Sleep was tough to find that night, as I dreamed fitfully of the possibility that the store would run out of my prized items before I could get my hands on them. When my alarm went off in the wee hours of morning, I dressed with shaking hands, bundling in easily removable layers, and prepared to do battle in an arena I had experienced once before—only this time, the stakes were much higher than socks.
My child’s Christmas joy was on the line. (Or so I believed.)
Armed with hot chocolate and hand warmers, we lined up outside, in a crowd that was already much bigger than I had anticipated, and my stomach sank a little lower. If only a handful of these people wanted the same item I was after, I might walk away empty handed. But we stood in line, laughing and joking with our fellow shoppers, and secretly plotting how we would maximize our time. When the doors opened, the crowed gushed forward, leaving me no choice but to flow with traffic, and before I knew it, I was inside and running for my designated section.
After hours of waiting in a line that had felt miles and miles long, I somehow managed to snag the FIRST of my most important item. Hugging it to my chest, I then zoomed around the store, loading up on other necessary (and a few unnecessary) holiday items, before meeting up with my co-shopper at the front of the store for more planning and to move on to the next stores.
The shopping high was better than any drug. Or, at least, I assume so. (I wouldn’t really know.)
Ever since then, Black Friday shopping has been a family tradition. These days, my kids are much older, and my daughters have caught the crazy-shopper bug. The truth is, my kids rarely remember the gifts they receive on Christmas morning. Instead, they remember our time spent together making traditions.
That chaos of shopping has long since ceased to be about things, or money, but has become about spending time together. And that’s a tradition I’m happy about.
What are some of your favorite traditions?