This year was the first time in probably 20 years that I did not shop on Black Friday.

It was tradition.

All the family would have Thanksgiving dinner at Mom and Dad’s. Later that evening we would pull out the Black Friday ads and plan our attack.

You have to remember, this was before internet, before cell phones, before life got too crazy!

There were always good sales. None of the sales started until about 6:00 though. I do remember Kmart being the first to open at 5:00!

If you were among the first 50 or so customers at some stores, you would get a special gift from the store. The gift was usually something like an ornament with a discount code inside. One year we scored big with these Elmo tins full of white chocolate-covered Oreos!


Oh, yeah! I still have mine!

Half the fun of our Black Friday adventures was the planning! We would have to prioritize our list and make the most of our time.

One year we took WALKIE-TALKIES with us to help each other find the goods! High-tech, huh?

I remember my little sister dragging a boxed bike through Walmart. Boy that was fun!

Seventeen years ago, I stood in the Target line in the cold drizzle with morning sickness! Guess I didn’t have any sense at all.

Oh, the stories! The year of “The Sideler” in the Kmart line. The woman who claimed to be in labor at K-B Toys. The disgusting slimy mess my sister, Liz, slipped in at Sears.

Oh, how we laughed!

The guys were always good sports. They would sacrifice and stay home with the football games. As the years went on, there were babies to tend to as well as football.

They were always excited to hear the shopping tales and see the haul.

shopping bags

Our Black Friday shopping plan always gave us time to be at the head of the line at Steinmart for our chance to win the $500 gift card. Steinmart always opened later than other places, so this worked out perfectly.

Then it was off to breakfast. The breakfast of champion shoppers could only be found at…


The superior selection at Waffle House, IMHO, is Cheese Eggs, Raisin Toast with Apple Butter, Grits, and CRISP Bacon. We had lots of good laughs about floppy bacon, too!

Life has changed. Black Friday has changed.

Back “in the day”  most of the shoppers were ladies. Technology was not the HUGE deal it is today.

Stores open much earlier than they used to open. Guys camp out in tents to get the “Best Buy”. People are getting killed!

Back in the day, we could see this time coming. The year of the Elmo tins, people were pushing so hard to get in the door, Liz and I entered the store without our feet touching the ground! We lost sight of Mom and Laura in the crowd. We both laughed about it, but it was a very nervous laugh. We were scared!

at the Waffle HouseWe were die-hard shoppers. We would wear the matching outfits and everything! One year Dad had t-shirts made for us that said “Born to Shop”.

This Thanksgiving, as we refused to shop on Thanksgiving day, Mom and I searched for photos from Black Friday’s past. We never did find pictures of us all in our cute matching t-shirts.

We are now scattered across the country. We all have our own families now. Life has changed–so has Black Friday.

I suppose we will have to start a new tradition of some sort. Risking my life for a deal just isn’t for me.

It is sad to see a tradition come to an end. Remembering the good times is a tradition that never grows old.

Did you risk life and limb to shop on Black Friday or Thursday or whatever they are calling it now?