Black Friday and What????
Everyone goes out the day after Thanksgiving to shop, be around the crowds, and have fun. I don’t remember if they called it Black Friday when I first started going shopping. I know some people don’t like to mix it up with all the people but it can be fun to get you in the spirit.
First you need to know what is going to be in the stores. I used to go get a newspaper on Thanksgiving Day. If I had the coins, I would go to a newspaper box. Then I started going to the Walmart Neighborhood Market. It was a short drive down the road. When I went the first time, I couldn’t believe how many people were doing their actual grocery shopping. Shouldn’t they have gotten those before the holiday? I grabbed the newspaper and went to the counter. This is the counter where you get lottery tickets and money orders. As I checked out, the line started forming behind me. The newspaper was fat. It was filled with probably 60 sales circulars. I started to pay and the woman behind me dropped her newspaper. All those ads went all over the floor. At the time, they were giving me back my change. Any other time, I would have gone down there and helped her, but I was afraid I would drop my paper and do the same thing. They hadn’t given me a bag. She was picking them up as I left.
It was a tradition with my Mom and me to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I can’t remember when we started it. When we lived in Melbourne (Florida for those that are new), we would travel to the Melbourne Square Mall. It’s a large mall with at least 100 stores. We would park at one end and walk through the first store to get into the inside of the mall. We’d walk the whole mall stopping at the stores we wanted to go into. There were a number of kiosks in the middle of the mall. We stopped one time and got ornaments that they personalized with our names. We always picked up our calendars at one of the kiosks. Each year we would look through all the choices trying to figure out what to get. They had hundreds of them. We each got one. Hickory Farms used to have a store in the mall, then they switched to a kiosk. We used to get beef stick, cheese balls, and petit-fours.
The earliest we ever showed up was 7 a.m. Anyone who goes on Thanksgiving or at midnight has to be crazy. Thanksgiving is for getting together with family that you haven’t seen in forever. Why you would want to shop on a holiday is unknown to me. And I’m not a midnight kind of person, at least not yet. There is nothing that I would want that bad to stand in line for hours on end.
The first store we would visit was J.C. Penney. One time, they were giving away a Disney globe for the first 100 customers. They had opened at 6 a.m. I heard a girl ask an employee whether they had any globes left. I told my Mom later, “Are you kidding me? Those suckers were probably gone within 5 minutes.” When people know there is free stuff, there’s no chance to get it unless you’re there when they open. We used to shop there all the time. That was our go-to store for most of the things we had in our closets. Whether it was shirts, jeans, or jewelry (not me, my Mom), we got them there. One year we saw a bunch of Peanuts t-shirts. They were Christmas-themed shirts with Snoopy and the gang. Suddenly, this became a new tradition. Every year, they would come out with different designs and we bought one. We would go out on Black Friday and wear our shirts. We bought different versions of the shirts in different colors. We didn’t want to look alike.
I don’t just wear the shirts on that day. I wear them when I go to the grocery store. If it’s warm out in December and I’m out, you’ll see me wearing one. Occasionally, I’ll get people telling me, my shirt is cute or something similar.
The mall in Melbourne started not being exciting, so we started going to The Avenue Viera. At the time, It was 20 minutes north of us. Right now, it’s 5 minutes south of us. The stores are situated in a circle. You drive in a circle around the parking lot.
They have topiary’s shaped like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. You can listen to Christmas music as you move from store to store as it is piped into speakers on the sidewalk. All of the stores are situated outside so this is not your typical mall.
There are a few stores south of the Avenue that we hit too before heading to Walmart.
We parked at Walmart and started walking toward the entrance. As we approached the crosswalk, we saw a lady ringing The Salvation Army bell. We said, “Merry Christmas” as we walked past. The automatic doors opened and we entered the store. We didn’t know if we were going to buy anything or not. We never get a cart here, except when we are grocery shopping. There are too many people to move the cart around safely. We walked down to the Christmas decorations. We always hit that first. There are always unique new things that have come out. I like to see what new village pieces they have. If I find something small, I usually pick it up. I build a huge village at Christmas. You’ll see that story and photos coming up in December.
We looked through the rest of the store. We don’t buy stuff all the time. It’s just good to get us out in the atmosphere and into the spirit of Christmas.
We bought a few things and headed for the checkout. With our newly purchased items, we headed for the exit. Before we got there, my Mom and I pooled our money together for the Salvation Army red kettle. We exited the store.
My Mom went over to put the money in the kettle. As she placed the money in, the lady said something to her. Here is the conversation:
Salvation Army lady: “How long have you two been together?”
Mom: “He’s my Son!!!!!”
Salvation Army Lady: “Well, I assumed with the shirts...”
The lady had a look on her face that I can’t really describe. It was like “Uh oh, I screwed up.” You know what they say when you assume. I was shaking my head back and forth. I couldn’t believe it. Just because we are wearing Peanuts shirts. They weren’t even the same design or the same color.
Think this was an isolated incident? Think again. Stay tuned.
Until next time, happy reading.
Do you go out on Black Friday? Do you have any traditions for shopping on the day after Thanksgiving?
I find it interesting to learn about other people's/culture's traditions. I never go shopping on festival days because I can't stand the crowds.
Thinking that you and your ma are an item suggests that either she looks amazingly young, or you look pretty old. Which is it? Lol
This is the first time I've ever read about Black Friday and Christmas shopping, and it not make me want to cry with anxiety at just imagining the crowds. Congratulations... 😅.
It triggered a memory too... of the first time I did Christmas shopping on my own as an 'adult' (I think I was 17 or 18 at the time). I was in a questionable relationship. The events in and of itself is probably mundane, but I think there's a story to explore in the internal experience of the whole thing.
Thanks for the inspiration!