mindless consumption. Thoughtless gifts. Excessive spending. A complete lack of gratitude. Have you ever asked yourself why you’re even buying gifts in first place? Is it out of obligation? Social pressure? A desire to conform? A need to create an image? Do you feel that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without gifts under the tree?

    Can you even remember what gifts you received last year for Christmas? And from whom you got them?

    This year I’d like to try something different. Instead of the usual orgy of presents under the tree, I’d like to convince everyone within my circle of influence (that means you!) to celebrate the holiday season in an unorthodox way, without presents for each other. My hope for this Christmas is that I can dismantle the “circle of giving” and instead convince my family to pool our money together to buy a cow for a family in Africa.

    Tonight was the first time word of my plan reached ears other than our own as Erin shared the idea with her family. I was disappointed to hear that the suggestion of buying a cow was somehow so absurd that the person on the other end of the phone couldn’t stop laughing and had to pass the phone on to someone else.

    I have to be honest and say that I’m not sure how buying a cow for a family in need is anymore ridiculous than buying scented candles or any other thoughtless gift for someone who probably isn’t going to appreciate it anyway. It’s only ridiculous because we haven’t stopped to question our traditions.

    Wouldn’t joining together as a family to make a difference in the lives of total strangers be more in line with the true spirit of Christmas than buying each other cheap gifts from the mall?

  16. Kris says:

    Re: kindle, just wondered if you thought about a Nook from barnes and nobles? My husband just bought one for me (after much research between the two) and decided the Nook was more for me since you can borrow ebooks from the library online for it. The kindle doesn’t allow for that. I have to admit, as a instrument in frugality the Nook is pretty much awesome since I can borrow almost anything I want and download it straight to my Nook from the comfort of my own home. I would never use the kindle if I had to buy the books for it; I’m too cheap.
    I sound like an ad for the Nook. Sorry. But I really like it!

  17. George says:

    Ummm … You can only buy an Amazon Kindle (that is new) from AMAZON. Black Friday ads won’t help you there.

    The quality of your posts have gone seriously down hill.

  18. michael bash says:

    I”m sorry, but why do you assume I’m interested in your Christmas shopping? If you want help from me, let me know in a more formal way.

  19. Janis says:

    Black Friday seems the antithesis of Thanksgiving to me. I mean, we will have just celebrated a day of family togetherness, counting our various blessings and feeling grateful for all that we have, and then the next day we’re supposed to go out amongst the hordes in what feels to me like a soul-killing exercise in grabbing and grubbing for things we don’t need. Not for me, thanks, not even online, not even for gifts. Instead, I, too, celebrate Buy Nothing Day. On Friday – indeed, for the whole weekend – I try to extend that wonderful feeling of Thanksgiving. And, if I feel the need to socialize after the guests have gone, my local yarn shop has a “knit in” planned for the entire day (no purchases required). I can sit with friends, chat about our Thanksgiving day, nosh on leftovers and knit. Some of the items that I knit will become gifts, others will be donated to the needy. All will be knit and given in the true spirit of the season.

  20. deRuiter says:

    We’ve done away with Christmas gifts entirely (no small children in the family, that’s different.) Instead, we get together with friends or family, often at a restaurant, with each person paying his / her own way. This had removed so much stress from the holiday season that it’s become a joy once more. There’s no coping with unwanted gifts, no returning the wrong things, no frantic shopping, no buying him “something” because he always gives us “something.” A “no gifts, thank you” policy cuts down on the junk you have to peddle at yard sales in the spring, too. This gives us the time to actually pay attention to the other person, without interruptions. We use “buy one, get one free” coupons, other discount coupons, and use the credit card (balance paid in full each month) to harvest airline miles. Sometimes we cook at home and entertain for the holidays, usually a big party and some smaller get togethers, and we serve a lot of food which we raised in the garden. We concentrate on people, not stuff. I’ve trained all our circle that we don’t give gifts, and don’t take gifts, and this has removed a lot of pressure for all concerned. Our holidays are happier, there’s no January bill hangover, there’s no clutter of unwanted stuff, the environment hasn’t been needlessly stripped of resources for things we don’t want / need, and the American balance of trade is better off because we didn’t buy a lot of foreign things to enrich other countries and damage the american balance of trade. Holdiays should be about people, not stuff! This attitude allows us to enjoy Black Friday at home, nibbling on leftovers, cleaning the house, doing laundry, reading a book, loafing if we wish, all relaxing activities, some productive, some merely entertaining. We often use some time Black Friday to decorate the exterior of the house, because the Christmas season has officially begun. If someone wants to give me a jar of homemade preserves or home baked cookies over the holiday season, or any time, I accept with pleasure.

