The Connection Runners + TIME

Oh yes, I'm crazy

Hope everyone had a SPECTACULAR Thanksgiving.

Totally ominous sounding name, and with good reason.

I've been quietly putting away Christmas presents over the last few months. I am completely through shopping for my son. So, what good reason would I have for braving the Black Friday crowds?

Sure, I could just confront an angry cougar while out hiking BUT instead I chose to confront moms on hunt for a deal.

We DID go out for Black Friday. We weren't looking for a flat screen for $20 or a Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever this years equivalent is). We just headed out, in search of an adventure. At about 8pm we started formulating our plan. My mother, sister, brother and I were all going together. Everyone else would stay home being party poopers and sleep.

I dressed warm, knowing the temperatures may get down to freezing. I started tossing chapstick,water bottles and snacks in my bag. I also brought along extra clothes.My husband asked why. Poor man clearly hasn't experienced Black Friday. I said:

"Do you remember the movie 'Hangover'?"

he nodded, not making the connection.

me, "Well, Black Friday is sorta like Vegas. You never know what is going to happen"

Getting dressed for battle: He didn't take me seriously, but after years of experience, I knew what I was facing. I wore jeans for comfort and warmth, picked dark ones to cover any spills that may happen through the night. (hello, jostled arms and hot coffee)I picked a thin, long sleeved running top and wore a thick (padding from elbows thrown) sweater over it. Next came compression socks to stave off swelling from a long night on my feet. Glasses instead of contacts, so I wouldn't have to worry about my eyes getting dried out during the long hours in the cold and wind.And then finally, my MUST HAVE Black Friday apparel item: Cowboy boots. The proper footwear is important. They need to be comfortable, and be able to take a beating. Shopping carts over the toes are no joke.

We went to Toys 'R Us first. They opened at 10pm. We got in line by 9:30pm and there were easily a few HUNDRED people in front of us. It was cold, and windy, but somehow we were having fun. Everyone around us was worried about getting inside in time to get a specific item (electronics mostly), but we weren't stressed. We didn't NEED anything other than the thrill of the hunt.

The doors opened at 10 and the game was on. It was I.N.S.A.N.E. luckily officers were on hand, and it didn't get violent. Our strategy was to break up. The lines wrapped up and down each aisle, winding the entire store. We each picked a line, the first person to make it to the register would call the other and end up checking out EVERYONES stuff as one lot. (yes, people grumbled at that)We got some great deals on toys, but mostly just enjoyed people watching.

By 12am we were in WalMart. Turns out that was a bit late. Everyone was already inside and had most of the goodies scooped out to be check out at 12:01. Our truck was full from Toys R Us so my brother took it to drop off the stuff at my sisters while we shopped. This time, we parked my mom in the ridiculous line and THEN shopped. We brought stuff back to the cart as we found it. This way, we didn't all have to wait in line. We picked up some cute jammies for the kids, a ride on quad and some cheap dvds. Funny thing is I ran into 3 different people I hadn't seen in years. Seems the whole town was out. My brother picked us up and it was time for food.

After WalMart we went to IHOP for some mid-shopping sustenance. Fortified with pancakes and tons of coffee we were ready to take on more.

Kohls at 3am. A slight wait outside, but nothing to complain about. Standing in line I could hear frantic discussions over how many bedding sets to pick up. We all chuckled to ourselves, seeing how seriously people took their shopping. Again, we snagged a few things (marshmallow guns, snuggies,dress shirts for hubs and toys) but took the most enjoyment out of seeing people with cart fulls of waffle irons.

After Kohls we went to HEB Plus which opened at 4am. We waited outside in the FREEZING cold, at this point there was a bit of sleet but we toughed it out. My mother decided she needed a break so she slept in the truck while me, my sister and brother checked out their deals. Again, EVERYONE wanted a cheap tv or Wii. We bypassed the electronics department completely and scored some cheap Barbies and a kids ride on Jeep for 1/2 off.

We made a quick trip to drop off our goodies again and we were off to Lowes which opened at 5am. The people there were SO nice. They let us wait inside where it was warm and even offered us coffee and donuts. Score! There were a few cheap tools my hubs had been drooling over, but they were scooped up too quick. No luck there.

By 5:45am we decided to call it quits and head home to our warms beds, briefly. After a short rest... ...

somehow we ended up going shopping again. :)

It was a crazy night, (I can't tell all our stories, after all, what happens in Vegas... .) and yes-a little silly to go through all that to save a few dollars (actually we saved $400), but sharing that time with family was priceless.

And now, I swear to you...

I will NEVER do the all night, Black Friday shopping again.

*whispers* Until next year.

Did YOU go out on Black Friday?

Still looking for a gift? Check out my gift giveaway HERE.

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Oh yes, I'm crazy + TIME