‘Fess Up…

…how many of you went shopping at an ungodly hour on Friday morning?  Before this year, I’d only done it once, and I swore that I’d never do it again.

Until, that is, I saw the sale flyers.  Four a.m. doorbusters!  75% off!  These words speak to me.  Especially when two of the items I was already planning to buy this season were on sale to a degree so spectacular I couldn’t not go.

And so, Friday at 4:30 am, my alarm went off.  I hit snooze twice and still managed to be out the door by 4:50, which should tell you a little about how I looked

First stop was Wal Mart, and there weren’t quite as many cars outside as I expected.  I stood in the Wal Mart parking lot for a moment, pondering our nation’s economic prosperity, and whether the slow retail environment might force the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates. 

Actually, no.  I believe my exact thoughts were something like, "Dang, it’s cold."

Inside, the store was moderately crowded but courteous–I saw no pushing or arguing or body-slamming over the Hokey Pokey Elmo.

I did, however, see a sight that still has me scratching my head.  While I was there wearing a thick sweatshirt thrown over my pajama top, there were many women dressed to the hilt.  High-heeled boots, chunky jewelry, bright red sweaters.  At five in the morning.  "Show off," I muttered, as I shuffled past.  Okay, not really, but I thought it.  Evidently I am not an overflowing fount of Jesus’ love before the sun comes up.

Next stop was…well, I can’t tell you, because my brother reads this blog, and if I say where I went, he might guess what he’s getting.  But again, I scored a fantastic bargain in an surprisingly non-crowded store. 

My third and final stop was where the real business was taking place.  Between 5 am and noon, JoAnn’s had their flannel for 99 cents a yard.  It’s regularly $5-$6 a yard.  For those of you who don’t sew, you may not know how craft lovers are about their fabric bargains.  It’s a little like getting between a momma bear and her cubs.  Picture a bunch of bleary-eyed seamstresses heaping bolts and bolts of flannel into their carts, hardly stopping to examine them first.  The funny part came as we all stood in line, eyeing each other’s carts, casting irritated glances at our fellow shoppers who HAD THE NERVE to load their basket with twenty bolts of fabric.  They should have been much more restrained, like me, who only had EIGHTEEN.

So cutting were the glances that when I came back home and crawled back into bed (oh yes I did), I fell into a deep sleep in which I dreamed that a little old lady and I were in an all-out fight, whacking at each other with fabric bolts like they were light sabres.

Did I mention that I bought enough flannel to make 22 pajama bottoms?


Can you even begin to imagine why any family would need 22 new pairs of pajamas?  Neither can I.  But when the bargains call, I answer, even when it makes no sense.  I guess I’ll just have to insist that this family sleep a whole lot in 2008.

What about you?  I’d be interested to hear how many of you braved the crowds and cold to do business on Black Friday.  Just for fun, fill in the poll below.


78 thoughts on “‘Fess Up…

  1. Sue says:

    I didn’t shop at all this weekend. I always wait until a few days before Christmas. If I pretend it isn’t happening I don’t have to deal with it.

  2. Erin says:

    I may not have gotten up early to go to any other sale but did you say FABRIC SALE? I LOVE fabric sales. I always stock up on the pretty stuff that I have no idea what I’ll use it for.

  3. MamaLee says:

    I start my shopping today. Online. Maybe. At least I’ll attend to my lists and check them twice…lol
    You have a better chance of seeing GOD than to see me in a store on black Friday!
    BRAVE woman!

  4. CP says:

    Yep, I was there. There were 5 of us at 430am and 10 of us by 10am shopping up a storm. My greatest purchase was the stand mixer at Kohl’s for 129.99 PLUS the in store cash! It was a steal!

  5. Happy Momma says:

    I don’t remember the last time I MISSED a Black Friday. It is a holiday in our household, and we celebrate it. Last year was a hard year for me, I was in my first trimester, and my neighbor had to drag me out of bed (if she had a key she would have literally done that), but it was well worth it.
    It was 19 degrees and snowing this year, and I just laughed at the weather. Hubby made me leave baby and daughter behind, because he was worried about them freezing to death.
    We used to live by a mall that gave away $50.00 to the first 250 people, I was usually the first 75 and let me just tell you it was well worth ever dollar I got. When I got married I had $100.00 to spend!
    I have never done Joann’s though it seems I should be thankful for that. 😉 Hobby Lobby intimidates me when there is a sale…..I would be quite frightened!!
    Happy recovery!