  21. deRuiter says:

    #15 Steven, Why a cow in Africa? In case you haven’t noticed food stamp use has soared in America, Americans are being made homeless by the economy, becoming jobless, living in their cars because they’ve lost their houses, have no money for gifts for many AMERICAN children, no money for a nice Christmas dinner or new clothing. I’d let the Africans take care of African children, along with the generous aid America showers on Africa every year including over a million dollars of stimulus money (read your tax dollars) to teach Somali men to wash their penises after sex. Instead give charity closer to home. No wonder your family was laughing about giving a cow to Africans, when American are in such desperate need. The cow would only damage the environment in Africa, pollute by passing methane gas, eat the grass and cause the desert to enlarge, destroy the African ecocystem. Give your money to help a fellow American in need and help our balance of trade at the same time.

  22. Gretchen says:

    Buy nothing day (as noted above) is the reverse of BF.

    What you are doing is just planning.

  23. Nancy says:

    My teen/young adult children plan their Christmas lists well in advance. Almost every thing on those lists are things they REALLY want/need. The money spent each year is around $100 per person, so second hand tends to be what we buy. Black Friday helps to round out their spending. They bundle up and go as a group with CASH in hand and finish out the lists for each other. Each dollar is already accounted for. I’m not invited, and make a brunch for them when they come home. If things are wrapped that day, they tend to forget what is in each package, and are “surprised” on Christmas day.

    If a child doesn’t find or have a specific need/want, they receive cash to spend throughout the year to purchase those later needs/wants. Right now, 2 of the 3 will most likely receive $65 of the $100 I spend. They are OK with that, because they know that stuff is just that…stuff to be responsible for, that may not enhance their lives.

  24. Johanna says:

    My family’s Thanksgiving weekend tradition doesn’t include Black Friday shopping, but for those that do, Trent’s plan certainly makes sense.

    @Steven Hundredgoals: “Can you even remember what gifts you received last year for Christmas? And from whom you got them?”

    Yes and yes.

    “I have to be honest and say that I’m not sure how buying a cow for a family in need is anymore ridiculous than buying scented candles or any other thoughtless gift for someone who probably isn’t going to appreciate it anyway.”

    If you’re giving your loved ones thoughtless gifts, have you tried giving thoughtful gifts instead? Just a silly little idea I had.

  25. Wesley says:

    I’m not sure why people think that the Kindle won’t be on sale since it is only sold at Amazon.

    Last year Amazon price matched just about every Black Friday sale at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and all the other big retailers. Best Buy is having the Nook for $99 this year, so I would say it is likely that Amazon will have a Kindle for $99 as well.

    And also while I agree most Black Friday stuff is luxury stuff, I know last year I basically got everything I needed for my kitchen (moved out of the dorms in college) at really good prices. And it was all stuff like cups and plates.

    So basically what I am saying is that if you are looking for functional stuff for people for Christmas, you should take a look around Amazon because A. they have sales in every category and B. they do a ton of price matching so no waiting in the cold.

  26. Mary says:

    I like the idea of Buy Nothing day. However, for me, going Black Friday shopping is a social event, and as much temptation there is going to stores and seeing damn good ‘steals’, and while they do tend to be luxury items, the reason I go isn’t just because of that. This year I’m going with my boyfriend, after the last 2 years not being able to go together because we had to go our separate ways for Thanksgiving. It means a lot to me. It’s a social aspect of getting up early, going to the stores and watching others racing to get their wish list items. Call me crazy, but it’s fun! Must be a competitive thing that I like about it. :)

    I always ask people what they really want first. One example is my boyfriend. We’re planning a trip to Glacier NP next summer, and I’ve decided to get him our 7-day entrance fee to the park (I printed a lil sheet with pictures of Glacier on it, stating this, enclosed with a $25 check), and a $5 magnet I found online. A very thoughtful gift, and I know that is exactly what’s on his mind for next year.

