Black Friday, Green Wednesday, 50 Shades of Grey Tuesday . . . Oh, Who Cares!

by Katy on November 22, 2012 · 37 comments

Black Friday has become such a big to-do, that Thanksgiving is apparently now called White Thursday. (Seriously, it’s for “early birds.”)

Many adhere to Buy Nothing Day, and make a bold statement to stand against the insane consumer frenzy that has taken over the day after Thanksgiving.

Me? I am neither going to shop nor anti-shop, (is that a valid verb?) but instead am going to spend the day enjoying my kids home from school, and enjoy what the day after Thanksgiving should be focused on, which is:

The best leftovers day of the year!

And yes, there will be pie for breakfast.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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P.S. I will be on KQED radio from 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. talking about alternatives to cray-zay Black Friday fever. You can listen to a live stream HERE, and even call in if the mood strikes. Bonus points if you can make me swear. 😉

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

tna November 23, 2012 at 12:51 am

Last year was the first year I went to Walmarts black Friday. I needed some groceries so I thought Id see what went on at those things. Wow. I never saw so many people with so many carts full of stuff. I did buy a couple of two dollar movies. I went back this year and looked at the spectacle again. I guess I find it interesting and I enjoy the walk. I bought two more two dollar movies. After I watch them a few times I donate them to the library so they get used a lot.


cathy November 23, 2012 at 1:18 am
AFS November 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

What a powerful image!


Paige November 23, 2012 at 4:22 am

I’m a first responder emergency dispatcher and in 16 years I’ve worked nearly every Thanksgiving and Black Friday. One year people were so rowdy I had an officer have to pepper spray a crowd inside a Walmart.The obsession with this sale is crazy. I’ve only been in it once. I went to Toys r Us before work that morning for two small drum kits for my children. Everyone was orderly and calm even once we got in there shopping…but I’ll never do it again. I just shop online and at local businesses. Good luck to you shoppers that brave Black Friday though!


Ellie November 23, 2012 at 4:27 am

I too will neither shop nor anti-shop today. I think I will spend the day tidying up my house and doing some much-needed laundry!

I don’t “do” Buy Nothing Day in any formal sense, because I kind of don’t like the whole “go to the other extreme one day a year” thing – as opposed to spending all year trying to be a responisble consumer, which for me means trying to never buy stuff I neither need nor will really enjoy, buying used as much as possible, and buying local as much as possible. I have no desire to shop on Black Friday with a bunch of crowds to get “deals” on stuff I don’t need, so I’m not participating in that. On the other hand, if I run out of milk or need to gas the car or buy cough medicine or something, then I will buy something on “Buy Nothing Day,” so I’m technically not participating in that either.

Last year I bought something new with a coupon from a specialty local business on Small Business Saturday, because the item was hard to find used, and also bought a few second-hand things from their consignment shop that I had a use for. I’m not shopping on SBS this year because there isn’t anything I need or want this year.

I’m not totally against all shopping. I’m just against shopping for stuff I don’t frickin’ need, and against buying new stuff when plenty of perfectly good used stuff is going to waste. So no Black Friday for me.


Bellen November 23, 2012 at 5:26 am

I’m 66 and have never shopped on a Black Friday. Can’t see the sense in elbowing, fighting my way thru a crowd to get gifts. This year, as in the past 5 years, I’m shopping on line. Why? Because the 3 people I buy for live 800 miles away and I let the vendor I buy from ship the gift. And, the gifts are magazine subscriptions for grandchildren, something that doesn’t need batteries, won’t be played with for a few weeks and then dropped for the next latest & greatest, parents think it’s a great idea and it ‘keeps on giving’ for a year.


Jen November 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

I really don’t want to hear about your Fifty Shades of Grey Tuesday, what you do in the privacy of your home is your business! 🙂


Michele November 23, 2012 at 6:33 am

I’ll be going to the thrift store then crafting at my house with a friend. Do thrift stores even have Black Friday sales?


marie November 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm

We could only wish!!!lol


Kristin November 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

My local Rescue Mission stores do (Syracuse, New York)! I didn’t shop, though; I took advantage of the good weather to take my nephew for a hike at a local State Park. It turned out to be free. Apparently the State has waived the parking fee at that park for the rest of the year!


AFS November 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

They may not open at midnight but in my town the big three thrift stores Goodwill, Value Village & St Vincent de Paul, all have half off sales on black Friday. The stores are crowded, there are long lines at the door before opening and at the registers, that is if you can find a parking space.


cathy November 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm

The Goodwills near me had 50% off all their donated items today. I had a few things in mind for repurposing into gifts if I was lucky enough to find them…and I did! I also bought a few things for my new kitchen and knit hats to include in “care packages” for homeless men. I arrived about 2 hours after opening…no crowds and still lots of merchandise in all departments.


Jennifer @ Little Blog in the Big Woods November 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

Ditto!! I will enjoy a calm day at home with my family, and my brother’s family. Well……as calm as it can be with 4 kids from 6 – 11 running around the house!!


Dogs or Dollars November 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

I second the pie for breakfast!

