I haven't spent a dime on Black Friday in over 10 years, since Wal-Mart stopped putting practical clothes on their Friday-after-Thanksgiving sale. I'm neither an adrenaline junkie nor a pleasure shopper, and I like to buy Christmas presents early. The biggest reason though is that the Christmas shopping period long ago became a making-money time of year rather than a spending-money time of year. When jobs were scarce I worked my butt off at Christmas and made enough money to live on until the end of March, when hiring would pick up again. That's why I'm puzzled by all this fuss over working on Thanksgiving. Twenty years ago whenever I did seasonal work I worked Thanksgiving every year except when I was a paid Salvation Army bellringer.
But this year we
actually spent a fair amount of money on Black Friday. Some of my
husband's students are Afghan War vets with pickup trucks. We paid them
to haul furniture from the old house for us, a task we previously
hadn't been able to organize.
They brought down the piano and a
lot of the older case goods -- mostly mid-twentieth century
mass-produced junk, but better built than you can find in all but the
fanciest showrooms today. The only known antique is the wardrobe my
great-great-grandmother brought from England. She was a mail-order
bride whose hand in marriage was sold to pay some of her family's debts,
and the wardrobe served as her trunk when she crossed the ocean. The
dresser and the cabinets have little value save utilitarian and
sentimental, but after two years without a place to put my socks I
Best money I ever spent on Black Friday.