    I’ve set aside $100 cash for Xmas shopping, for everyone. When it’s gone, it’s gone. No need to worry about Christmas wrap/bags though – I’ve got a huge stack from previous years in a container.

  27. Aerin says:

    #21 deRuiter – Perhaps instead of jumping all over Steven and complaining that his charitable donations aren’t patriotic enough, and then displaying your nasty xenophobic ignorance, you could look at the SPIRIT of Steven’s intentions and give some constructive thought to what he’s saying. In a world with so many people in desperate need, perhaps we, the wealthiest 1% on the planet, could take a break from our orgies of consumption and direct that portion of our disposable income to a fellow human being who does not have access to sufficient food, or clean water, or a basic education. There are plenty of needy people and worthy charities out there, no need to get hung up on “OMGIHATEFOREIGNERSUSAUSA!”

    Also, there are lots and lots of people on the iterwebs who speak English who are not Americans. Why do you assume Steven is American? I’m not. Maybe he isn’t either.

  28. Aerin says:

    *interwebs* Dammit.

  29. deRuiter: I believe in the human race, regardless of borders. The people sleeping in cars in the United States are STILL better off than the people in Africa. Sorry.

  30. Andrew says:

    I am of many minds about this. The orgy of Christmas consumerism really is disgusting–and antithetical to what the spirit of the season is supposed to be. Black Friday itself, with its rampaging mobs trampling people to death as they search for the latest soon-to-be-outdated piece of electronic crap, is particularly loathsome.

    However, there is something smug and killjoy about those people who plan their Christmas shopping months in advance and budget it down to the penny–especially if there is no overwhelming economic need for them to do so. They leave themselves no room for serendipity–stumbling across the absolute perfect item for a friend or family member.

    There is also something irredeemably smug about those who would restrict the holiday giving of other people to charitable donations. Forced charity is not true charity–it is a chore, something to be accomplished quickly and forgotten about. No one should give money to anything so that someone ELSE can feel better about himself / herself and pretend that he/she is a good person.

    The solution? Enjoy yourself. Let the wonder of the the Christmas message inspire you. Don’t let either the hucksters or the self-righteous make you crazy.

  31. jim says:

    “The cow would only damage the environment in Africa, pollute by passing methane gas, eat the grass and cause the desert to enlarge, destroy the African ecocystem.”

    Gee I”m so glad we’ve never had those evil cows here in America. Just think how awful our country would be if we’d let cows ruin it!!

  32. Aerin says:

    #30 Andrew – how is ASKING family if they would like to make charitable donations instead of exchanging gifts “irredeemably smug”? Steven never said he was going to insist on it, or make donations in lieu of gifts even if the recipient didn’t want to change the gift-giving traditions. I don’t see anything wrong with asking, as long as you are ready to accept “no” as the answer.

    I’ve had people suggest a change in traditions, and I did not label them as smug or killjoys. I have had friends and family suggest that we stop exchanging gifts, or that we draw a name from a hat instead of buying for every person. I’ve suggested to others that we make donations instead of buying gifts. Some people welcomed the changes, some preferred to leave things as they are. No one was ignoring the spirit of the season or wallowing in self-righteousness.

  33. SLCCOM says:

    Well, the mood is certainly turning “black!” Let’s knock off knocking each other and just wish one another a wonderful holiday season filled with just what it is that give you joy!

  34. GJW says:

    A book that is a great read regarding consumerism and Christmas is Scroogenomics by Joel Waldfogel. It will really give you a new and clear perspective on holiday giving and spending.

  35. kristine says:

    Andrew, planning in advance (I use an excel doc) does not kill the serendipity if you approach it this way:

    I have limited resources, and a basic amount of what I can afford to spend for each gift recipient. I carry that list in my wallet. When I see something a specific someone might love- I get it!

    Sometimes it is a bit over, sometimes it is a bit under. Overall, I come in under budget, because often I get an idea of something I want to make for someone, and that requires a lot of generosity with time, but very little money.

    Having a full year (I start on the new year) allows for thoughtful meaningful gifts for all my recipients- no rushing or burn-out. I enjoy taking my time, and even so, I usually finish shopping in September, just because I have run out of people on my list!

