From the Archives ~ Day 328 Black Friday

Written by:- Cindy Bogard

If you’re in a big hurry, just read this: 


If you’re not in such a hurry, feel free to read on.

In the United States, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which was on Thursday this week. Sadly, the website defines Black Friday as “an unofficial American holiday”. Sad, not because the rest of you are missing out; sad because a day of shopping insanity has somehow become “an unofficial American holiday”.

So what is Black Friday? As I said, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and the official start to what’s called the holiday shopping season. (Spring, Summer, Fall, Holiday Shopping, Winter?) It’s called black because of traditional accounting notations: While debt is noted in red, profit is noted in black. Some businesses run “in the red” all year and don’t go “into the black” until the shopping mayhem begins the day after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday is a day of amazing sales and deep discounts. Some stores open as early as 4:00 am, with people staying up all night in the parking lot so they can be the first in the door, as the very best sales (aptly named “doorbusters”) are only available in limited quantities. In 2008, a worker at Wal-Mart was trampled to death in the frenzied crush of Black Friday.

Recently, a friend forwarded to me a website devoted to Black Friday ( They’re posting the circulars (advertisements) in advance on their site and boast over 100,000 fans on Facebook. They report that Kmart’s Black Friday circular is 44 pages and that  “We can’t stress enough how much we love this ad (Wal-Mart). There are tons of excellent deals and we think you will be very happy with it.”

Oh my. What’s a decluttering gal to think?


If you really feel that you need or want a 47″ flat screen TV or a new laptop, don’t let a sale ad make the decision for you. Research your purchase. Think through your decision making. Don’t buy in haste. The same rules apply to shopping on Black Friday as to every other day. If you see what you want at an excellent price, and you can tolerate the bedlam (which I can’t), then fill up your thermos with coffee, stand in line all night long, and get your doorbuster deal, but don’t buy out the place just because there are sale ads plastered on every item in the store. Remember, the stores are desperate for you to buy; that doesn’t mean you need to be desperate to purchase.

May your Friday not be Black

Weekend Mini Missions

Saturday – Declutter a part of a set, group or collection of items where you use or enjoy some pieces but not others. Here is a post from Cindy that explains what I mean but it doesn’t give any advice on how to convince yourself to let go. I can assure you though that I have done this several times over the last couple of years and I have never regretted it once.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Hi Colleen:
    I am totally with you on this “Black Friday” mess of an invented holiday.
    It sends such a negative message to future generations and on so many levels. I just plan to stay home, put on my fuzzy slippers and create Christmas stockings for my first grade class. I ask my friends for unused fabric scraps and use them in my classroom year round. The kids have so much fun creating art from everyday objects. I have attached a link to my blog where you can view some of my students homemade creations.

    Cheers, Neko

    • Dear Neko
      I had a look at your students creations and the bird houses are a delight and the book tree is quite inspired. All so cheerful and colourful. Thank you for encouraging your children to create and be colourful.
      I’m very glad we don’t have Black Friday in the UK. We do sometimes get emails suggesting that there is such a thing which I usually reply to reminding them that WE DON’T DO THAT HERE. I’m happy to have a day of gratitude for all that I have but not to acquire more thank you very much. Right off to find a book to make a book tree.

    • Good for you Neko

  2. Sadly, this year, many stores were not waiting to open super early on Friday, many stores this year opened on Thanksgiving Day, starting around 8 p.m. (I had not heard of any earlier opening times). Where did Thanksgiving go? I did pick up my newspaper to see if there were any items amongst the overabundant amount of sale ads, that I could not live without. There was not anything that was worth me standing in line for, but I do understand for some, it may be worth it if there is one specific item that you are needing/wanting. I did find a few items that interested me, like a new coat, which I have been needing for a few years. Nevertheless, I will wait until next week, during a week day to take the time to go look. I try extremely hard to stay away from the big shopping areas between now and until after Christmas. If I must go, I will opt to go during the week, not on the weekends, or I will order what I need online. I will still have to go to the grocery store, gas station etc., but other than that, I cannot tolerate the bedlam.

    • Hi Jen, it is sad that businesses have the gall to open on Thanksgiving day itself. What is the world coming to? I am glad at least that you did not become part of the insanity.

      I agree there are folks out there who possible need some of the stuff and can even maybe only afford to buy at rock bottom prices. It is a pity, everyone else who doesn’t need the stuff, wouldn’t just stay at home and leave the desperate ones have their day.

