Black Friday Quiz

Karen at nothingbutknit2 posted a Black Friday quiz. You know I can’t resist a quiz.

1. Do you shop the sales on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and/or Cyber Monday? What is your favorite way to shop?

I do not shop on Black Friday. I’m not someone who looks for deals. I prefer to shop my values, which means paying a fair price for a quality item. I like the idea of shopping the day after Thanksgiving with family and friends to enjoy the season, but I’ve learned it is not enjoyable on that day. I may try to do a little shopping on Small Business Saturday to support our local businesses, although I try to do that year round. I do shop online but if it is related to a deal like Cyber Monday it is an afterthought so any discount is a bonus. My favorite way to shop is at our local small businesses. I enjoy browsing as long as it isn’t overly busy with people.

2. Have you started your gift shopping/crafting?

Yes, we are nearly done with our shopping as our children are mostly grown and we are still helping some of them get on their feet financially. We are also saving to buy a home. So this year we’re only filling stockings. My Christmas gift crafting is modest this year and I have started but not finished.

3. Are you one of those people who has all your gifts wrapped and ready to go early? Are you a last minute shopper and final moments crafter?

I am someone who has most of it done early. I am still looking for those final special items up to the last minute, though. I’m a thoughtful gifter and I like to take my time with it.

4. Do you have a tale from shopping trips past that you wish to share?

One year when we were terribly poor, I followed the conventional wisdom that I needed to go out and get items at a discount early on Black Friday. I needed to get coats and a couple of special toys for my (then little) boys. I was out at the crack of dawn and waited in line for hours to pay. It was a horrible experience and I realized the deals weren’t any better than on a regular shopping day. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday since then, except once when I nearly had an altercation in a mall parking lot over a parking space. Another reason to just say no to Black Friday.

I’m not a Black Friday hater, though. People should shop the way they like, although I saw this image on Instagram today and want to share it here.

I don’t want to act like I’ve got it all figured out. Shopping is something I struggle with as it is a way I nurture myself. You can see the problem there. So I am working toward saving more and spending less and being happy with the experience of shopping without necessarily buying something. This is tough when you work in retail! When I shop for myself I like to buy used when I can, and for new items I try to buy fair trade and/or handmade.

At work this weekend we have a coupon going out, but mainly we’re focusing on rounding up to help our artisan partners in Kenya buy a new kiln. We have a Small Business Saturday promotion with a tote bag giveaway in stores, and we’ll offer a Cyber Monday discount via email. This is a way to have some fun and reward our best customers. We’ll ask for donations for Giving Tuesday. As a small nonprofit, and as a fair trade organization, we can’t afford to offer deep discounts. Anyway, most of those deep discounts out there are just a discount off a steep markup. We don’t do that.

Before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the Today Show highlighted alpaca blend throws originally $350 going for $79 for Black Friday. At our store, alpaca blend throws are always around $79, often less.

So shop small this season, my friends. Shop fair trade if you can. Go to your local craft shows. Check out your local small businesses. If you have a small budget, make it count with a few good items.

I know when kids are little they have big expectations at Christmas time. I’m not suggesting you should make decisions that interfere with their happiness. I’m not sure where Legos are made, but I know there is probably a small mountain of Legos in a landfill somewhere because of us. No judgments.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

I’m still working on the doing better part!