    In extremely lean years, having a very small gift budget has ended up with some of the most creative and memorable gifts I have ever given. It is a fun challenge, and it always reminds me of the snowed in Christmas on Little House on the Prairie!

    There is indeed, a way to marry tight budgeting, thoughtfulness, generosity, and serendipity. And the best part is, that there is no holiday stress at all. Just relaxing and family, from Halloween till New Year.

    Oh, and by keeping track of what has been bought in an excel doc, I avoid repeat or too-similar gifts from year to year. Not that it matters, but I like to challenge myself to surprise people from year to year.

    My one exception is the 100 for my childrens’ big gifts. I have learned from experience that teens can change their minds in a month’s span. I’ll get their one special thing (aside from socks and such) for them in late Nov or Dec., but never on Black Friday- not our kind of merch anyway.

  36. Andrew says:

    Kristine–Your post is excellent. It seems that you have reached a nice equilibrium. I was referring to people–and they do exist–who have the means and the time to let their imagination wander when it comes to gifts, yet refuse to do so. Not only at Xmas, but throughout the year, these people adhere to rigid timelines, schedules, and budgets, and in so doing destroy any possibility of creativity, adventure and fun.

    Aerin–I did not mean to imply that all charitable endeavors–even shared ones, are bad. I was simply referring, again, to a small set of self-righteous folks who take pleasure in imagining themselves morally superior to others. The type who would suggest charitable giving as an alternative to Xmas presents, and who then would make it clear, through raised eyebrows or pursed lips, that you had damned well better comply or be thought of as selfish and damned. apologies if I was unclear.

    SLCCOm–you are right! Everyone should relax and enjoy these times. We only get so many, and they go so fast–

  37. Julia says:

    Most years I don’t even leave the house on Black Friday. Last year I really needed a new coat. I thought I could get a good deal by going on Black Friday. So at about 11pm on Thanksgiving I went down to an outlet coat store. I was there for maybe 10 minutes before I gave up. A few days later I found a reasonably priced coat that was exactly like I was looking for at another store.

    I see no point at all joining the herd at the Black Friday zoo.

  38. Aerin says:

    #36 Andrew – I appreciate the clarification. I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone that I have a lock on the “right” way to celebrate the holidays.

    It’s a tricky thing to navigate, because people often unconciously attach and ascribe a lot of emotions and motives to gift-giving. One example is the first Christmas gift exchange between a new couple. Anyone who’s been through that knows the potential for hurt feelings due to mismatched expectations.

    I know that when I express a preference for charitable donations instead of gifts, or even when I suggest that I prefer not to participate in the holiday shopping frenzy, some people have instead interpreted it as “I hate Christmas, I hate the baby Jesus, I hate your gifts, and I hate you.”

    I often feel like I’m held hostage by consumerism and tradition. It’s a real minefield to suggest any changes in gift-giving, with huge potential for hurt feelings. If the other person doesn’t want to make a change, then I’m the Christmas killjoy. “Smug” and “self-righteous” are subjective, not objective, labels, and it’s impossible to defend myself – how can I possible prove that I’m NOT self-righteous? I can’t, so I continue to participate in gift exchanges I don’t enjoy just so I don’t “ruin it for everyone else”.

    My in-laws are a perfect example – I would like to just buy for the kids, but my sister-in-law won’t go for it. So the adults do a gift exchange of $100 gift cards. It has to be gift cards because several of the recipients are the type to complain if a gift is not exactly what they wanted. I’ve suggested privately to my husband that we could all just sit in a circle and pass a $100 bill to the person on our right, but instead I get a gift card to a store I probably wouldn’t choose to spend $100 at on my own.

    I suggested (gently and nicely)that we scale down or change the gift exchange, and it was not well-received. All of this is a long-winded explanation of why I’m sensitive to comments like “smug”. For some people, even the *suggestion* that the shopping and gifts could be scaled back or eliminated is met with a “so you think you’re better than me?” attitude.

    I honestly don’t want “stuff”. The things I would like and don’t have are more expensive than I could reasonable expect anyone but my husband to purchase. I love receiving homemade gifts, but not everyone has the time or inclination to make things. I am never anything but gracious when receiving a gift, but when asked what I would like I can truly say I would prefer a donation to a charity over anything from a store. I’ve been told, by several people, that this is the wrong answer and that I’m taking the fun out of Christmas. I would love it if someone bought a cow for a family in Africa instead of getting me a present!