  3. Last night Ian went through the Black Friday flyers and asked if I wanted to go to town today. Items we’ve been considering for some time are a laptop to replace the old one, a tablet for travel and a Kobo. Well, careful reading showed that the laptop was not the one we want, the tablet is one we’ve ruled out because it got bad reviews and the Kobo at an amazingly cheap price is the amazingly cheap basic unit. While I’d like to get these items on sale, it’s still better economy to buy the right thing at regular price than buy the wrong thing cheap.
    Guess I’ll just have to stay home and watch the chickadees and the deer out my window instead of fight the crowds in town.

  4. I went, and overshopped just a little. Not too bad though, given that I intended to buy one or two pairs of boots (got two) and 3 blankets (got 5) and 2-3 pairs of leggings/socks (got 2) and one jacket (got 1). Overall though, there was no bedlam, people were calm and polite, and I didn’t have to get up super early. I wasn’t about to go buy everything, especially on Thursday night. I went for the things that I knew I needed (1 pair of boots, 3 blankets, and jacket), and then a few extra wants because it’s a great price and good quality materials (I bought one pair of these boots last year, and after a year of trekking through the rain, they are finally starting to show wear, and one blanket and spent the year wishing I had a dozen more 😛 ) I used to do the crazy Black Friday shopping, now I just treat it like a normal sale and go when the crowds have died down and the people are calmer.

    • I am curious Amanda, do you think that you got a better price today than you would have on any other sale day? And given that blankets can be very bulky to store when they aren’t required do you think it was wise to buy five when you only needed three?

      • In terms of the sale price: no, these are the best prices you can get them. I’ve actually been watching all year because both exceeded expectations last year, and none of them dropped close enough to the prices. ($10 boots in my size, is about 1/2 the lowest sale price for boots here, and the blankets were $4 instead of the $6-10 that they are the rest of the year). I figure on the boots, I’m getting a GREAT deal, because I know that I like them and they are a great price, and the blankets are close to a wash in cost between three non-BF and 5 BF ones. The leggings were about 25% lower than the lowest sale price, and the jacket was the closest to a wash, at $10, instead of $12 like it hits sometime. They were all the lowest price I’ve seen since last black friday.

        Where I live, it is cold for about 11 months of the year. 5 may be too many, but I doubt I will regret them, because I will just put them on my bed. I usually layer my blankets and sleep under different numbers of blankets depending on the temperature. Given that I didn’t have enough to wash blankets regularly during the winter months, I think the extra layer will be nice. Not the greatest choice, but given that I go shopping for non-food items about once a year, I can live with the extra blanket purchase, especially since it really only adds a layer to my bed, instead of closet space.

        I will be getting rid of some old pajamas and much bulkier, rougher blankets (3 blankets), now that I have better blankets that really aren’t that bulky; they’re a micro-fleece, so they’re about the size of a twin sheet set. So in the long run, it’s two extra blankets, but they are smaller than the ones I’m donating to the animal shelter. The jacket is replacing two jackets I previously had, by combining the hood on one with the color of the other one. The leggings I will be wearing this winter, as my ones from last year are long gone (worn out from regular wear). The boots are the only things not directly replacing anything, as my current pairs will probably just barely make it through this winter, but since they get soaked through easily (we’ve had several flood watches this month), all four pairs will now go into regular rotation so I don’t have numb feet all the time.

        Overall, I know I’m only getting one Christmas present this year, so it was sort of my Christmas present to myself. I’m not going to beat myself up over the blankets, especially since I know tonight I’m going to LOVE my bed. I’m just glad that I only bought things that I know I want – I’d rather have a duplicate of an item I regularly use (and be using both of them) than have an item that I don’t use.

        TL;DR: I probably didn’t NEED 5 blankets, but I will enjoy them, and all the sale prices were better than any other sale throughout the year.

        • Hi Amanda, and thank you for that detailed explanation. It seems to me you have been very patient and done your homework well when it comes to getting what you need at a good price. Although I must admit I wouldn’t brave the Black Friday sales for those sort of savings. But like I said to Andréia I wouldn’t go to a parade because the crowds are enough to put me off. There are usually a lot of impatient people doing all sorts of rude things that just drive me crazy. And what is worse I find myself acting just like them in retaliation. Naughty naughty! My sanity is worth more than that.

