The dishes from Thanksgiving aren't even dry. The leftover turkey sandwiches haven't been assembled. And you're already thinking about the shopping you'll do on Black Friday. Maybe you looked into deals ahead of time and you have your attack all planned out. You may even be heading out at midnight to get the real bargains.
For a lot of families, shopping together on the big day is as much of a tradition as turkey and stuffing. But while I'm all in favor of family traditions, I've never been shopping the day after Thanksgiving — and I don't plan to start now. Here's why.
1. I'm lazy.
There are a few reasons you won't find me out and about on the retail trail on Black Friday, but the main one is this: I don't actually want to take off my pajamas until about 4 p.m.*
I know. I should get up, continue to give thanks, and go for a brisk walk. But that's not me. I'd rather spend the day in my pajamas, eating turkey sandwiches loaded with artichoke relish, and going back and forth to the kitchen to see if there are any biscuits left. (There aren't.)
2. I might miss out on leftovers, because my kids can eat.
As you may have gathered, I love a turkey sandwich. And a collard green omelet, and sweet potatoes mixed with ginger and cream and used as a dip for ginger snaps. Have you ever had leftover stuffing fried into little patties? So delicious.
The point is: Leftovers are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, and I am not gonna leave this house and come back to find all the best stuff gone. I need more than a half-cup of cranberry jelly and some artichoke relish. (Alhough I do love artichoke relish and I'll eat it anywhere, anytime, on just about any food.)
3. Black Friday is a great night to party.
The night after Thanksgiving is actually a great night to party. I'm serious. People you haven't seen in years are out and about, looking to escape the forced family fun and have a great time.
This is especially true for me since I live in the same place where I grew up. Holidays are when everyone — opposite coast family members, friends who I think of as family but don't see often — comes home to roost, at least for a few days.
If I spent the day shopping, I'd be way too exhausted for cocktails by the end of the day. I can shop when everyone goes home. Stores (and deals) aren't going anywhere.
4. I don't want to buy anything I can't really afford.
If I were going to shop on Black Friday, it would be for holiday gifts for the kids. And let's say I got one of those door-busting deals and managed to score something for them that I would never have bought under normal circumstances.
But then it breaks, because that's what kids do — they break stuff. If I was only able to buy something because of the low price that was as artificial as the Christmas tree that's already up at the bank, I won't be able to afford another one.
And the kids, who won't know I got a deal, will want another one. Or their expectations for next year will be high. They'll think we're rich, which is something you never, ever want your kids to think. And next year, when I oversleep or get trampled, they'll be stuck with normal presents.
So, here's something I've learned about extras like nice clothes, toys, cars, caviar, whatever: If I can't pay for it, I can live without it.
5. There's always Cyber Monday, y'all!
Okay, so this goes a tiny bit against the above point, but I'm human and I'm not above a quick perusal of my favorite stores on the web. Why not look at something on my laptop while I eat my third turkey sandwich? I might finally find a black cashmere turtleneck to replace the one I bought 20 years ago that got eaten by moths. Maybe there will be a great deal on something for the kids. Then again, I could also go make another sandwich.
Do you shop Black Friday? Is it a tradition you enjoy or a chore you'd just as soon skip?
*Disclaimer in case my co-workers are reading: This year I'll be at work, not in pajamas. I may be wearing my stretchiest pants, though.