Whoa! There certainly are a lot of retail events that keep materializing for the Christmas season shopper. The biggest ones I’m aware of are Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving), and Green Monday (a couple Mondays before Christmas). Of these three, Black Friday is the one that draws hordes of customers into actual stores. The others are online shopping days which are perfect for me, a revolutionized .com-customer.
I used to thrive on “brick and mortar shopping” where I had to touch, see, and even smell everything on display. Pixels weren’t included, and minimum storage merely referred to my overflowing closet. My friend Heather and I were partners in bargain hunting and hit malls, shopping centers, and outlets to use our marathon purchase prowess about once a month.
Due to the convenience of online shopping, I’ve evolved into a laptop shopper. I still like to occasionally venture into real stores with Heather and my daughters though (They’re currently ages 12 and 14.) Doing so, I discovered a shopping spree window of time for which I will annually save the date. I call it White Wednesday, and it outshines Black Friday. White Wednesday is to be observed on Thanksgiving Eve.
Before I share the clean and bright beauty of White Wednesday, I wish to disclose that I was and still am an expert Christmas shopper. I understand the value of and excitement of *Black Friday and admit to partaking of it in the past.
This year my daughters wanted me to take them Black Friday shopping. Initially, I said yes and thought we could make a retail adventure of it. We would get up about twelve minutes after falling asleep. We’d travel just over thirty miles north to Erie where we could hunt for sales at the Millcreek Mall and neighboring stores.
We would stand in long lines, battle crowds and traffic, and lose sleep to fill up our bags and carts, but we would do it together. Our arms might burn with muscle spasms, but we would power through with adrenalin, strength, and gift-giving and girl power. We would save money and get free stuff for being early birds. We’d refuel on free hors d’oeuvres at Hickory Farms and toothpicks topped with China Max then blast ourselves with sugar and caffeine from Starbucks (straws and napkins free).
While bonding with my girls, I would train them to become a part of something big, a special community of shoppers around the USA. We would contribute to the economy and have a blast doing so.
And then the wine wore off and I woke up…
That morning, I lit a harvest pumpkin candle and relaxed in my cozy slippers and comfy chair. While sipping pumpkin coffee with pumpkin flavored creamer (yes, I’m a pumpkin junkie), I made a big fat pumpkin pie plan to boycott Black Friday, FOREVER!
When I broke the news to the girls, they were relentless. “But, Mom! You promised, and it’ll be so much fun!”
“Believe me, it won’t be fun. It will be very stressful,” I claimed.
“You are the best shopper, Mom. We want you to teach us.” Oh, how they know I love to be flattered for my teaching skills and best-buy-radar. When it comes to couponing talents, I have no modesty.
“Girls, I really don’t want nor need to go Black Fridaying ever again. It’s too exhausting and insane for me at this stage.”
*ROGO — Read One, Get One! Today you get two blogs in one sitting. Check out (shopping pun intended) “Bye Bye, Black Friday” for more store lore.
“Besides there is a much better materialistic holiday, White Wednesday.”
“Oh yeah? Why haven’t we ever heard about it?” asked shopping minion #1.
“You’re making this up,” accused shopping minion #2.
“Trust me. I merely made up the name, White Wednesday, but not the concept which is a day when pure retail wishes come true.”
“Nobody shops on White Wednesday!”
“Somebody does, or the stores wouldn’t be open. The point is that nearly nobody will be out and about because they’re waiting for Black Friday or prepping for Thanksgiving. Since we don’t have to do either, you can accompany me and be White Wednesday Angels.” My darling cherubs eye-rolled then conceded to go after with me after school Wednesday, especially since that was their only option for brick and mortar Christmas shopping. The rest would happen online.
I hoped it would be like last year, when, after my appointment in Erie the day before Thanksgiving, I went to the Millcreek Mall. I wanted hand soaps and candles but witnessed the unveiling of Black Friday products and prices and bought a lot more. The mall was beautifully decorated for the upcoming Christmas season, but it was as quiet as a snowglobe. I felt like I had the place to myself. Every store I went to started their BF sales, so I banked in on early-early bird bargains, but better. There were no lines, crowds, competitions, traffic, or sleep deprivation.
This year it was great, and even better than I could have imagined. The girls and I arrived at the mall at 5:00 p.m. (not a.m.) We had no trouble finding rock star parking on this chilly eve. When we entered the mall you could hear the buzz of the fluorescent lights. The entrance was only busy with signs, slogans, and sale prices, not sounds and customers. The silence whispered that it was going to be a good shopping trip.
Each store we went to was prepping for their Black Friday deals. Employees had mere hours to set us their store kiosks, displays, and signs for anticipated customers. Since the mall was thankfully closed on Thanksgiving, they had to get ready on Thanksgiving Eve.
Whatever was going to be offered in 36 hours was offered then and there. No mall retailers held out on giving me a freebie or discount I would have scored later. If held up a few minutes longer while the seasonal Christmas help was being trained, I would be rewarded with future coupons for my patience. These should not have hit my hands until BF, but, honestly, these store managers and workers aimed to please.
My girls and I ended up with an abundance of toothpick snacks from Hickory Farms and China Max. At Starbucks, we only waited behind one cute couple named Doug and Dina. After all that, we shared an order of pretzel sticks and a lemonade. Life was lovely.
We shopped hard and turned the mall inside out. Even though we acquired so many deals there, the girls wanted one more store. One more store? It was nearly 10:00 p.m., and we had a 40 minute drive home.
Those girls convinced me that we couldn’t end it yet, so we went to Target. That was the one place that wouldn’t start BF deals on WW (White Wednesday, remember?) At least I had a $10 off of any purchase coupon. We left with a free giant box of Xtra Cheddar Flavor Blasted Goldfish Crackers and two packs of Juicy Fruit.
We made it home just minutes before my pumpkin spice latte wore off and the clock chimed for Thanksgiving. We carried all our purchases inside and said goodnight to each other and our wonderfully productive and serene White Wednesday. We were thankful for the day together.
This was a day when pure retail wishes indeed came true. Mark your calendars for the next White Wednesday on November 22, 2017.
Have a Christmas season you dreamed of.