          Those microfibre blankets are great. I have one on my bed but although it is there for extra warmth in the winter I have found it is better to toss off the duvet in the summer and keep using the blanket. It is so wonderfully soft and furry too and I am such a tactile person.

          • YESYESYES! I am SUCH a tactile person as well. I literally will now (as soon as I unpack from my Thanksgiving trip) have nothing on my bed but those blankets. The other ones are either getting donated, or moving downstairs to be couch blankets (we used to have some, but then got rid of them because they were uncomfortable). Now the old fleece blankets can come downstairs for people to use, and we won’t be cold, and my bed will be full of super nice blankets.

            I think you might have enjoyed the stores I went to, at least as much as one can. There was the nicest lady at the first one, who was the second/last person in the checkout line, and when she saw me and my two pairs of boots, let me go ahead of her because she had a cartload of things. The other store literally had no one in line in front of me. If you time it right, you can hit the sales when everyone else is going home from them, and miss the crowds.

            And yeah, with a college budget, I keep a close watch on important items. Honestly, as much as I like them, I probably wouldn’t buy the blankets if they weren’t on sale, just because I don’t like spending money on myself (hence why I waited ALL year). The boots I would, just because they are a necessity. But if I can get 2 pairs for less than the price of 1 (and in my giant size even!) I will absolutely get up a little early for that. I might have only gotten one pair, but of the five or six styles, the two I liked were the only two to have my size, and they only had one pair of each. I decided to take it as a sign that I was meant to buy both, and I’m already glad I did, because it started POURING again.

            • Hi Amanda, I have a friend who thinks I am amusing because I am so tactile. She discovered this about me when we used to shop together living in the US together. I hadn’t really considered it before, probably because to me it was normal. As far as I am concerned I feel that if I are buying something that is mostly going to be against my skin or there is any ergonomics involved it has better feel right.

              I like the sound of the lady who let you go first. It is so nice when people are polite and thoughtful.

              I am glad you are smart and live within your college budget. Many people in the same situation just rack up hugh credit card debt. Good for you.

              • ?? isnt it normal to feel the fabric that will be onto your skin for some time? I thought that that would be a very normal quality check for some items. fabric has usually first priority for me, and only then comes shape/colour/mixability, etc. especially with socks, scarves and beanies.

                • That is what I thought too Lena, but apparently I must be somewhat more concerned with this than most or at least my friend thought so. One really good thing about it is that I rarely buy online because I want to be able to see and feel what I am buying before parting with my hard earned cash. Photos only tell part of the story and worse still can be very deceiving. I would only buy something online if I had checked it out in the real world first.

                  • here too, I only buy things online that I dont have to try first, and that I am sure I want to have… I need to try on clothes first before I buy them, to be absolutely right its the right item. Just last week I went systematically through my scarf collection again. one pretty red one has to go, because the fabric feels like paper. another two are under observation.

              • The only time people are weirded out by my tactile-ness is when I mention that I can’t stand chalk/chalkboards. The feel, the sound, the dust, it’s all just too much.

                I’ve had very pleasant experiences with Black Friday shopping, as long as I don’t go right when the store opens. Last year, when I was looking for the first pair, I was in need of a 10 or 11, and couldn’t find one. A nice lady asked what I was looking for, and when I told her, she handed me a pair of 10s. She chuckled and said “I was trying to figure out if the 9 or 10 was a better fit, so you just made that decision for me.” Turns out the boots stretch out about half a size, so we both got just what we needed.

                No debt for me! I should graduate from college with no debt of any kind, not even student loans.

        • Amanda, sounds to me like you had a pretty good game plan & despite buying 2 extra blankets – you had a goal with very specific items & uselful items.
          What it sounds like you didn’t do was go out shopping on Black Friday with the wild attempt to buy random stuff at awesome discounts that will end up cluttering your home & will/would ultimately be an item to declutter on an upcoming Monday Mini Mission.
          Most folks I know who go shopping on Black Friday do so more for the social aspect of it & for the sheer frenzy of the crowds, the exciting ambiance & of course to buy lots of (random) anything for less.
          The few times I’ve shopped on BF was just not worth it for me because I cannot look around me ho e & pinpoint a single item I’ve bought on a BF that still resides in my home. So I must have bought crap that I either didn’t need, no longer wore or long since pitched out.
          I don’t buy much of anything nowadays that I don’t research the living daylights out of for the best price. I factor in the costs for me to drive to a store & if I go downtown – the costs for parking, state sales tax, etc.
          Most times I find I can get items online for a much better price, pay no shipping, no sales tax & don’t have to leave my house & fight the crowds.

