We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in SC. We got to visit with lots of family, ministry partners, and churches, Ed went hunting a few times, we watched the parade (which Kinsley is old enough to enjoy), and lastly, ate LOTS of good food, from home cooked meals to my parent’s restaurant to Miyabis (the BEST japanese restaurant in the world!). We definitely know we have so much to be thankful for and loved sitting around the table and talking about what those things are, especially focusing on Christ and the Gospel. We made these cookies with Kinsley (yes, some of them don’t really look like turkeys and are messed up…lets just say it was a learning adventure) and these pinwheels for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (they have bacon, cheese, and ranch in them and they were good, but maybe not worth doing again).
But, after Thanksgiving, is one of my most favorite times of the year. No, its not Christmas….its Black Friday!! A lot of people have asked me about my trip and deals so I thought I would share it all with you, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am not a fan of all these stores opening up so early, but I don’t know if I could ever stay away. Unfortunately, my dad, who loves to tag along and get in on the action, was sick and had to stay behind, so my mom and I tackled it alone this year. Ed lovingly stayed with the girls (but I think deep down, though he won’t admit it, he wants to be there and be a part of the action too). Mom, I am sorry that I am going to share some things that you don’t want me to (running over a curb ringing a bell?)….I will ask for forgiveness later.
We started our adventure by heading to WalMart to pick up a few movies, toys, and one other thing (can’t share what in case that person is reading this 🙂 ). WalMart began their first sale event at 6, and because we weren’t getting big items, we though we could get there 45 min or so early. We had a few WalMart’s in Myrtle Beach to choose from so we picked the one that we thought would be the least crowded. Bad idea. When we pull up at 5:20, the parking lot was COMPLETELY FULL and cars were parking behind the building. Uh, yeah. Mom was so flabbergasted and distracted by all the cars that she ran over the curb in the midst of trying to figure out where to turn. She dropped me off and went to park the car and I went to the movies since that is normally the craziest place. When she parked (on the back near the grass mind you), she went to the toys.
This WalMart didn’t let anyone pull plastic off the pallets or grab anything until it was 6 (some others will let you put things in your cart but not check out until 6). Literally, people tried to just look at the movies (which we facing the yogurt and deli containers where you couldn’t see them) and the worker would fuss. When mom went to the toys, she couldn’t even get to half of them because they were in the garden department which had its glass doors shut. There was a line waiting to get in there and people had been waiting since 3:30…seriously? So after getting fussed at by a few people who thought she was “skipping in line”, she came to me frustrated and saying it wasn’t worth all that. When it turned 6, we got the movies we wanted and mom went to get in line to check out (#1 rule in Black Friday is if you have two people, don’t wait until you are done shopping to get in line, but have one person get in line while one looks and then you switch). Meanwhile, I decided to brave the madness in the toy section. After watching many people get heated with each other and coming to a complete deadlock where I couldn’t move because of so many people and carts, I thankfully found a few things we were looking for and started the 20 minute trek to find mom at the checkout lines (yes, it was that crowded!). I was checking out only to have my card get declined for being out of state (seriously, on black friday when this NEVER happens). It worked fine the rest of the day and the next so I have no idea what was up. We heard from others later that other WalMart’s weren’t that crazy, so not sure why the one we went to was. It was enough that I told mom that this would make me not want to do this ever again (and that says a lot after many years shopping on Black Friday). I don’t think I have ever seen people be so hateful and rude like that.
Then, knowing how many people were at WalMart, we knew that we had better high tail it to Kohls and get in line, though they didn’t open until 8. When we got to Kohls, we were some of the first people in line and we were stunned there weren’t more (my guess is that they were all at WalMart!). We waited for over an hour here before they opened and it was freezing. I literally thought my toes were going to fall off and gained a huge appreciation for homeless people who are forced to endure the cold out of necessity. We spent a lot of time in Kohls and waited in line for over an hour (but again, we took turns and one of us was shopping during this time so it wasn’t like shopping plus waiting in line).
After we finished here, we went to another WalMart to see if they had the thing we didn’t get and let me tell you, it was so empty and most of the things we wanted were there so the moral of the story is wait about an hour or two to go and you will get all you want with WAY less people. Then, we decided to come home, get a good night’s rest, and venture out with everyone the next day to hit a few more stores (it was hard when some stores opened that night and some didn’t open until the next morning). So early the next morning (okay it wasn’t super early…it was only 8 or so but with two kids, thats a big deal!), we headed back up the beach and hit up Dicks, Michaels, the mall, Bed Bath and Beyond, Lowes, and Sams Club. The girls had a great time shopping and Kinsley got to visit with Santa. At first she was scared, but then she warmed up and wouldn’t stop talking to him!
So what were the best deals I got?
Movies for 1.96 and 3.96, TV series for 9.99, clothing for $5 to $10, 24 pack of batteries for $3.88, toys for MUCH cheaper than you would buy them regularly like $5 Disney princess dolls, appliances for $3-9 a piece (good appliances like panini makers and waffle makers), a few other good deals that I can’t name because people are reading this who can’t know, craft supplies for projects at 30% off, and my favorite deal of all – a Dyson Vacuum. I love getting these good deals because not only am I being a good steward of our money, but I am able to get more for people for Christmas that they need because I get things for less.
Let me brag on the Vacuum deal real quick because this is probably my best deal of the night and made it all worth while – Dyson DC40 which was one sale at a lot of places for Black Friday for $299 – went to Kohls where it was $299, was going to use the 15% coupon to get a discount but the clerk gave me 20% off because I had to wait a few minutes because of a problem with the lady going before me, and then I got $75 in Kohls cash back to use this week. Um, yeah….$160 or so for a Dyson Vacuum. And let me tell you, I LOVE IT!! I told Ed that I didn’t care if it was the only thing I got, that I was happy. It is sad when you get old enough that a vacuum is all you want for Christmas.
The great thing about all of it…my Christmas shopping is 90% done….who ho!! Happy shopping to you!