Last year I took my daughters and step-daughter with me for their first-ever experience of Black Friday.  They had so much fun that they decided it had to become a tradition.  This year was a little different.  Mack had a terrible head cold and didn’t feel up to coming with us, and Juju, my step-daughter, chose to sleep over at a favorite cousin’s house.  Since we were down two in numbers, we invited my 13-year-old niece, “Mad-dog” to come with us.  This was Mad-dog’s first Black Friday experience.  She says it won’t be her last.  🙂

Here are some of the highlights from our experience this year:

*Getting to spend time with Huh, Hoob, and Mad-dog standing in line at Target from 3:00 a.m. until the store opened at 5:00 a.m.  We spent the time joking and visiting.

*Making friends with the strangers in line around us.  Learning that the guy behind us was from Canada.  Hearing the hilarious stories of others who had already visited some stores.  Wondering how on earth someone could show up wearing shorts and flip-flops.

*Receiving a coupon for IHOP (Buy one entrée get one free) from one of our new friends in line.

*Seeing friends from our neighborhood as they arrived to stand in line.

*Receiving free re-usable bags from Target as we stood in line.  (I believe this was their way of combatting “line jumpers.”  Anyone who didn’t have a bag wasn’t getting into the store until the end of the line had entered)

*Once entering the store, laughing hysterically as we ran like crazy people on the hunt for the GPS unit we were trying to get. (Not a must-have item, we just needed something to hunt for so that we could experience Black Friday.  If we hadn’t gotten the GPS, we would have still had fun).  Hearing Mad-dog say, “This is funny,” as she was running behind me through the store.

*Finding the GPS unit and the Flash drives we were looking for.  Adding a digital picture frame, blanket, and a Christmas gift for Yawlin (I can’t type it here in case he reads my blog in the next few days) to our haul.

*Helping out my sister and her husband by finding the bike they wanted to buy for their youngest son (Mad-dog’s little brother).

*Laughing as we tried to cram the un-assembled bike into my car.  We got the box in, but it forced Hoob and Mad-dog to ride in a cramped style.  We decided to take the bike and the rest of the stuff to our house before going to breakfast.

*Using our IHOP coupon that we’d received from our new friend in the Target line to buy breakfast.  Running into those same friends at IHOP as they were using their coupon.

*Listening to Hoob’s contagious laugh as we drove home after IHOP as she laughed at a funny she’d made up.  And when I say contagious, I mean contagious.  We were all laughing hysterically when we finally pulled into the driveway.

*Taking a two-hour nap after returning home at 8:00 a.m.

*Stopping at my mom’s after dropping Mad-dog off at her house and eating Thanksgiving left-overs (I love my Mom’s sweet potatoes!).

*Taking another nap by the fire after returning from my mom’s house.

And the best part?  The girls still want to keep Black Friday a tradition.  Mack hopes to be able to go next year, and Mad-dog says she will continue to join us. 

Maybe next year we can talk my sister into going with us.  And maybe Hub and Shroom and Yawlin and my parents and my other sister and my brothers…