          • I agree. Like I said, I’d rather have two frivolous purchases of an extra of something on my list, than two (or more) frivolous purchases of something that I may not even want. I definitely saw some cool things, but nothing I needed, and none of it made it into the cart.

            I cuddled up with my blankets last night (the other ones are already gone), and the boyfriend already stole one 😛 I was soooo happy, so I think that despite my 3 blanket plan, 5 (or 4 now) was a good choice. I tend to not remember where I get things from, but I can name a few previous Black Friday purchases, from both last year, and years ago.

  5. Today begins my vacation from stores until the New Year. I can’t stand to go into the stores with all the shoppers that will fill them from now until then. I’m not a shopper to begin with but I really stay away at this time of the year. I only go to the grocery.

  6. I receive a number of blogs, most of which are discussing Black Friday and most of which are advising not to go crazy.

    This one amused me the most as it talks about how to stay safe in Black Friday sales rush:

    • Hi Moni, I followed your link to Roberts post and the one thing that I would like to add is that ~ If the companies had any concern for the safety of the public they could just stop holding this kind of sale. The mad rush at the beginning of the sale is only for the items the store is going to lose on anyway so why bother. It is all just a combination of big hype and gullible people and the world, the public and the store really don’t need that.

      • Colleen – I agree, its crazy. We don’t have Black Friday here as it is in America, to us Black Friday is when the 13th of a month falls on a Friday and yeah, there’s usually some sales but there’s always sales of some sort going on, so its not really significant.

        I think the Boxing Day sales are pretty big here, but not at a stampeding level. As I said the other day, I would be happy to see all holidays with shops closed except for a duty pharmacy and petrol station maybe.

        It isn’t a savings if you’re spending.

        • “It isn’t a savings if you’re spending.”

          AMEN… but still people think they actually do.

          I had my own “black friday” moment today. I needed a break from learning and reading, and met a friend, who wanted to go shopping, which I really didnt want to do… so we compromised, and walked the way to the inner city (no public transportation) to go into ONE shop, get his **** shoes and then walk home again. the walk was great, I really enjoyed it. but saturday afternoon in the pedestrian zone – unbelievable. I did this, because I really really like him and I dont see him very often as he doesnt live here. But I swore to myself that it will not happen again. I am no fun at all. if my friends want to go shopping they need to do this alone, because I am really no good company. it annoys the hell out of me and I get mad at all those brainless consumers, who buy cheap crap that they dont need. bah. whenever I need something myself, I will go into shops in the mornings, when there are no recreational shoppers around, or at least not that many – and only if I really need something. and I do so alone. thanks for listening, I needed to let that off.

        • “It isn’t a savings if you’re spending”

          You ma’dam are a genius!

  7. A family member posted on facebook a warning that the prices the store are advertising are really not great prices. He has been watching the online ads and has found that prices have gone up so the stores can ‘discount’ items and still make their profits. Sometimes the
    Black Friday bargains arne’t bargains.

    • Exactly Willow, exactly!

    • This is SO true. Black Friday is just like any other sale – you have to know what you want before you look. Ignore the hype, and look for what you want/need. Do you need a new tv? No? Then ignore the first two pages of the ad. I don’t care that I can get a new tv for $78, my current tv is just fine.

  8. I couldn’t agree more about “Black” Friday and so-called “Cyber” Monday – next Monday when the online sellers are supposedly giving deep discounts. This unfortunately is not just an Amercian phenomenon now – I live in Canada and this year for the first time have seen all kinds of print and tv ads for Black Friday sales in Canada. I’m really annoyed by this and I am making my own little protest by refusing to buy anything (except food) on these so-called “holidays”! I do enjoy giving and receiving gifts but this crass commercialization of actual holidays has really gone too far.

    • Hi Megan and welcome to 365 Less Things. I like your stand. I hope more and more people take up this attitude and them maybe the retailers will leave the holidays alone to be celebrated appropriately.

