As I do every year, yesterday I joined all the other crazed shoppers for Black Friday savings. I planned on going with Megan, Joy & Sandy to the various stores to claim our winnings. The ads rolled out Thanksgiving day and we made our plan. Megan & I decided that this year, we would have to play with the big dogs… Walmart. They had their Leapsters for $30 and there was no way we could pass up that savings. Add in the other steals and deals they were offering and we knew we had to brave it. “We ran a half marathon, Megan. We can do this!” I assured her but I was nervous myself. One of the Walmarts here in town made national news in ’05 when a woman was trampled. She ended up being ok thankfully but some othershave not been so lucky while shopping at Walmart the day after Thanksgiving.
We decided that we would go to the one near Megan’s house even though that was a 28 mile drive for me instead of a 5 mile one. We figured it would be worth it since the store was not in Grand Rapids, we would increase our chances of getting the coveted Leapsters. Joy was going to spend the night at Megan’s house and I would make my drive out to pick them up early in the morning. Sandy decided to brave one of the local Walmarts since they were the only ones carrying the TV on sale that she wanted.
3:15am arrived and I rolled out of bed. I know that a lot of people don’t care what they look like on Black Friday but I just can’t bring myself to go out on the busiest shopping day of the year without makeup. I got ready and gathered my list & ads. I was out the door at 3:40am, driving to Hastings. I picked up the girls and we were at Walmart by 4:30am. Standing in line, it was cold with the wind blowing but we knew it would be worth it once the doors opened. There were 2 lines started and we probably had about 50 people in front of us. The Walmart workers came around and handed out maps and coffee with Krispy Kreme donuts. We found our items on the map and devised our plans of attack. As opening time came closer, we saw the long line that had formed behind us and the constant stream of cars coming in the drive. Good luck to you people!
At 5am, the doors opened and we made our way through the entrance. I told Joy to grab a cart since she was on that side and she stopped to get one. It was Joy’s first time shopping Black Friday and she misunderstood me. She stopped to grab 3 and Megan & I continued on to get to the Leapsters. I told Megan to go ahead and grab me one while I stopped to grab the sit down piano toy for my niece & 2 for Joy. We had lost her but I knew she needed them. Megan grabbed a couple more things that she needed and we took turns standing guard over our boxes while the other grabbed stuff. Finally, Joy found us and we loaded everything in the cart and continued on with our quest. 30 minutes later, we were in line and ready to pay. Some serious shopping was done and it was only 5:45.
Five hours, 4 stores & 1 city later we were done. We were shopped out and nearly done with all of our Christmas presents. We did good. I only have 1 more present to find for Gerrit. A spiderman transformer that seems to be elusive. All the stores are sold out right now so we’ll see as the date gets nearer what happens. He had also mentioned he would like a Buzz Lightyear and Target has one so that will be plan B. I also ended up getting some new sheets for Dan’s & my bed for dirt cheap and a big, cozy, fluffy blanket for us too.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised this year at people’s courteous nature. Last year, Megan & I made Toys R Us our first stop. We stood in line until they opened at 5am and by 5:10am I was livid. People were so rude and ran into you. I couldn’t get through with my shopping cart to grab an item so I left it out of my eye sight for 30 seconds. When I got back, some stupid jerk had not only stole my cart BUT all my toys in it!!! So I had to go back and get everything without a cart to aid me this time. While I was doing that, I put my coffee down to pick up a toy and someone knocked it off the shelf. Jerks!
I was pretty ticked off last year dealing with all that but this year was so different. At every store, people were pleasant and helpful. If you asked them where they found an item, they were quick to point it out and let you know if there were a lot left or if you better hurry. People were pretty spacially aware for once with their carts and bodies so it was easier to navigate the isles. And I can honestly say I never got ran into! That’s a Black Friday first!
It’s a day I look forward to every year. The thrill of bargain hunting. The competition of getting it before others do. The realization that Christmas is really on it’s way. I love it. It’s my opening day of hunting season and I utilize it to my fullest. Hopefully, you found some steals yourself.