We Shop Early for the Love of Tradition
Who says there's a recession? Or maybe the line that stretched across one side of a Target store in Falls Church at 5:45 this morning was just an indiction of how much we need a deal these days. Or do we just like the annual tradition of shopping early bird sales to kick off the holiday season? We may not be able to spend as much this year but doggone it, we're not going to miss the start of holiday shopping.
I stood outside my local Target with more than 100 people waiting for the double doors to slide open at 5 a.m., listening to shoppers exchange stories of what Kohl's was like at 4 a.m. and how you couldn't find a parking space at Wal-Mart an hour later. And some even complained that Target's Black Friday deals, which we only previewed in the weekly circular, weren't as good as other stores. But still there we were, taking part in the annual tradition.
The simple reason why people stand outside a store waiting to be let in at an ungodly hour is to get major discounts on things that may be in limited supply. Hence why some walk briskly or even jog as soon as the doors open, snaking their way to certain sections of the store. That's what stores do on Black Friday. It's almost like an inside joke that they all take part in. "Hey, let's tell people to get here at 4 in the morning when it's pitch black and cold as heck. We'll say we're having a sale and see if they come. Hee hee." But people all over the country don't seem to mind as they early bird shop stores like Staples, Macy's and JCPenney where circulars this year promised major deals on GPS navigation systems, cameras, TVs, furniture and clothes.
I have to admit that on my first Black Friday doorbuster experience, I felt a little excited. Watching people crowd around Target's electronics desk, waiting to get their hands on an iPod or a Guitar Player game was like witnessing a part of American culture. What would the start of the holiday season be without television images of people spilling into the stores when its doors opened on a dark, cold morning? Recession or not we like to shop and get good deals. And we also like to make our loved ones happy with the gifts they pine for. I remember as a kid that one Christmas getting the much sought-after Cabbage Patch Kid.
You'll have people roll their eyes and scoff at your tradition of getting up in the middle of the night to shop. They'll ask you why you do it and declare that you'll never see them out there as my family did when I revealed I would be shopping at 4 a.m. I'm not sure that I'll ever do it again. As the mother of two small children, sleep is precious. But I'm glad I witnessed the holiday tradition that so many people take part in. Traditions give us comfort, which is something we need in a shaky economy.
So do you shop the early bird Black Friday deals? What kinds of deals did you get this morning? Was it worth the trouble this year? How were this morning's deals different from previous years?
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