      • Just to clarify for you folks in the rest of the world, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October. So Black Friday doesn’t infringe on our holiday…it’s just crass commercialism borrowed from our neighbors to the south. Our own crass commercialism comes in the form of Boxing Day sales (Dec 26), when you go shopping for the stuff you didn’t get for Christmas, and retailers try to unload the excess stock they didn’t sell before Christmas.
        Funny, we don’t go to that, either!

        • Boxing Day is a holiday in Germany, where shops are closed. for me and my friends its those days where you meet friends and family for lunch, coffee, dinner (or leftovers from the 24th). and besides all the shopping before christmas, there is no dedicated day like black friday or cyber monday or boxing day or whatever. and I really hope that it wont happen. We do have the summer and winter sales of course, but those are regularly, and you can easily ignore them.

        • Wendy B, we don’t have Boxing Day here in the US but it’s is a sale day. Another day I stay away from.

  9. As an Australian I had never heard of Black Fridays being a shopping day until this year. To me Black Friday refers to severe bushfires that killed 71 people. I share Sally from the UKs sentiment about Black Friday advertising. We don’t have that here! (and we don’t want it!). Especially since we don’t get to have Turkey first. You can check out my sentiments in a recent post on the subject:

  10. Hi Colleen! We don’t have Black Friday. But we do have New Year sales that have prices of appliances going even for 1/5 of the original price. It is a bedlam, but it is restrict to home appliances and furniture. No clothes or other stuff. People form lines since before dawn to get stuff. If you really need something and have saved the cash for an item you have been eyeing, say a fridge, it is really worth it. However, if you just go for the “sale” thing it is a nuisance and not worth it. I never went. Too much trouble. 😀

    • Hi Andréia, I don’t even like parades because of the crowds so sales where you can get crushed in the stampede are definitely out of the question for me. I can understand people trying to get something they need a rock bottom price but to put your life at risk for it that I do not understand.

      • Well, I never saw any news about serious inciddents, just the random scuffle for this or that item. I have seen people get excellent deals, but I am far too in love with my creature conforts to risk getting bumped by people to get something. I pay full price, I demand salesman/saleswoman exclusive attention (won’t they earn their money from my purchase?), I don’t what’s on showcase, I want one that is in a box, I don’t want lines when I pay, and if it comes with any defects or breaks down too soon I want to be able to change the thing (which you CAN NOT DO at our sales). I am such a spoiled little brat when shopping! 😀 😀 😀 . I always figured that I am paying a lot for that thing (whatever appliance I am buying) so I want to be well treated, and huge sales are not my cup of tea, as the British say. And, unless I am buying books (I am changing that 😉 ), I think long and hard before buying anything, because it is just so much money…To tell you that a stove I have been coveting for a while now is more or less BR$ 700 which is US$ 340, is a lot of money. So I wait and think. Until i have no choice but to buy a new stove 😀 .

  11. I’m not too keen on shopping with 40000000 of my closest strangers.
    Usually the day after Thanksgiving is an annual “go to the movies” day in our household. So we went & saw Skyfall.
    Anyways, as we drove by the mall to get to Imax – the mall parking lot was slam full of cars & there were even cars parked on the grassy embankments! Crazy!
    It seems we as a nation (USA) have forgotten that just a few years ago, many folks were bankrupted, unemployed & quite a few lost their homes to foreclosure due to the failed housing debacle & living beyond one’s means.
    I read something not a week ago about how quite a few Americans feel they’ve suffered enough over the last few crummy economic years & want to reward themselves by buying something new & resume accruing unsecured credit card debt again. Sheesh!
    As an American, with all my constitutional rights allowed, I can talk smack about my fellow countymen & those that are “rewarding” themselves by accruing more credit card debt didn’t learn a darn thing. This isn’t about needing a new flat-screen tv so you might as well buy it on Black Friday sale…this is about getting into unsecured debt yet again & living beyond one’s fiscal means by playing the credit game. Ridiculous mindsight.
    Off my soapbox.

    • Jane – I read an article recently about a lady in America and her husband and her had managed to clock up $125,000 worth of credit card debit. Nothing significant purchased, nothing actually to show for it, no overseas holidays or luxury items. Just kept spending and not clearing balance and interest was compounding etc etc. Apparently sale shopping was a contributor.

      This couple didn’t want to declare bankrupt, so they got second jobs to clear the debt, plus sold stuff etc etc, it took five years but they did it and got an award for it from the budgeting advice organisation in the end.

