Each year, before they are even done digesting the turkey and pie, Americans rush out and start their holiday shopping. It used to be early Friday morning that the chaos began, but each year it seems to start early, some as early as 6PM on Thanksgiving day! This year, there have been a few retailers who have opted to not open their doors on Thursday, and a select few even closed on Friday. Do you like to go out shopping, or do you prefer to skip the crowds?

I have to admit, that I have gone Black Friday shopping. But I have never been one of those people who needs to be there the moment the store opens and grab every tech gadget in sight. Why grown adults yell, hit and fight over an item that they don’t even own yet is beyond me. And while we luckily have not had any tragedy in our area, no sale is worth someone’s life. I refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving out of principle. I may miss out on a $2 savings, but I personally feel those employees should be able to spend the holiday with their family and friends, so I stay home that day. On the occasions that I have gone out on Black Friday, I follow much the same routine. I preview the ads and make my list late in the evening on Thursday, roll out of bed at around 6:30 or 7AM on Black Friday, grab some coffee and head to the store. This may seem late, but usually the savings go until at least noon, which gives me plenty of time, and being I’m not after the handful of items that seem to be in high demand and low supply, it works for me. Plus, it allows me to avoid all of the chaos and fights that happen earlier in the day.

On Saturday, I like to support our local businesses and head out to do some shopping on Small Business Saturday. We have some really great shops here in Faribault that I don’t get to frequent as often as I would like, but with Christmas right around the corner, it’s the perfect chance to find unique or special gifts for a few people. On a typical year, I also find a couple of items for myself. I try not to do any personal shopping before the holidays, but sometimes you have to make an exception (or three)! One of the many great things about our local shops is that they are knowledgeable about all of their products, so frequently while asking about one item for a friend or family member, the shop owner is actually able to direct me to an item that is more in line with what I am hoping to find. Plus, the customer service can’t be beat.

I am not a huge online shopper, so typically, I don’t partake in Cyber Monday. I am someone who will take a brick and mortar store over an online shopping cart any day. I like to see the color in person, feel the textures, be able to look at the quality, and I’m not a fan of paying shipping costs. I don’t blame people who choose to shop online, there is certainly a convenience factor, and you can find items from anywhere in the world. Maybe I’ll give it a try in the future. But to be honest, by the time I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, helped with the clean up, scoured the ads, done my Black Friday run, and my Small Business Saturday shopping, my wallet is feeling the pain, and I’m exhausted from shopping!

Did you brave the Black Friday crowds?  Did you stay local for Small Business Saturday? What about Cyber Monday? Let me know!

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