Friday, November 28, 2014

The Holiday Patrol

aka The Black Friday Troupe

Black Friday 2004

Black Friday became a thing for me in 1997 when the Furbys first came out and everyone wanted them. I didn't really want one, I thought they were creepy, but I fell for the quest.  My aunts always went out on Black Friday and I never understood it until 1997,  I had my own car and I went out long before dawn to drive past a toy store and laugh at the people waiting in line for a silly toy.

What else do you do when you're up and out that early? You hit a store or two. I was amazed. Each store I went to gave out something for free, I got a tin of cookies, some breakfast bars, small stuffed toys. HOW AWESOME!? The sales were probably pretty good too, I remember I did a lot of my shopping on that day, but I just remember how silly I felt shopping before dawn yet how much fun I had doing it.

The following year I convinced my little sister to come along with me. We blasted music and hit every store we could think of. We danced in the aisle of Target to a Celtic Christmas, punch drunk on lack of sleep and the ridiculousness of it all. I remember picking up a purple feather boa at Walmart to wear shopping just for fun.  We were nuts.

Black Friday 2002

Seeing how much fun we had all of my other siblings wanted to join in the fun.  Each Black Friday we would get up way too early, dress in our most garish Christmas clothes complete with feather boas and set out. We never really went for the doorbusters but we sure did run for them just to add to the hype of the day.

Our shopping trips turned into more caroling than shopping. We dressed more ridiculously each year until we decided to go out in costume. I made us caroling costumes and we took bags of candy canes to hand out to shoppers who wished us a Merry Christmas. Folks would look for us from store to store and request their favorite carols.  Store workers would look forward to our arrival each year and cheer when we walked in.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  I would still get a large portion of my shopping done on Black Friday because there really were good deals, but my memories are of me and my siblings laughing, singing, and looking silly for the general amusement of other shoppers.

Black Friday was by far my favorite day of the year.

Now stores open on Thanksgiving and are open all night.  It's ridiculous, but some of the sport has been taken away. The dedication it took to wake up at 3 am to set out shopping is gone.  Our little Black Friday troupe has dismantled. The one day of the year where I was guaranteed to be able to spend with my family despite husbands and kids back at home is no more.  It was never about the shopping but about spending time with my sibling having fun and making fabulous memories.  Luckily, I still have those.

Black Friday 2006