We all have different things that we love about Thanksgiving.
Our holiday is spent with extended family at my sister’s house in Charlotte, NC; she loves having us all there. My sister and her husband are TINK’s (two income, no kids) so my children love reaping the benefits of their high tech electronics system. My mother loves coming back home to the south. My husband loves the big dinner (he often says that eating is a sport). My sister-in-law loves seeing her nieces and nephew. I love having the time to prepare for the next day.
I am one of those crazy women that shops on Black Friday.
For Thanksgiving Day in Charlotte, I will bring two things, pumpkin pie and my newspaper. After the meal is over and dishes cleaned up, I will spend the afternoon going through the newspaper, page by page. I will tear out ads and set aside circulars. I will create a list in a spiral notebook, being careful not to let anyone see it. I will have a plan before the day is over.
On Friday morning, the alarm will go off in the dark. While I am getting ready, the coffee will be brewing. My snacks will already be packed, and my coffee thermos will be filled to the rim. Depending on the type of store I have chosen to start with (never, ever Walmart-I am not that crazy) I will be standing in line, stamping my feet in the cold at 4:45am. I will not be alone.
A lot of Christmas spirit occurs in the early morning of Black Friday. In line with me will be mostly women. It will be mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. Everyone without exception will be wearing something Christmassy- a sweatshirt, socks, earrings, jewelry-sometimes all of these together. Everyone will have that sleepy-eyed morning look, but all will be excited as well. Most will be clutching circulars; many will also be reviewing lists and game plans. Although nobody will come out and say what they are in line for, most are friendly and engage in easy conversation with strangers. All are happy to be out, and the chatter in the line will reflect it. Late morning seems to be when the stress begins-I am long home by then.
The sales clerks are surprisingly cheerful at this time of the morning too. Maybe it’s because they know that the busyness will make their shifts go by quickly. Maybe they are responding to the early morning goodwill of the shoppers. Whatever the case may be, people will be smiling a lot and enjoying the holiday preparation in the early hours of Black Friday. This is what makes it worth it for me; this is where the fun begins.