  6. Laura says:

    I typically go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, but I wait until ‘a more human hour’. This year, though, we were having a second Thanksgiving with my in-laws, so we opted to stay home! I didn’t mind one bit! 🙂

  7. Terry says:

    Not only did I shop, but I hit a total of 5 stores (1 twice) and bought about 95% of my Christmas presents. This is about the 10th year I’ve done it, and don’t see me stopping anytime soon. The bargains usually determine when I get up, and this year, I slept in… till 5:45 or so.

  8. jenn says:

    I tried to vote, but it said i had already voted, which i had not..oh well.. anyway yes we braved the dark, cold, windy morning along with the crowds Friday morning. It was pretty peaceful considering.. I also asked my husband why so many women were all dressed up, ya see I got upa t 3am, yes I showered, but it was cold, and early and i was gonna be shopping, I threw a pair of thick sweat pants on, along with my sweatshirt.. I saw so many women, in SKIRTS! and boots, and nice jeans and sweaters, makeup done, hair done, jewelry.. yeah whatever! we arrived home around 11:30, at around 3:30 i crashed, until 7!!!

  9. Amy says:

    Said very proudly or insanely (depending on your point of view)… “I did Black Friday this year with both kids in tow.”
    Hubby was unavailable for childcare. We actually had fun! My 8 and 4 year old thought it was amazing that so many people would be up shopping at that hour. Their bleary eyes were wide eyes after a trip to Target! 🙂

  10. amy says:

    I would like to clarify something about the poll. I voted that I had shopped later in the day, but honestly it was Saturday. That counts because I went in the morning and the two stores I went to were running their Friday DoorBusters on Saturday morning as well. JoAnn’s was one of them. People were so nice, it was scary. I’ve seen meaner glances on any regular Thursday evening in that place than this past shopping weekend.

  11. Tricia says:

    I have three words for you…
    I did it all, in my pj’s, from my bed!
    The deals were not as fantastic, but the ambiance sure was!
    PS, Perhaps a pj give away is in order? :o)

  12. robin says:

    I wasn’t there at 4am, but I asked a salesperson when I arrived at 10:30, and she said when she arrived at 3:30 the lines to get in wrapped around the store!
    I was nestled all snug in my bed with Thanksgiving leftovers dancing through my head!

  13. Maria says:

    I went at 530. A 4GB thumb drive for $17 as a motivator… plus time with my step-mom. We finished around noon, but that included hours at Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, and in line at Staples! LOL!

  14. Audrey says:

    I’ve done the Black Friday thing a few times, but I never did the EARLY morning thing (only scheduled c-sections and early morning flights to tropical destinations have motivated me to get out of bed before 5 a.m.!) I opted to stay home this year since I didn’t have any big ticket items that I needed to purchase. But I can assure you that I would be included in sweatshirt-over-pajamas group vs. the perfectly manicured group! It is just not fair that some women can look that good that early in the morning!!!!

  15. Christine says:

    I have already done almost all of my shopping (which involves mostly homemade stuff), and I’ve tried to do it all at local Mom & Pop places.
    So far, so good … except for the electronics.

  16. spirit mom says:

    Thanks to all the awesome comments about the Dyson vacuum on this blog, my sweet husband was at Kohl’s at opening hour to buy the prize at 20% off, plus another 15% to open a card, plus the Kohl’s bucks he got for buying, and we’ll use that later this week to buy other gifts. Thanks girls, for helping a sister out!!!

  17. MommaBlogger says:

    I didn’t even look at my JoAnn’s doorbusters, because I knew it would be too tempting.
    Instead, I spent Friday trucking my cat to the vet, which took me through our local shopping area. Mind you, I only had about a mile or two to get to our vet, but I nearly got into three different accidents, because people are too impatient to wait a few moments, or pay attention to which lane they’re supposed to be in. Which is why I hate shopping at this time of year.

  18. Jendeis says:

    Did the Black Friday thing when I was in college, so I would run into friends from high school at the mall. Haven’t done it since.
    All shopping was done online on Saturday and finished on Saturday. Yay for me! First time ever, done with shopping before December!

  19. MommaBlogger says:

    I didn’t even look at my JoAnn’s doorbusters, because I knew it would be too tempting.
    Instead, I spent Friday trucking my cat to the vet, which took me through our local shopping area. Mind you, I only had about a mile or two to get to our vet, but I nearly got into three different accidents, because people are too impatient to wait a few moments, or pay attention to which lane they’re supposed to be in. Which is why I hate shopping at this time of year.

