Getting into the Holiday Shopping Spirit
I usually stick with tradition by starting my Christmas shopping on Black Friday -- but not this year.
The turkey had been eaten. The football had been watched. And the advertisements had been read.
All that awaited me on Thanksgiving was waking up the next morning and starting my traditional holiday shopping on Black Friday. Except that Thursday night seemed like a perfect opportunity.
So much for tradition.
It was around 9 p.m. when my son Joshua and I decided to brave the elements and see what brave new world was out among this sea of new shoppers who were turning Black Friday into Black Thursday night.
We were thinking about heading to the Palmer Park Mall when it opened at midnight, but I thought I'd probably be asleep by then.
But I read that Target opened at 9 p.m. So we ventured out to Lower Nazareth Township.
And what we saw amazed us.
There was a full parking lot and a crowd of customers was wrapped around the building. I hadn't seen that many people ever waiting for a store to open.
We hung out in front of the store for a little while and went into Five Below, a store next to Target, for a few minutes.
And then we got in line.
It was 9:15 p.m. and a steady stream had already been passing through Target's doors hunting for bargains. In fact, people were already heading out of the store with carts full of merchandise.
We didn't have to wait long. But when we got into the store, it was a madhouse. People were grabbing anything they could get their hands on. And I was able to snatch one item that was going like hotcakes.
I figured I'd at least keep it in my cart and then make a final decision later. We then made our way through crowded aisles, picking up a few bargains here and there and watching in amazement as people pretty much fell over each other seeking items.
It was actually exciting and exhilarating to be out among the masses.
We roamed around the store and we picked out another big item. Now came the big test -- trying to get out of this place.
The checkout line started in the frozen foods section of the store, quite a distance from where the checkout lines usually are.
So we got in another line. And waited. And waited.
An hour later, we were at the cash register checking out. But Joshua and I had a blast.
We were so elated that we couldn't wait to get back into the feeding frenzy on Black Friday.
But the trouble was: There were no people.
The Palmer Park Mall was relatively empty. The same went for Wal-Mart. We were shocked.
But maybe the tradition had changed. Maybe people were now going to stop shopping on Black Friday to experience something new like we did.
So welcome to Black Thursday Night. I'm looking forward to seeing you again next year.