Every year we spend Thanksgiving with Burt's family. Generally we all meet in Tennessee because that is basically in the middle between Florida (where his sister and her family live) and Michigan (where we live and his brother and his family live). We have a tradition that every year the women get up early and go shopping on Black Friday. It is a long standing tradition and the highlight of the trip for some. Not so much for me as I really don't enjoy shopping unless I have a specific goal in mind. My sisters in law and my oldest niece all know this and are always patient with me as I try to get myself mentally prepared for several hours of shopping with crazy shoppers. In spite of the fact that I don't enjoy shopping for the sake of shopping, I do value the time spent with my sisters and niece.
This year, Target had a door buster sale on something that I really wanted to get Daniel for Christmas so my niece, Christen, volunteered to get up with me and be at Target when the doors opened at 4 a.m. Although I was advised against going at that time we were up and out at 3:40 anyway. The line to get in stretched to the of the building and it was chilly so Christen and I drove around the parking lot in her Mini Cooper a couple of times and got out to get in line at about 3:59. It took about three minutes for us to get in the doors and we fast walked to the toy department. There were two lego sets on sale and we quickly found the lego aisle and began looking for the one we wanted. Sadly, we were greeted by a big empty space where, I presume, the item should have been. We carefully looked all around with no luck. Christen commented that she could not believe that they were sold out at ten after 4. I decided that since we had put all the effort into getting there so ridiculously early we should probably ask someone before we gave up and left. I found a young man standing near the zoo that was the electronics department (there was some huge deal on TVs) and explained what I was looking for. He walked to the aisle where we had spent 5 minutes looking at every box of legos, turned to the other side, reached to the top and pulled down the only remaining set. He commented that he had been there since 2 a.m. and had stuck it up there because he could not find any other place for it. I nearly wept I was so happy! Not only was it significantly on sale but it also is part of a discontinued set that Daniel really wanted.
Having had such stellar success in our first outing, Christen and I got in the car and were home by 4:45. I could have been done for the day but we had plans to go to the mall at 8:00 with everyone else so I got ready when I got home and then just chilled for a couple of hours. Christen went back to sleep :o)
The rest of Black Friday shopping was pretty typical. We started at Starbucks, as is our tradition, and then hit the mall. I really was not looking for anything, as I had already gotten my prize earlier, so I just browsed and hung out with the girls. We shopped for about 4 and a half hours and near the end of it I bought some perfume. With that purchase I got a free bag. It was a BIG bag and bright red, faux alligator print. Initially I thought it was kind of neat but quickly I decided that it really was not my style and that, while some people would look very chic with it, it looked a bit gaudy with me.
As the mall trip drew to a close I went outside to get some fresh air. I was tired, a bit grumpy, and getting a little stressed because it was nearly 12:30, we had not had lunch yet and Burt, Daniel and I had planned to be on the road to Indiana by 2:00. As I started back into the mall to meet up with the rest of my party a woman probably in her 50s came out with another woman who looked to be her mother. The older woman admired my red bag and asked where I got it. I explained that it was a gift with a purchase and then, on a whim, asked her if she would like to have the bag. She looked a bit surprised and said that, yes, she would love to have it so I quickly removed my perfume and wallet, gave her the bag, and wished her a Merry Christmas. My mood was considerably better and my step a bit lighter as I went back into the mall and rejoined my girls. It was a wonderful reminder that doing something kind for someone else can do wonders for one's mood and disposition!