  20. Ronnica says:

    My mom and I joked about going so much, I almost thought that we would decide to go, just because. Kohl’s is maybe a 5-minute walk from my parents house (not that anyone would walk…how would you carry your bags of goodies back?) so it wouldn’t have been that difficult, but there really would be no point.

  21. Mamma D says:

    I have to qualify my “yes”. This year was the first that I ventured out AT ALL on Black Friday, and I was out at 5:15. I have a post about it on my blog.

  22. Natalie @ Like I Was Saying says:

    I had actually started my shopping spree at midnight. The outlets nearby opened up at midnight on Black Friday and there were about 4-5,000 shoppers as crazy as me to stay up all night for bargains.
    Then around 3:15 I headed over to JC Penneys for their 4:00am opening. Then I headed over to Toys R Us for their opening at 5. I was back home and in bed by 6:30 a.m.
    I can’t say I’ll ever do the outlets again—there were really no bargains–but it was fun for this night owl.

  23. Devildogwife says:

    Yes, we too hit Jo Ann. I couldn’t pass up the 99 cent fabric!! We also hit a couple of other stores to pick up some “must have” items because the deals were way too good to pass up. 😉

  24. Melanie says:

    I was a late shopper. The only time I am an early, ahem, aggressive shopper is when Target marks their Christmas stuff 90% off. Last year the lights went out and I just shopped in the dark. Yes I did.

  25. Kara says:

    I was crazy. I woke up at 1am so I could go stand in line at Circuit City at 2am for 3 hrs, when they opened at 5. Why? For a laptop at a great price. Unfortunately the people that had camped out since noon Thanksgiving got that, but we got a more expensive one at a still great price. Only for really good deals will I get up that early, I hate Black Friday, and Circuit City is the worst, took us 2.5 hrs to check out.

  26. Susanne says:

    Here in Canada we don’t have Black Friday. Our huge sales like that come on the day after Christmas, Boxing Day. Although I don’t recall the stores being open at 5 a.m. But that’s mostly because I just don’t go. There is nothing I need that bad the day after Christmas to brave those crowds. Although, alot of people do shop with their Christmas gift money and certificates in hand.
    Maybe you should make your brother some nice jammie pants too with all that flannel? ;v)

  27. Need a Nap2 says:

    I didn’t go but as this is his annual tradition – my husband went out. He was at Target by 4:30 and the store opened at 6. He got the DVDs he wanted and was out of the store in 5 minutes. I didn’t see the Kohl’s ad until noon, we need new sheets! I would’ve had him go there too if I’d known the sheets I want were on sale.

  28. gretchen from lifenut says:

    Oh, I almost went to Target to get Ratatouille and Shrek the Third for $14 each. But then I saw them at Amazon, paired together for $26, which qualified for the free shipping. So I did that instead! So big bargains can be found online too.

  29. momhuebert says:

    A friend of ours said you couldn’t get him in a mall on Black Friday, not for a million bucks. But then we decided for a MILLION BUCKS we could sure make the rounds of the mall…

  30. Kellyn says:

    Wait..I might change my answer. I don’t shop the day after thanksgiving, because I always volunteer to work, to man the phones and desks on some off chance someone out there might have an insruance question between stores. It didn’t happen, but you never know. I think I would shop, but not that early. And until someone else volunteers, I will be here…manning the desk…just in case.

  31. GiBee says:

    I had to wait for my mom to wake up. Then my dad. But we went to JoAnn’s, and SHOP WE DID! Instead of flannel, I purchased polar fleece … 20 yards of it. Well, 10 cuts of 2 yards each, but I was giddy with the overwhelming excitement I got when I got all that for under $50! AND, imagine my delight when the lady at the cash register applied my 20% off, even though it was past the time limit! I could have kissed her. Actually, I called her an angel and proceeded to pay and go to Dave’s Famous BBQ for a well earned lunch.

  32. Lesley says:

    This was the very first year that I went shopping on the infamous “Black Friday”. I live in a pretty rural spot, so in all honesty the shopping was not that bad. I did not experience any of the bad stuff that you often hear about. I got some great deals, but more importantly me and those I love had a great time just hanging out!! :0) I think next year we will be heading down into the “city” and then perhaps I’ll see what all the “Black Friday” craze is all about. ;0)

  33. Lexi says:

    Ugh….I go every year w/my best friend, but this year I’m 8 months pregnant! Gotta say, my back hurt like hell by the time we were done. The worst part was waiting in line…or the people who would give up and say “um, have fun in line, crazies…I’m going home”. What did they expect?
    We did at least to remember the stroller (sans child) for the stores where we couldn’t get a cart…

  34. Loving Advice For My Teen says:

    believe it or not, hubby woke me up at 3:30 am
    and he and I went with my two oldest daughter (32, 24) and we dropped them off at jcpenney and went to walmart. Came back and picked them up and went to target as well. We had a wonderful morning together and got loads of bargains too !!

