I used to be a dedicated black Friday shopper. My sister and I would set our alarms for some ridiculous hour of the morning (4 AM to hit the 5 AM sales?), crawl out of bed and run to the mall to snag the best deals. Then, my mom would meet us at the mall for a 9 AM lunch at T.G.I. Fridays before we headed home to decorate the tree. I loved this tradition.
Yet, I am so over it.
Black Friday has now crept into Thursday and it makes me cringe. I want to linger over Thanksgiving dinner at my 87-year-old grandmother’s house, not rush out to the stores to buy more “stuff.”
I’m all for deals and I like to think I am fairly thrifty in my spending. Although I like nice things, I rarely buy them at full price. I start Christmas shopping in July and I try hard to support small businesses in the process.
I’d be lying if I said I was not shopping Big Box stores this season. But, I am making a conscious effort to not get caught up in the “gimmies” of the holiday season. I am attempting to give handmade and specialty items and I have taken the Made in USA Challenge for my shopping this year. I won’t be hitting up the big box stores on Black Friday, though I may visit a few of my favorite local businesses for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
For those of you from the Philadelphia area, I was recently introduced to an awesome independent toy store, Bull Market Toys in Exton, PA. (For those of you who are not local – no need to worry – they have an extensive online site and free shipping on most orders over $25!). This store seriously has more Legos than ANY store that I have ever seen.
Next time I need to buy Legos for my boys, there is no doubt we are heading back to Bull Market Toys. I was also very impressed with their extensive Melissa and Doug line – they had items that I had never seen carried in other stores. They even sell wooden track by the piece – a rarity that any mom (or dad) of a little train enthusiast knows can save lots of money (instead of buying a whole set, you can just buy the pieces you need)! If you are in the Exton area on Black Friday, stop in the shop. They are having 40% off Melissa and Doug items (in store only). Feel free to bring the kids – they have two tables where kids can play while you shop!
Disclosure: I was invited to a blogger event at this local store. All of the opinions I express in this post are my own and do not reflect the views of Bull Market Toys. I did not receive any compensation to write this post.