The holiday shopping season is well under way. Last Friday, known as "Black Friday" because of the profitable day it brings to retailers, is the traditional first real shopping day of Christmas. I braved the crowds and attempted to buy a very few items. I steer clear of malls and large shopping centers. People are nuts, and my idea of a way to spend a day off from work isn't fighting off screaming shoppers vying for the last XBox 360. This whole "Black Friday" name is ominous to me. Those closest to me know the experience of a Black Sunday about 5 years ago, and that wasn't a pleasant experience. So, Black Friday causes me to shiver.
Now that online shopping has taken off, a new phrase has appeared on the scene - "Cyber Monday." That is the Monday after Thanksgiving (today) when the online retailers see the highest jump in holiday sales. Almost every media newsletter I received today proclaimed the glories of Cyber Monday. I think it's a bit overdone. You can order from a lot of online retailers up until days before Christmas for a Christmas arrival (see that little e-commerce site, Amazon). But, as a marketing professional, I'm all about the hype if it means a great economic upswing.
I'd like to don the Saturday after Thanksgiving as "Bountiful Saturday." I made my normal bi-weekly trip to the grocery this past Saturday and it was a joyous experience. Not only was it almost void of people because they had loaded up the carts before Thanksgiving, but all the pre-Thanksgiving sales were still in force. I loaded up on 12-packs of Cokes at a discount and got a loaf of bread for 99 cents! My grocery bill was $30 less than normal. Now that's something worthy of its own name.
I may not run to the mall on Black Friday, but I make it a point to do my grocery shopping the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And it gives me something more to be thankful for.