We lived in a sleepy little burg of 1000 before moving here. I used to go every Black Friday to the nearest town (of 10,000 people!) to do all my holiday shopping on one day and loved it. My mom and sister would give me their lists for us and I'd buy their gifts too, so they didn't have to ship cross-country.
I'm seriously scared to go to the malls or larger stores here. Too close to the city, too many people, and too many stories on the news of people getting pushed and trampled. If I get pushed, I fall over and I've hurt people too many times falling down and the cane going flying. Too dangerous.
But I miss going. It's really where the holiday season starts for me. So, I set the alarm for 4AM and gave it a shot. I drove past Best Buy at 5AM, and saw the line outside was all the way around the building. Hm. Not for me.
At Shoe Carnival they greeted me with a $10 gift card and a buy-one-get-one-half-price offer, so I got slippers for hubby and me. Not gifts, we need them NOW!
The fitted sheet on my bed has bit the dust, but the rest of the set was fine, so I toodled over to Bed, Bath and Beyond at 6 when they opened for a really nice replacement. I can't afford $100 for a set of sheets, but I can afford $25 for a really nice single fitted sheet (especially with a 20% off coupon!) I picked up a charging station there, too so hubby would stop losing his cell phone charger. That can wait to be a gift, I guess.
I dropped by Joann for some pillow forms at 50% off so I can get started making some special pillows for the kids (I'm taking their old special event T-shirts, iron-on-ing a photo of them on the back, then turning the outgrown shirts into pillows as keepsakes). I grabbed some crochet kits and a soapmaking kit (that's the one I used the 50% off coupon on) so they can make gifts for their friends.
At the Christian store I got all gifts: the kids some new music (Switchfoot, Mercy Me, Barlowgirl, etc.) and the new holiday CD by Jars of Clay. They had a 20% off coupon and a BIG cup of hot cider for me at the door. Aaah.
Best Buy was my last stop where I got some DVDs, a Wii game and my gift to hubby: a supercool computerized remote to control all our living room gadgets. We joke about our 7 remotes, but it's becoming ridiculous. When we switched from cable to sat TV he was saying he didn't like the new remote, so it's as good a time as any to consolidate. All of this stuff will be gifted.
Later, in the afternoon, hubby took us to Books a Million and Target. I didn't find anything in either store I can't beat the price on online. But, while at BAM I read up on the new Mac OS upgrade and found the gift I want to send to my oldest boy 'cuz he's da bomb!
I still have a ton of books to buy, but I can get those at Amazon much cheaper than the stores. I have money available there anyway because for the last three months I've taken my profit from my Amazon store in gift certs.
I didn't have to be up at 4AM, I didn't have to wait in long lines, but I wanted to. It kind of kick starts the holiday season for me. I didn't get but a handful of gifts, but saved more than $50 on things I needed anyway because of the special Black Friday coupons and sales.
The rest? Free shipping at online stores! YAY!