My Goodwill is doing a 50% off sale. I’m staying away from even that as it promises to be crazy insane. Perusing a few sales online now, but that mostly just to peruse. Nothing in my cart so far….


KrisND November 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

I did the Black Friday thing once a few years ago with some girlfriends and said NEVER AGAIN! lol. It was crazy then and it is total lunacy now. I have seen five headlines about fights and that was just from last night. Who knows what it will be like by the end of the weekend. You really threaten to stab someone over a flat screen tv??

I found that it is more sanity saving and more relaxing to try and find things I am looking for at smaller local businesses. We have an independent bookstore here and while I am not against big chains, independent bookstores have become a rare sight to see in many places so I shop for gifts there . It isn’t much more expensive but less crazy and free coffee 😉 I found that my locally owned True Value store carried alot of the stuff I was wanting for my husband, and again, not as crowded.

We do several gift buying events here. Last year I found out that the best place to shop for gifts for the Veterans home was at my local pharmacy. They have all the things that would fit best for elderly patients and NO CROWDS…lol just sickies picking up prescriptions 😉

One of the local grocery stores has a big supply of arts and crafts for kids and the local children’s home always asks for art supplies so I shop there and…………..NO CROWDS 😉

my husband and i both grew up doing angel trees, Samaritan’s purse shoe box gifts, etc, so it has just been natural to carry that on with our kids. We do spend much more on those gifts than we do for our own family, but it is always a more fulfilling shopping trip and my kids always loved getting their own angel to shop for. Less stressful than scurrying around to buy your own kid every new thing that is on the market.

I want to enjoy the reason for the season. I actually like going to the mall as they have live entertainment and I always love watching the kids meet Santa but it is only relaxing because I am not scurrying around trying to shop. no stress.


Another Rebecca November 23, 2012 at 8:48 am

I should have gone to Target or Walmart last night just for the sale on bath towels, we are in desperate need of hand towels and washclothes, and even our bath towels are threadbare, but I am to cheap to get new towels at full price. I was too tired by last night to go. Oh well.

I did end up getting a new waffle maker on Amazon this morning, using some gift cards earned with Swagbucks, but we have been looking for one that makes waffles thin enough to go in the toaster, and finally found one, so not exactly an impulse buy.


gabrielle November 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

+1 to avoiding the whole thing. It’s cake for breakfast over here!


Annie November 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’m neither a shopper, nor an anti-shopper, when it comes to Black Friday. What really bugs me is stores opening on Thanksgiving Day and forcing employees to work then. I spent 15 years working in retail and working Thanksgiving weekend is hard enough. It’s much worse if you can’t at least enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner in peace because you have to get to work later so someone can by themselves some piece of junk they most likely don’t truly need. My own version of Buy Nothing Day is one I call Don’t Buy From Greedy, Ungrateful Merchants Day. I won’t patronize places that force their workers to come in on Thanksgiving.
My other peeve is the shameful behavior many shoppers exhibit this time of year. Pushing, shoving, being mean to the clerks and fellow shoppers. That’s why I shop online now. I have no issue with taking advantage of a good sale if I truly need something, or am shopping for gifts, but I’ll be darned if I’m gonna be trampled to do so!
Enjoy your pie Katy! My favorite use of leftovers is to make pancakes and eat them with leftover cranberry-orange-walnut sauce!


Katy November 23, 2012 at 10:30 am

“Don’t Buy From Greedy, Ungrateful Merchants Day?” I love it!



alexandra November 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I totally agree with you. I refuse to patronize stores who are so greedy to make there employees work that day. Good grief! We all need a day off now and then.


That Other Jean November 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

I needed a loaf of bread and a couple of other things this morning, so it’s not exactly Buy Nothing Day here, but there’s nothing I need or want enough to participate in Black Friday craziness. It’ll all be there a week from now, and most of it will be on sale. I’d rather buy used for myself or online for other people anyway.

Turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie for breakfast is the food of the gods.


KrisND November 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I had left over green bean casserole and then a little bit later I hadpecan Revolting combo if you sit and think about it but at the time………..yum, yum, yum.


Laura November 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

We are having a no-spend Black Friday here: Will drop off clothes at the children’s resale and pick up some money owed us, then over to the Portland Rescue Mission to donate scarves, hats and gloves, then to a hobby shop to sell a model train engine my husband no longer wants or needs, and finally a stop at a Starbucks to use a free $5 gift card my husband was given.

We had pie for breakfast this morning too ;-). Hot turkey sandwiches for dinner tonight!!


marie November 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I bought a gallon of milk!


Joyce November 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

We had pie for breakfast too! I accidently went out on Black Friday once. I totally forgot about the chaos. I was visiting my SIL in Virginia. It wasn’t too bad as it was 1pm in the afternoon. And it was a local craft type of store so I didn’t feel bad at all. Happy Thanksgiving.


Shannon November 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Great day to grocery shop! We had to make room for so much in the fridge for the big meal yesterday that we were out of things like milk and juice , so I made my way out for basics. I made my one annual stop to Old Navy for jeans for my little boys. It is the one item I have an extremely hard time finding at the thrift stores. I reckon everyone else’s 7 and 9 year olds must be as hard on their jeans as mine are. It was noon and other than a long line there were no issues at all. That said I’d never be out all night for a deal.


