If you had asked me 15 years ago if I was joining the throngs of shoppers on Black Friday, I would have laughed out loud. Not because it was a foregone conclusion that I would be partaking in the shopping mash, but because I thought it was among the dumbest things anyone could do – subject themselves to crazy crowds of mad (in every sense of that word) shoppers before the crack of dawn just itching for a deal. I never thought saving a buck or two was worth the insanity.
But then there was Tickle Me Elmo.
Wikipedia tells us that Tickle Me Elmo was the “must have” toy for Christmas 1996. And I had an adorable one year old son that, of course, had to have the must have toy. Not because he had a clue who Elmo was, but because his mom thought Elmo was the bomb. (Who didn’t like then, but can’t stand now, the way Elmo always refers to himself in the third person?) “So,” thought that adorable boy’s still-new-to-mommyhood mom, “How bad could 6 a.m. at Toys R Us be?”
Don’t laugh – you’ve probably done it, too!
Needless to say, I learned just how crazy 6 a.m. toy shopping can be! For several years after Elmogate, I disavowed Black Friday shopping, at least until after 8 a.m.
About 4 years ago, a good friend and I decided to be adventurous and really go for it – executing a fully planned 5 a.m. shopping marathon start. And we’ve done it each year since; last year started at 4:00. The funny thing is, it’s not as much about the great sales as it is the experience and girl time (without the little ones!) we get to spend together.
Admittedly, we get quite a few chuckles out of the intensity of some folks really bucking for the “must haves” of the season. But we always take the time to smile, say hello, and be just plain nice to as many folks as we can. Although we have all read the horror stories of shopping-gone-wild, perhaps if we’re able to brighten the day of just one shopper with a smile or a kind hello, that person can better appreciate the true magic of the season that’s upon us. That, my friends, is worth it.
So, I’m picking my friends up at 11:30 Thanksgiving night… see, Toys R Us opens at midnight and if you’re among the first 100 folks there, you might actually get a Zhu Zhu Pet. I’ll tell you what – if you see me out, and I have one, if you genuinely smile and wish me a Merry Christmas, it’s yours.
Don’t know me?
Well, that’s OK – think of how many people you can make a little happier with that warm holiday greeting.
It’s guaranteed to make YOU feel happier, too!
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