Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tick Tock, Black Friday Approaches

I used to adore shopping on Black Friday. I know many of you would never want to brave the crowds, but I found something exhilarating about joining others in search of the perfect gifts. Of course, that was long ago when my mother and in-laws were still living, when my nieces and nephews were still in school, and when I was working for someone other than myself.

I would join the crowd and pour into the shops as the doors were unlocked. 

I would get up early and treat myself to a special coffee at my local coffee shop, then make my way to the mall or store of my choice. I would join the group/crowd in front of the doors, waiting for them to be unlocked, and flow along with others through them into a Mecca of shopping and holiday delights when they were opened. The music, decorations, hustle and bustle just put a little extra zing into the gifts I found for friends and family members.

I love Christmas decorations in store and in the malls. It's festive and fun. 

My appreciation of the consumer side of the holidays has lessened over the years. No longer do I shop gleefully in the large department stores. No longer do I stand along the side watching the professional gift wrappers ply their trade (I learned a lot about package wrapping while watching those women and men wrap hundreds of packages), and no longer do I stare with delight at glittering ornaments and decorations draped from the vaulted ceilings of gaily-lit shops.

I rarely had the extra money to pay the professional wrappers, but I watched them
wrap many packages as I was growing up and I'm an excellent wrapper myself
because I learned a lot of trick of the trade while watching them. 

But I wish I could.

Our two-day sale gives our customers 20%-40% off our already low
pricing on a huge selection of our beading products. It's always a hectic
time, so I'd better enjoy my relaxed time now. 

My Black Friday now consists of the first of two days of extreme shopping in my store. We don't do sales, so my customers in the know wait for our two-day coupon sale after Thanksgiving, and our three day year-end clearance after Christmas. Those five days offer bargains that are unmatched in our annual cycle. And yes, we are decorated, but not with a lot of imagination. Instead, we are all on the sales floor and we are all working with customers.

Customers are the best thing for our holidays and customers who have become our friends over the past years are the very best. Maybe that's what I truly love about the holiday season - seeing friends, old and new, as I forge my way from Black Friday towards the New Year. Today's just Tuesday, though. I still have a bit of breathing space ...

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