  39. almost there says:

    Last year we didn’t give any gifts. Just took the money that we would have spent and donated it to the foundation run by my credit union to help build a home for disabled servicemember’s families to stay at. We tried the BF thing a dozen years ago and it wasn’t worth standing in line in the freezing cold. Shopping bots beat shopping on foot any day of the week.

  40. kristine says:

    Aerin,

    …when I suggest that I prefer not to participate in the holiday shopping frenzy, some people have instead interpreted it as “I hate Christmas, I hate the baby Jesus, I hate your gifts, and I hate you.”

    You made me laugh out loud!

  41. Sandy says:

    This is a fascinating thread!
    I don’t see any reason why adults need to give each other Xmas gifts at all. Ok maybe its fine for partners and to give to your kids etc, but certainly not friends and extended family. It really just gets ridiculous.
    My sister in law ( now ex, thank god..) used to turn up at the family Christmases every year with gifts for all the kids, even though we agreed not to beforehand. It would ruin the day for me as I would be embarrassed.

  42. Great tips.

    By doing it the traditional way, I fear that many people end up with a bunch of stuff that they probably got great deals on, but probably don’t need as well.

    Therefore, was it a bargain after all, or not?

  43. imelda says:

    Here for Jdimytai Damour.

    I used to do all my shopping on Black Friday and Christmas Eve, because I loved the Christmassy rush of the crowds. No longer. Ever since they trampled that man to death I’ve seen the horror in our annual one-day buying frenzy. After what happened to Damou, I can’t believe the stores are still allowed to hold sales like that.

    It’s Buy Nothing Day for me, too, from now on.

  44. MK says:

    P.S. – To those saying black friday “is a way to make money” DUH! Where do you think the name sake comes from? Black friday is the day that most retailers would finally see their books going from red into the BLACK. This was typically the time that they would actually start making a profit after purchasing merchandise and advertising all year. Not that this statement holds true much anymore, but that is why the day after thanksgiving was coined in such a way…

  45. kristine says:

    MK- a way to make money, in this thread, may refer to buying up the retail doorbusters, then reselling immediately on ebay or Craigslist when the sale is over, and the store shelves are wiped out. Kind of like scalping. Not exactly in the holiday spirit, IMHO.

  46. Andrew says:

    Aerin– “I’ve suggested privately to my husband that we could all just sit in a circle and pass a $100 bill to the person on our right”

    You captured my feelings baout gift cards exactly!

  47. Andrew says:

    Baout! I meant “about” of course.

    Maybe someone should give me typing lessons for Christmas–

  48. Sara says:

    I hate shopping and I despise crowds; the thought of shopping on Black Friday makes me twitch! It does make me feel a little sad to pass up the great deals, but I have worked every Black Friday in the last 4 years (which is a company holiday, so I get double time and a half), which gives me a reason not to shop and more than makes up for any money I would save. I do all my gift shopping online now.

    That said, I don’t see what’s wrong with using sales for gift ideas. I buy gifts only for my parents and siblings, so I have a limited gift list. If I were to see a sale on something one of them would like (especially if it’s something that would be out of my price range at regular price), I would buy it and use it as my gift to that person.

  49. jgonzales says:

    I admit, I skipped over most of the comments after number 15, so if this has been said already, forgive me.

    1. Target and Best Buy stores (not online) sell new Kindles. I’m not sure if they are latest generation but I do know that not on sale the Kindle runs for about $140 at either store.

    2. Don’t overlook the sales right now in favor of the Black Friday sales. There has been a lot in the media about this, but I just want to remind everyone. For example, my daughter has a Leapster (an educational hand held gaming system). Games usually run for about $25 each. Target has games on sale right now for $13 each but only until the day before Thanksgiving. There is a $5 coupon out there (don’t have the link on hand but you can search for Leapster coupon) so I’m able to buy multiple games for my daughter at $8 each. I’m hitting the store tomorrow to buy at least 2 different games for her, maybe 3.

    And Steve, I do remember the gifts I got last year, each and every one of them and they all still mean something to me and get used regularly.

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