Surviving Black Friday

Black Friday. Two words that can strike both fear and excitement into even the most experienced of shoppers. When we picture Black Friday, visions of pointy elbows, clashing shopping carts, and mulish mothers swirl through our minds. Everyone has a different approach of how to take on this oh-so-hectic day of days. Here are a few suggestions that might help as you prepare for the adventure:

1. Babysitter. I cannot stress this enough. The last thing you want in your way while shopping for your kids is�well�your kids. If you feel called to shop in the late night and wee hours of the morning when most stores first open their doors, then take into account that not everyone is willing to watch your sleeping, precious angels (because God forbid�they might wake up). Guilt your husband, bribe a teenager, or plan your shopping during normal babysitting hours.

2. Plan your attack. Do not decide on the store(s) you will visit one hour before you leave the house. Take some time to go online or browse their mailed advertisements. This will save you from selection disappointment, lackluster deals, and no-return policies.

3. Do a drive-by. Seriously. Sometimes a store might be too crowded to be worth your while. Other times, you will be surprised at the small crowd and decide to visit that store first. Just try not to look too sketchy as you slowly cruise through the parking lot an hour before opening time.

These are just three simple suggestions amidst a sea of others. Different shoppers call for different approaches. Prepare as best you can, and stay aware of the store’s guidelines and policies. Layaway is often not an option. Price matches are usually not honored on this day either. Some stores will be opening much earlier this year; others are closing their doors. Do your research and don’t break the bank.

Most importantly, enjoy your Thanksgiving. Spend time with your family, eat well, and give thanks for what you already have. Perhaps you could find a way to give back to the community (other than just giving them your hard-earned money whilst shopping). This is important, because chances are, in twelve hours you will need that karma to make up for the wrestling match you engaged in beneath the 70% off sign in aisle 12.

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