      I know everyone has the right to be stupid, but there seem to be lots of areas in life where controls are put in place to save people from their own lack of judgement, and legislation for, say, employers to protect employees from harm, why are there no rules in place preventing excessive amounts of unsecured debt?

      • I can’t understand some people, but I know how you get there with credit cards: they are so easy to use! They give you a huge limit and you can spend and spend. Pay minimum and keep spending. We have 3 credit cards. And even though I try hard to control me and my husband I can tell you that I have spent more than I should. So we pay the cards in full when they arrive, so we have no interest and control our buys. Our legislation is very hard on credit cards, so they cut your limit when you only pay minimum rate. It is great! It happened only once this year, but we were able to recoup and control without sinking in debt. But you still have to be very careful. You don’t see yourself spending and you spend far more than you should.

        • Andreia – that is a much better system, I imagine some folks are highly offended to have their limit cut but a few minimum payments in a row is a really good indicator there may be a problem. Over here, pay the minimum only over a couple of months and you get offered an increase in credit limit. Crazy. I know that credit card companies are in the business of making money off interest, but it seems a cruel trap with no limits allowed.

          • I agree Moni. They are starting to tighten rules on fee gouging by the banks here is Australia but they also need to tighten rules ~ or perhaps create rules because there don’t seem to be any to protect the consumer ~ governing credit cards.

        • Hi Andréia, I like that your country has credit cards rules that protect the consumer from their own weaknesses. I do wonder why then you are allowed three of them. Perhaps they should also insist that there can only be one credit card per person. I imagine in your case thought that one belongs to your home business.

          • I was thinking that too. I wonder what you do with three credit cards. I love paying cash, I feel like I have more control and overview of what I am spending that way. I get myself 200 euros usually twice a month at the ATM and then not use my card again. this way, my account stays untouched except for the automatic transactions (rent, insurance, etc) and I know what money I am spending on the usual. so if I go out, I can take a definite amount of cash, spend it all and that must be it. My credit card gets used for plane and train tickets and for travelling of course, and to be honest, I think I could live without one.

          • It is part of a bank plan we needed to have. But I am cutting down and we will have two for both me and my husband. Mostly we use the credit card as a safety net. However I have noticed that we shoud buy more with cash, as we used to do, and would save a lot of money. As I said, we do spend a lot more with plastic money, because you don’t pay now, you don’t have to have the money. No Colleen, my business has no credit card. It is just services and it’s expenses are blended with my home’s because I work from home. It is just us with the credit cards. I have to declutter some debt also. Make a budget and stick with it. Sometimes clutter is also indulging in things you shouldn’t even with consumables 😀 😀 😀 . Another thing we do have here is a very low limit, in our case is according to our income. But interest can drag you down anyway. They may cut the card, but you still have to pay interest for no matter how many months you left behind. Credit cards are so not a good idea… 😉

            • Hi Andréia, oh credit cards were a great idea alright. They have achieved just what they were intended to achieve. That is to make big money for the credit card companies. That is the beauty of marketing. Companies make out that what they are selling has been invented for the convenience of the consumer but in fact their products or services are only intended to net the company a profit. And the bigger the profit the better.

          • Here in the US you can’t buy a home, car or other big item without having credit and that means having a credit card or two that you have kept on top of. I hate that. I have the goal of getting rid of all of the credit cards but one and just using that one occasionally to keep a credit rating. But you have to be very careful how you get rid of cards. You have to do it slowly and plan things out really well or closing them can mess up your credit too. Who would have thought?!

  12. We went to Target today near 10 am. They had been open 12 hours by then, and the crowds weren’t any worse than usual. We went for one thing specifically, and accomplished that: a $3 football for my son. the clerk said we were the cheapest check-out he had rung up all day! A friend gets all her shopping for her four sons done in one night. Dad is home with the kids, who are sleeping, and she accomplishes her objective in an hour. That is the appeal of Black Friday for me. However, I there is nothing I need bad enough to stand in line for it in the middle of the night. My husband got a better deal on the movie he wanted on Tuesday, and didn’t brave the lines.

    • I know that feeling. I went to Freddies, which was packed the first time I passed by on my way to another store, and waltzed in, got my blankets, leggings, and sweatshirt, and went on my merry way. No line. The other store where I went for boots was the same way. Super crowded for the first 15 minutes they were open, but by the time I got there, they still had what I wanted, and no fighting or anything. My purchases weren’t quite as inexpensive as yours, but they were equally miniscule in comparison to most of what I saw.

