So, starting the night of Thanksgiving (what's up with that!??!) stores start their "Black Friday" sales. Black Friday....commercial-mas' favorite day. It's the day to put ultra chinzy stuff on deep discount in decent quantity and to give a deep discount on a FEW draw items (of decent quality) in LIMITED quantity, to entice customers in. This is to give people the IDEA that THEY could be one of the few lucky enough to get one of the rare, good quality items at dirt cheap prices. Which is good IF you can be that lucky, but for every 1 lucky person, there are plenty of unlucky people. When it comes to frugality, THIS is an awesome day. No doubt. Who wouldn't want to get Rocky Rocket for less than $10 when it is normally closer to $20, and your son is driving you CRAZY for it. It's the only thing he's asked Santa for Christmas. It's the ONLY thing on his Christmas list. He even mumbles about it in his sleep. So sure, you REALLY, R-E-A-L-L-Y want Rocky Rocket. The store only gets 6, and the sale starts at 5am. Is it worth getting up at 2am to be there at 3, to stand in line and wait and PRAY that those in line ahead of you don't get it first. And that's IF you have an organized store and kind and considerate fellow shoppers. This doesn't exist in the real world. I used to work this day. And I hate what Christmas has turned into. RARELY do you see the genuine Christmas "spirit". RARELY do you see people trying to help their fellow man or in this case "shopper". It's all elbows and grabbing and pulling and rushing and cursing....oh my goodness the cursing. Some of the nicest people you'll meet at any other time seem to be possessed during their Black Friday shopping spree. And I had decided that I was never going to participate in this ruckus. Dealing with the negativity and the hatefulness just isn't my bag of tea. Getting up so early in the morning, to stress about spending money, and to fight the crowd, only to not get the stuff that I had come for just doesn't seem worth it to me. So, how do I handle such purchases then, and manage to do things frugally. Well, I put money aside during the year and buy some gifts during the year, so I'm not hurting this time of year. I'm not against purchasing used books that are in good shape. I'm not against re-purposing some things for people. Which will require me to make some stuff, but really, that doesn't bother me. If my son HAD to have Rocky Rocket, I might give him less gifts to offset the cost of the toy he so desperately desired. And that's ok. That's how things go. And he has to realize that sometimes in order to get what you really want, you have to sacrifice some other things. The sooner that her learns that sort of fiscal responsibility, the better he'll be in the future when he makes his own purchases.
So this first week of Commercial-mas, we'll be doing business as usual. Except we'll be sending out our Christmas cards. We'll go to the grocery, pay bills, and continue about life like normal people. We do still have a few Christmas gifts to get/make and then they are all complete. The bulk of our Christmas gift getting/making is finished and was finished before Halloween.
I would rather spend this time unstressed and feeling joyful. For me, this is the season to spend with my family playing and enjoying each other and creating memories. And that's exactly how I'm going to spend it.