The Black Friday sales are akin to Australia's Boxing Day sales. On steroids. According to locals (and by locals, I mean people who were either born in the USA or have lived in Manhattan for more than 2 years), Black Friday sales used to start at silly o'clock in the morning, with people camping out aiming to be the first in the doors to gain maximum savings. These days? Well... the sales have already started online and will start in store Thursday afternoon.
Yes, Thursday afternoon. That's before the turkey is even out of the oven for Thanksgiving dinner. Heavily discounted goods before dinner? Yes, please!
Well, that is, unless you're us, and more than halfway through a one year stay, and only need very specific stuff, like wool thermals, or size 2 childrens clothes, or woollen socks for little feet (toddlers size 6). Did I just write a wish list? Hmmmm...
I will admit to taking advantage of the online sales, but I tried to keep it to the things we actually need. More base layers? Yes. Undies for Jimmy? They weren't on sale. That gray jumper with insects embroidered on it? Hmmm, well... If you're me, then yes. It has insects on it - nufsaid.
I'll be keeping an eye on the prices for some woollen socks for me, but other than that (and the above wishlist), there's really not much that we need. Most of what we actually need won't be on sale, or if it is, it'll be sold out in our size or not to our liking (we're pretty picky about what we buy for Jimmy).
But, guess what? We're still going to the sales! That's right. One of Michael's co-workers is taking us along to some of the bigger shops in Manhattan, before we all go to a Thanksgiving dinner at their boss' house. It should be interesting.
We don't need much, as I mentioned. If we were buying gifts for family and friends, the Black Friday sales would be the time to do it, if we had a gift list already or at least some idea of what to get, but we're not, so we won't.
It's not just about our tight budget, it's about mindful choices and not being overwhelmed by stuff. We packed up a lot of stuff when we moved here, and I'm enjoying the current minimalism. Sure, I miss some things, but this state is temporary. And we don't need to add to the list of things we'll have to part with or ship (and add to our stuff).
So, when we head out to the sales tomorrow, we'll be keeping an eye out for bargains, while remembering that we don't need, don't need, don't need a lot of stuff.
And then we'll be enjoying Thanksgiving.
And if you think I'm overthinking things... well... here's some food for thought:
The guys over at The Minimalists put it well
Here's a semi-local take, and discount guide
On keeping the sales to Friday
The official Black Friday site - because a sense of scale is important.
*It's here for those of us not in Ferguson, St Louis, and those of us who aren't affected by the ruling yesterday. I'm going to put something up about it tomorrow, because it's part of our experience here, even if we are living a few states to the west.