  13. I went this morning at 7 am with my 10 yo daughter, and there was almost no line. Probably because all the lines were last night and all night…. She got great deals on the clothes she wanted and had planned ahead on buying. Just bought a pair of shoes for me. First pair in 5 years! 🙂
    I think that Black Friday is not all black and evil. There are great deals out there, as well as not so good one. If you do your homework and go a bit after the crowd, it could be worth it.
    On a sad note, be careful while driving, there were so many deadly accidents in the SF bay area today. Mostly people driving back, exhausted, from their night of shopping. 🙁 Definitely not worth it.

    • NatalieInCA – I love a bargain like the next person, but I had a history of shopping in a frenzy, not a lot of thought to my purchasing and ended up with a pretty full house – which is what lead me to 365 Less Things.

      It sounds like you are a smart shopper and I love that you and your daughter planned ahead for what you needed to purchase.

      • Moni – shopping frenzy, you are absolutely right. That’s also one of the reason I went there with my young daughter. I’ve seen her getting in that frenzy mode before and had to calm her down, helped her think rationally. It was much better this year, she knew what she wanted and did not waste money and time on things she did not need despite the super attractive price. We mostly get her clothes through thrift stores so it was a big day for her. 🙂 Right now, she is going through her closet and her outgrown clothes will go to the thrift store next week.

      • Thinking about it, I see it a little bit like a shopping education. I like to be with her and guide her so hopefully when she go out there on her own or with her girl friends in a few years, she’ll already have some experience. Or even better, she could decide to just skip it 🙂

    • Hi NatalieinCA, “I think that Black Friday is not all black and evil.” Except for the part that you mention at the end of your comment where people, due to one aspect of it or another, are dying because of it. None of the rest of it makes that OK.

  14. Christmas 2008, I read the following excerpt from Robert Redford in his
    Sundance catalog. Just this one sentence sums it all up:

    “Find something or someone that carries the warmth and spirit of the holidays, not a grab by the collar of the commercial hand”.

  15. I bought one thing this year and it was an item I have wanted for YEARS. Four years, since my son was a baby, actually. It was on sale at one of the best prices I have seen and I didn’t have to leave my desk to do it. Worth it! Nothing else really attracted me, though.

  16. Nothing will get me out of my house on Black Friday and now, even Thanksgiving Day is not sacred. I spent today putting away my dishes from dinner yesterday and reading a book that was nearly finished. I watched a little TV and made an early dinner for hubby and me. Very relaxing after cooking for most of yesterday and entertaining guests. For our Christmas shopping, I do some online and will spend a day in mid-December with my son at a local mall. We do the shopping for my daughter and her family, my son and my husband. I take him out to a nice lunch and we can usually get all our shopping done in about 5 hours. Then, home to wrap and mail within a few more days. I do make a list after listening to everyone’s wants/needs during the last few months. Everyone needs winter coats this year, so that is what they will get. I do purchase some wonderful truffles from a vendor at our farmers’ market along with some jams and jellies. Nothing to find a place for. Save the jars and return to the vendor and reuse the candy boxes for my fudge gifts the next year. The old coats will be donated to a charity and we’ll just put the new ones in the closet. One in and one out. Thanks to 365 Less, I am trying not to increase my clutter with more things.

  17. There were some people who waited in line for Thanksgiving, just so they could be there first to get the good deals on Friday. It’s too bad, but stores are starting to make Thanksgiving a shopping day instead of a day with family.

  18. This was on the New York Times Opinion page yesterday (Black Friday). Says a whole in so few words.

  19. I was just sent this, which I have slightly edited:
    Black Friday: when people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.

  20. here in Michigan (not sure if any where else) in between black Friday and cyber Monday they have small business Saturday. My daughters and I were going to do lunch and some shopping and decided we didn’t really need anything so we just met for lunch at home. Big savings and a lot more quiet. I think that they should have thrift store Tuesday so maybe people could really see how nice they are. I do not shop on Black Friday but this year I wanted a new phone but I waited until 7:30 at night to go order it. I have had the same one for almost 8 years and some of the buttons are broken so I am finally upgrading. My youngest daughter (Jen) laughs and says look out she is finally coming into this century.