Fall has officially arrived, which means some of our favorite holidays are among us. Along with Thanksgiving, we can’t forget about the day for the most wonderful sales of the year — Black Friday. People from all over gather at their closest shopping malls to get in position with credit cards in hand. The staff of APN would like to share their Black Friday experiences and traditions. On your marks, get set, GO!
As with many other shopping enthusiasts, Black Friday is one of my favorite days of the year. My family has been going Black Friday shopping together for as long as I can remember. This year will mark my seventh year taking part in the “planning process.”
My family loves getting a good deal, so we put an extensive amount of effort into planning our shopping trip each year. We spend most of the afternoon on Thanksgiving day clipping coupons, creating our wishlists and drafting a schedule. We even color coordinate our shirts so it’s easier to find each other in stores. It’s very high energy, and you have to be on your toes the entire time because items sell out very fast.
Our trick to making it through the entire night with enough energy to go after the morning deals is to make an early morning stop at IHOP for some pancakes and coffee.
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From what I have seen and heard about Black Friday, I’ve come to realize that going to stores in the middle of the night is a little too dangerous for me. Each year, a fear grows within myself for the stores that are opened on that day. Something about the hundreds of people lining up frantically, waiting for the doors to open, freaks me out. What worries me even more are those who are injured during the shopping holiday. I feel worse for the employees who have to work on that day.
If you want to avoid the dangerous adventure, there are other ways to experience the holiday without leaving your bed. Online shopping is a wonderful thing, especially when your desired items are labeled the same price as those displayed in stores. You can browse through those Black Friday low-priced items, while not having to dodge and weave through bodies.
Black Friday is one of my favorite holidays (if you want to call it that). Since shopping is my favorite activity, it comes as no surprise that staying up till midnight to head to the mall and embody the chaos would be enjoyable to me. Since eighth grade, my two best friends, Vanessa and Noelle, and I would meet up the day before the “extravaganza” at about 9 p.m. to start planning out our shopping strategies. My mom, being the brave soul she is, would drive us to the mall and let us walk around while she did her own shopping. Now that we are old enough to drive on our own, we do exactly that. We get our Red Bulls and coffee, then begin our deal hunt.
We always end up leaving the mall at about 6 a.m. and head to a local diner for breakfast. At this point, we are playfully arguing with each other and becoming delirious (that’s when we know it’s time to go home). We pick one of our parent’s houses to sleep at, then fall asleep until 1 p.m. the next day. For us, it isn’t about getting the crazy deals. It’s truly about getting to spend time with each other to create memories.
As a maintenance associate at Wal-Mart, my job is to take out the garbage, sweep floors, wipe up spills and clean bathrooms. Black Fridays mean increased foot traffic, more garbage and definitely increased restroom trips. I’m sighing in exasperation just thinking about it.
I mean, just imagine it. I walk in around 1 o’clock, with the store swarming with customers. Nearly every hour is filled with clean-ups, garbage runs and a whole lot of bathroom messes. Not to mention, the foot traffic makes it near impossible to do any bathroom cleaning. People file in and out of the bathrooms like a subway station. I just hope I’m not the only maintenance associate on duty this Black Friday, or I just might go insane.
Black Friday shopping is all about strategy. My first experience Black Friday shopping was with my aunt, my cousin and my cousin’s girlfriend at the time. My aunt has an entire system to the madness.
We all split up. I was told to wait by one product, while my aunt waited for her product. My cousin and his girlfriend were on the opposite side of the store, hovering around another product. After the “sale alarm” sounded in the store, we received our products and met my aunt at her specific location. After our meeting, I went around grabbing my aunt her “secondary items” (i.e. small, overstocked items). This job was given to me because I’m a fast walker who can easily make alternate routes around crowds. This method to the madness seems to be the best way to get the deals you want without turning yourself mad.
To me, Black Friday is one of the best shopping-related holidays of the year. In Time Square, I’ve seen people race down the streets, trying to find a deal for something that they don’t particularly need. The first time I was exposed to this holiday was when I was 15 years old. I had gotten a summer job that ended up being a year round job, so I had some money to spend. Out of nowhere, my cousin Ralph asked me to help him out with all the crazy deals Black Friday has to offer. It was decided right then and there that I was going shopping on Black Friday. Right after Thanksgiving dinner, we took a train downtown, where all the big name stores are located. Some of my favorite stores there include Nike, Polo, Rugby by Ralph Lauren and Macy’s.
When the clock struck midnight, a crowd swarmed every rack, going crazy over items as small as a shirt or a pair of shades. At first, I thought nothing of it, as I was getting the items I wanted for a fraction of the cost. Now, since I’ve gotten older, my opinion has changed. It’s insane to think that people leave immediately after a family dinner to go shopping at midnight. Black Friday is chaotic, and a lot of tempers flare in those giant department stores. My advice to you is to wait for Cyber Monday. Shopping behind a computer screen is much simpler.