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Making Black Friday Special: Old and New Family Traditions

Black Friday, Shopping

For many people, the highlight of Thanksgiving weekend isn’t stuffing themselves with turkey and—well, stuffing—and then sleeping it off. Instead, some people most look forward to what comes after Thanksgiving dinner: Black Friday sales.

Not only does the biggest shopping day of the year serve as a great way to save money on purchases, it’s also a fun, bonding experience for many families and friends.

Black Friday Traditions

Many families and friends have annual traditions centering on Black Friday that they look forward to each year. Some of these consist of:

  • Family Bonding: Black Friday shoppers are known for camping out for hours and even days before the big sales begin. While this could be a relatively lonely activity, many families use this as an adventure. In 2012, families pitched tents outside Best Buy in Orem, Utah, since the Sunday before Black Friday to be the first shoppers to get the big-ticket items available. Every store only holds a limited stock, around 20-30, of those HDTVs or “Wii U”’s.
  • Friendship Rituals: Also in 2012, Cleveland.com reported the story of two friends who have been doing their Black Friday shopping together for 20 years.  Their entourage now includes their teenage children, who also enjoy participating in the frenzy. By using newspaper advertisements to map out their shopping strategy prior to embarking on their annual excursion, they developed a method of shopping that only the most experienced Black Friday enthusiasts could achieve. The day is just as much—or more—about the fun they have together than getting great deals.
  • Shopping for Charity: In the past few years, many stores started opening their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day, mainly to allow people the chance to get early Black Friday deals without getting up early. One Ohio couple took this Thanksgiving-Black Friday shopping in a different light. Instead of making an elaborate, home-cooked meal each year, they spend the day of giving by going store-to-store to find great bargains for their favorite charity. In preparation, the leaders of the charity give them a certain amount of funds and a list beforehand, and let the couple find the best deals to stretch the dollars.

How to Make Black Friday Special

Is this your first year participating in the Black Friday sales? Whether you’re braving the crowds alone or bringing your family along for the fun, there’s many ways to turn the day into a fun tradition that can be repeated each year. Some fun ideas include:

  • Annual Starting Store: Choose one store to begin each Black Friday as part of your family’s tradition. If this is your first year participating in the Black Friday festivities, take a vote to see which store your family would like to designate as your annual starting place. Have the ad beforehand so you know the best deals.
  • Black Friday Gifting: Many people do their holiday shopping on Black Friday, but you don’t have to save all your gifts. Assign each person one family member to buy a small gift for and trade them while relaxing at home together at the end of the day.
  • Shopping Road Trip: Instead of heading out to your local mall, pack the family into the car and venture out to a shopping center you don’t usually go to. The unfamiliarity of the mall will only add to the adventure of the day.

Whether it’s your first time taking part in Black Friday or you’re a seasoned professional, have a great time this year!