I have a strong aversion to Black Friday. Any of my friends and family members can confirm this. I used to occasionally participate in Black Friday shopping as a teenager. It seemed fun, even if it was crazy. But I completely gave up on Black Friday after working the holidays at one of the largest outlet malls in the Midwest. In fact, most of my holiday shopping is done online and/or well before the holidays.
I'm always curious as to why people go to Black Friday shopping. Research has shown the prices aren't really any better than normal. It can hardly be counted as a family-friendly event with all the acts of violence and incalculable stupidity that go on. Can it? I have family members who go Black Friday shopping every year and they seem to enjoy it and even look forward to it. But I'm at a loss as to why. To me, the holidays are crazy enough without me adding to the material madness.
It's always been a bit of a struggle for me to walk the line between affordable and meaningful. I try to make a point that all my gifts are as personal as possible. Even if it's just an item off of someone's Amazon wish list (which, trust me, is one of my favorite tools!), I always try to choose something that I have a personal connection with. A movie that I enjoyed that someone requested. A book from my childhood for nieces or nephews. Lately, with the advent of having so many people to buy for (because, really, we all have people that we need to buy for and the extra people we WANT to buy for), I've had to get inventive to stay within my budget and still give something that means something to the recipient.
And, yes, my holiday shopping is already complete. I'm supposed to start wrapping next week so I can get everything in the mail before Thanksgiving.