Lilypad November 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I don’t do Black Friday. We’re Jewish and don’t celebrate Christmas but even if I did, I wouldn’t participate in ridiculous shenanigans just to get “good” deal on crap that’s bad for the planet. And I’ve never set foot in a Wal Mart in my life and have no plans to do so. They will earn no $ from me!
The first thing my son (11) said to me this morning was that he didn’t want to get out of bed but then he remembered there was pumpkin pie left over…so there you go. Pumpkin pie: a reason for living. 😉


Lori from Michigan November 24, 2012 at 4:54 am

I didn’t shop on Black Friday. I worked, and getting holiday pay is great!


linda in mass November 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

My daughters have gone out on black Friday for ithe past 2 years. They have so much fun with their cousins shopping the deals. They have never run into trouble. I went in the late morning for a little shopping. The crowds were not bad. In Mass the stores cannot open up on Thankgiving because of our Blue laws.


Diana November 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Glad to hear we’re not the only ones eating pie the morning after Thanksgiving!! 🙂


Bauunny November 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

We have a small Christmas tree farm so the day after Thanksgiving is a busy work day for my family. I did dash out late afternoon to return something to a consignment shop (I had done a 24 hour return for my daughter) and then stopped at Macy’s to buy sox for said daughter who is going back to college after the holiday. I was surprised to see the mall parking lot FULL at 5 in the afternoon but found the store not crowded and I got the sox on sale much to my delight. I can’t think of anything I want badly enough to shop with the crowds. I heard today that the WSJ had an article about the fact that the bargains offered on Black Friday are often offered at other times and for more discounts! I guess the convenience of doing it all at once and on a day that many folks have off from work is a selling point – but not for me.


ouvickie November 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

I had pecan pie for breakfast, YUMMM!

I don’t participate in the shopping frenzy because I can’t stand crowds and I just don’t “need” anything. We had a great day at home visiting and playing games with the kids and I didn’t have to cook – YAY for leftovers!
I have a funny story from last year about Black Friday sales – or at least I thought it was hilarious.
I bought a PSP for my grandson online the Wednesday before Thanksgiving from BestBuy. It was his Christmas gift and it was great to get it on sale after getting the ad by email. They immediately sent me a message that I could pick it up at the store that day. I went over after work to get it and their were people lined up on the sidewalk with chairs and card tables outside. It was Wednesday – BEFORE the holiday, so I thought they were having a sidewalk sale or something. I went in – no crowds inside – walked up and gave them my online receipt, picked up the PSP and as I was walking out I said something to the guy up front about all the people outside. He said, “Yes, they’re already lining up for the Black Friday sale.”
All I could do was laugh. I thought it was hilarious that I was walking out with an item that was on sale online for the same price many of them would be paying for after waiting two nights and a day to camp out in the weather for, while missing a Holiday dinner with their families. How crazy is that?!!


Erik November 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I live in the Netherlands Europe and can not figure out how people can go completely crazy with shopping when every day on the news you hear about the crisis and that people should keep an eye on their money.



Emily November 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Thanks – enlightening as always!


John Benton November 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

We stayed home, fixed hot toddies and put a VHS tape in our old VHS tape recorder. We played “White Christmas” which we do every year. Have been doing that for the last 35 years. Just relaxed, had a fire in the fireplace. Our car didn’t move that day. We have everything we need, probably too much. We made a deal with the family as we do every year, no purchased Christmas presents. Make it yourself or nothing. The Christmas get together for out family is enjoying each other’s company as was Thanksgiving. I know the economy has to grow, but not by importing stuff from China. Our economy should grow by sustainably and environmentally developing North American natural gas, coal and oil resources to make us energy independent. We need to sustainably log our forests which can be renewed for ever. Investment in infrastructure will create many new jobs to also grow the economy. When the economy grows by inventing and building instead of consuming and wasting we will all be much better off.


Bethany@OurSoCalledLife November 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

We dropped off a carload at Goodwill, for Black Friday. And I spent 25 cents to buy my daughter a plastic boat, for her bath…


Paula in the UP November 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

I spent a wonderful day with my family on Thanksgiving, went to the IL ate a delicious meal, got my butt kicked by my 10 year old nephew in Monopoly(which by the way uses a credit card instead of cash and your payday is 2 million instead of $200!!). …………….BUT at 9:30pm I was standing in line at Walmart for an iPad2. This item was one of their “guaranteed” items, but I was lucky enough to score the second to last in store iPad!! There was no frenzy, the lines were very orderly and I had fun chatting it up with my co-line waiters. This is a Christmas present for myself, I saved some of last years gift of cash and will combine this years cash gift(IL’s give all of us cash each year). I went in for this one item and walked out with this one item.

So I had a good balance of fun relaxed family time and some time alone with DH(and the other 100+ people in line). I have to admit it is something watching so many people with 2+ carts loaded with STUFF(unless they are ahead of us in the check out)!!


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