As soon as the Thanksgiving meal is woofed down, stores across the country will be opening at the crack of dawn, offering the deals of the season. Here in the Seattle area, a few malls are even opening up at midnight to get the holiday shopping season underway. How many of you are planning to brave the crowds to get some shopping done tomorrow, Black Friday? I've done it in the past, but I have no interest in losing a minute of my much needed beauty sleep to stand in line with thousands of people to buy stuff I probably don't need.
Now, for all of you who are planning a Black Friday shopping extravaganza, here are some tips to make your shopping experience more successful:
- Get plenty of rest. All that tryptophan and alcohol you consume on Thanksgiving may make you sleepy. If you're planning on getting up super early to shop, adjust your bedtime so you get as many hours of good, solid rest as possible.
- Dress comfortably. I always find malls and shops a bit over heated, so I often leave my coat in my car and dress in layers. Comfortable shoes are a must!
- Leave your purse at home. Yikes! I know how hard this one is, but when you're buying tons of stuff and you have to carry a lot of bags, the last thing you need is to lug around a purse full of junk as well. Try to limit yourself to the essentials: your credit card(s), ID, cash, keys, and maybe a lip gloss. If you're smart, you can fit all this in your pockets, making the purse unnecessary. Remember: Black Friday is about deal hunting, not looking beautiful.
- Plan your attack. Make a list before you leave with all the gifts you need to buy, how much you want to spend, and what stores you want to go to. Doing so will keep you focused, keep you from overspending, and will make sure you don't forget someone. Plus, you can skip stores you don't need to go to to avoid mindless buying.
- Be careful. Make sure you know where all your stuff is and be sure to keep receipts. Also, be sure to stash your purchases in the trunk of your car so they are not visible to any annoying car prowlers. Don't leave stuff scattered all over your car--you'll just be inviting someone to rip you off, and there's nothing fun about that.
- Be nice and have a little patience. Before you start screaming about a line or start to vent on a salesperson, stop and breath. A little kindness goes a long way--think of it as good karma. Besides, Santa is watching after all and you don't want to be on the Naughty List.
Oh, and on a final, somewhat political note, I ask all of you to please, please, please avoid spending money at Wal-Mart (what my mom refers to as Wicked Evil). They're anti-union, they don't pay their employees well, they're sexist, and are the epitome of everything wrong and Republican about this country. Don't believe me? Click here, here, and here, for more.