We have officially moved into the biggest shopping time of the year. The rules have changed – you get sneak peaks at Black Friday ads for practically every store a full week before rather than waiting for Thursday’s paper, which has 3 times more ads than newspaper itself – but essentially it boils down to the same. Get ready to buy something!
Some things have alarmingly gone awry over the years. For example, I used to get up at 6 am to get to the stores by 7 am (gasp!), but this year some stores didn’t even pause long enough to sweep the floors before starting in again. Gone is open at 3 am – now it’s “Open at midnight!” And along with this craziness is the inevitable... people go crazy. Most notable is the pepper-spraying incident at a southern California Wal-Mart. In case you missed it, apparently a woman was a bit possessive over an electronic game and was willing to use a little unfair offense to get it. Wal-Mart is a place in my opinion that has its own issues (don’t get me started...), but the point is that we have taken things a little too crazy!
My proposal is Prepare Wednesday. The timing is right, too. Prepare on Wednesday for all the food you will eat (and suffer for) on Thursday. Prepare on Wednesday for shopping on Friday, which depends on which store you shop and when. Prepare on Wednesday for something you don’t know is coming, like an earthquake or fire.
So while you are wheeling around stores snapping up unbelievable deals on stuff you may never possibly want or need, toss a couple more things in that cart you can use. Maybe a new flashlight and an extra pack of batteries. There are newer, cooler, crank-type radios coming out all the time. And how about an extra blanket? Grab a couple of those door-busters and toss in your Home or Car Preparedness Kit. See some comfy shoes that may not be stylish, but are cheap? Get those, too!
All the crazy shopping may still be crazy, but it can be worthwhile if you plan it right. Just keep focused on what you really need, have fun and leave the pepper spray at home.