  35. Eden says:

    lol, that is alot of flannel. THe closest joanns to us in about an hour away.
    we were out the door at 4:30am to be at Best Buy by 5am when it opened. The line was incredibly long, we were all the way around the back of the building in line. lol But once the doors opened it moved incredibly fast. We were out of Best Buy by 5:20am. We got the 3 items we wanted!!! BB was very organized. Last year we went to Circuit City and were in line for the checkout for almost 3 hours. Never again! Best Buy was much better!
    Have a great day!

  36. Queen Mother says:

    I shopped about noon–when all the early-risers had gone home to nap!! You are very brave to go out so early!

  37. kimi says:

    My dear sweet fiance is a manager of a fine retail establishment and had to go in at 11:30pm to open the store at midnight, our mall does what is called MIDNIGHT madness.
    It was SO busy that he had to call in another worker as there were people lined up in front of the store at 11:30pm on Thanksgiving evening.
    Two of our local malls did this this year, stay home people some of us want our honeys around for the holiday! Christmas is bad enough but leave Thanksgiving alone.
    I will say I complained less when he told me that they quadrupled last years daily sales which means BIG BONUS CHECK! but I’d like to have him around instead.

  38. Susan says:

    OK, I have to admit that the only store I hit on Friday was JoAnn’s with two kids in tow (my 2 1/2 year old and my 11 month old). While I waited in line for over an hour to have my fabric cut, another shopper saw the kids in the shopping cart and said, “oh, you are brave.” Yes I was brave! My kids were little gems and behaved so well! The problem came when my son had a poopy diaper and my daughter’s diaper leaked all over my shirt. I looked over a hour long wait of a line to pay for my goods and thought– Yikes! So I talked to the manager and she generously put my goods aside until I could get back to the store later. Well, I couldn’t get back to 7pm and the employees there are so efficient that they had already managed to put back my merchandise!! Luckily the girl that worked on putting it away was still there and managed to help me to get it all back. When I got to the register to pay, they had deleted my fabric receipt, so the sale .99 price was not ringing up for my coveted flannel! The manager was so kind to come over and override the price so that I did in fact get the sale price. wheeewwwww. Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again next year.

  39. Melessa says:

    “Evidently I am not an overflowing fount of Jesus’ love before the sun comes up.”
    I LOVE this because it describes me too. I ventured out to Kohl’s at about 11 a.m. (deals ended at 1 p.m.) found most of what I wanted, stood in line behind friends, and called it good.

  40. Jolyn says:

    We have lived in Dayton for just a short time, and I learned the hard way that it is pointless to attempt the Black Friday sales unless you plan on spending the night in the parking lot.

  41. Molly says:

    I totally understand the irrational buying of your fleece. I do that with yarn all the time. Even when I don’t quite know what I’m going to use it for, I can’t resist. I’ll use it someday, right?

  42. Hestial says:

    My family actually celebrated Thanksgiving together ON Friday, so the only place I went was the grocery store – and there were maybe three people there!
    You are a brave, brave person to go out that early on Black Friday, but it sounds like it was definitely worth it 🙂

  43. Tracy says:

    I dont shop. I dont like to shop. I dont know why, but I have always been that way. I actually do all my shopping after christmas and in July or August for christmas and birthdays. I always keep extra gifts in my closet just in case of one unexpected party or birthday. I also love to give gift certificates with a personal note.

  44. EKO says:

    NOPE, no way. 🙂
    I have been considering asking the kids if we can have a REAL 12 days of Christmas – beginning December 25th on – and then hit after Christmas sales. Ha – don’t think it’ll work out.

  45. Jeanette from Texas says:

    I went out early Friday morning, got what I was after. Now my son has changed his mind and wants something else for Christmas! I’m stewing on that one today.

  46. Nicki says:

    Online shopping! I started about 10:30. Glad you got such great deals. My husband is like your brother–one teeny, tiny clue and he knows what he’s getting. It’s really annoying!!

  47. Aimee says:

    I was a virgin to Black Friday this year. And I still can’t say if it was good or not! 🙂 I really wanted it to be good, but I didn’t get a lot of the things that I went for, so I’m not sure if it was worth it. I had an AWESOME time with my friends, and the people in lines around us, so that was fun.
    I too saw these girls with boots and make-up and hair done. In fact, I said to one girl, “look at you looking all cute at 5:00 in the morning!” Needless to say, I looked like crap!:)

  48. Melissa says:

    I sent my husband. 🙂 Oh the joys of being pregnant enough to make such demands. I did have to miss out on the Jo-Ann sale though, I’m a little bummed about that.

