Millennium Mom

Friday, November 27, 2009

11/27 Blog: Black Friday

Happy (and hopefully a safe and productive) Black Friday to all of you.
I have never done the Black Friday thing. Perhaps because we have always traveled on Thanksgiving, so not being in my back yard, with stores I know, and the ability to quickly hide presents did not exist. I think it would be pretty hard to hide the presents in a van.

It also doesn't excite me to think about getting up at 4am. You all know me, I love my sleep. I would have to go to bed at 8pm to get the beauty sleep I need. But...this year I was actually going to do it. Each year our family adopts a family through the local Salvation Army. I believe this is our 5th year. I started doing it when I realized that Christmas was no longer fun for me. Our kids have more than what they need, as do Arnie and I. And it wasn't fun anymore. We are also so fortunate to be able to give to others, so this was another way we could do that.

When you adopt a family, the gifts have to be delivered early in December, usually around the 8-10th. This year it is the 8/9th. I realized that I only have this weekend and next to do my shopping for the family. On top of that Arnie has his annual ski weekend with his father next weekend in Vail, so the thought of shopping with all three kids in toe didn't seem like a good idea. This meant I had to do it this weekend.

I am sure you are thinking...what about during the week? I thought of that to. But we have Hockey game Monday night for Ben, a work event at our home on Wed, a work event to go to on Thursday and then Arnie leaves. So unless it was Tuesday it wouldn't happen, and frankly I didn't want to do it then because it would mean we would be out of the house the entire week which I don't like to do.

So I hit the flyers. I knew I couldn't do it all, but I wanted to get most of the family's needs done. I realized I could do a lot in two stores: Kohl's and Toys R Us. I made my list, circled away and was prepared. Then my sister in law told us that most stores were giving Black Friday deals online beginning at Midnight. Kohl's was even giving an additional 15% off. This was far too appealing for my husband, as I told him he had to go to be my bodyguard (did I tell you I was really a bit terrified doing this).

So, he woke me up at 12:30 am and we got online. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. Let's just say that the servers were not ready for Black Friday. First Comcast (we are in Detroit) went down as we were two items away from being done on Toys R Us. We switched computers (for some reason we thought this may help, and this way I could be in bed) and tried again. Success, one hour later we had Toys R Us placed (thought, the site was horrible, it would change prices constantly, at times things were on sale and other times not, others it gave one price and then when you went to checkout it would change...a bit frustrating). Then we headed to Kohl's. Same problems there, but this time with their site. Kohl's was SO SLOW, truly painful. It took us 1:45 and we were again two items from finishing. And their site locked up. We got a nice picture of little elves saying "we are sorry but we are trying to keep up." I stayed up for another 30 minutes and we were able to at least "see" the items we needed. But we could never add them to the cart. After an hour we got a message saying "due to inactivity you order has been deleted."

I thought my husband was going to throw the computer through the window. Instead he emptied his mother's dish washer (very loudly and kept me up). So now it is 3:30 am (when we would have gotten up) and we had nothing ordered at Kohl's. This morning we got back online and it was much faster (much later, after 9am) but the pots n pans we needed were no longer available. Everything else was so the order was placed and we still were "happy" with escaping another year without hitting the stores.

I will need to go out on Sunday (likely to Kohl's with my $30 in Kohl's bucks that I earned) to get some items that weren't on deal today. I would love to know how many people were shopping last night and how many had success vs. face defeat like we did. I hope you were all on the successful side.


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