  49. JIll says:

    Again I fear this might be a Southern thing. Who gets dressed up to shop on Black Friday? That is like the strange woman at my gym who takes aerobics class in full makeup with her hair done complete with earrings, a necklace, and bracelets. Very confusing indeed.
    I too shopped Black Friday in my PJs. In front of my computer on Amazon. They had killer deals and free shipping. This is my new most favorite holiday tradition.

  50. katherine says:

    Not getting out of bed that early. But, I have to confess, the .99 flannel almost did it for me. I don’t really have any projects that I need it for, though, and my husband made me promise not to buy any more fabric unless I had a use for it. More importantly, though, I hate pressure, and after playing the likely scenario over in my head, I didn’t want to be fighting with little old ladies over the last bolt of blue sheep flannel. I’ll just wait until it is $2/ yard again later, and then I’ll stock-up on my “to make baby-gifts” fabric (although my husband will say “isn’t that what all those burp cloths and ribbon are for????”)

  51. crafty caroliangirl says:

    My mom and I were at Macy’s at 5:45 Friday morning. We were really pretty shocked that there weren’t more people at the mall. I think they must have all been at Best Buy!
    Though it was hard getting up that early, I did get all of my Christmas shopping done and had a really fun time with my mom 🙂

  52. Chelsea says:

    Black Friday always makes me sad. It’s bad enough that Christmas decorations are up before Halloween, but poor Thanksgiving never gets any love. America has gone so over-the-top about the commercialism of Christmas that it’s all about the shopping and the gifts, and of course, the bargains. I long for the days of Little House where Laura is thrilled over her red mittens and Pa just loves his plaid flannel shirt.
    Not that I don’t like presents, mind you. My hubby bought me a Cricut, oh yes he did. He just doesn’t know it yet.

  53. Bailey's Leaf says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I was at Target when they opened. I did not and WOULD not stand in line. You see, it was snowing here. Cold, big flake-age. Not good. Did it hold me back? Uh, no. Then, at Target #2 (yes, there were two), I watched the sun come up with two gentleman that I had been standing in line with for the past 45 minutes, all so that I could purchase that 25.00 Philips DVD player that was on sale. In the end, did I get all the rockin’ deals I went after? Oh yes! Then I came home and took a nap.

  54. Jen in Jakarta says:

    In Australia I would queue up for Targets annual toy sale every year in July.
    But no queuing up here in Jakarta.
    The word that you wrote that caused me to swoon in jealousy was FLANNEL.
    Oh my I miss flannel PJ’s….oh I just miss the cold…..I live in 365 days a year of tropical steam LOL

  55. Kelly says:

    The outlet malls near us open at midnight, but we have discovered that most of the crowd doesn’t last too long. So we arrived about 3:30 am to start shopping. Apparently, this isn’t a good idea when you are 28 wks. pregnant and after only an hour of shopping, I passed out in the middle of Brooks Brothers and was taken by ambulance to the ER. (I’m fine.)
    But I love to shop on the day after Thanksgiving.

  56. Emily says:

    I went shopping on Black Friday this year for the first time in my life. But I went at a reasonable hour. 🙂 While I don’t particularly like the phenomenon, I also have a limited budget. And those sales were pretty awesome.

  57. MamaToo says:

    I love that you went to the crafty store at crazy hour. I’ve done that before, but learned that hell hath no fury like a woman whose bolt is shy a yard. 🙂

  58. Caren says:

    Somebody finally got it right. CompUSA was open on Thursday from 2100 to 2359. I am a nightowl and I HATE getting up early in the morning and finally someone decided to take pity on those of us who refuse to or are just physically incapable of waking up early. (If you knew me you would understand just how those two are inextricably linked.) My husband and I were there at 2030 hours and stood in line till opening time and got a great discount on the AT&T Tilt phone that my husband so desperately wanted. A super buy and all before our regular bedtime. Merry Christmas!

  59. Heidi says:

    I refuse to go near a store on the day after Thanksgiving, but if I were going to do it (99 cents/yd is a great deal!), I would indeed do it at 5 in the morning. The worst part about that day is the crowds.
    Myfriendconnie, I was in your shoes 3 years ago. That was the year I discovered Amazon. I hope your baby is born perfectly healthy! (Mine was, btw).

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