This note is to wish all of you who celebrate it (mostly those in the US and Caribbean) a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Eat, sleep and be merry.
The Wife and I are heading up to Tampa for the weekend to celebrate not once, but twice: once with my family, once with hers. The thing is, this year, a horde of Puerto Ricans has descended upon the Cartagena household and are forcing us to feed them. As I’ve found out, cooking for 24 people is not a particularly easy task in a regular kitchen. (Give me a restaurant kitchen, and now we’re talking leverage.)
The big day for a lot of people however, is tomorrow, Friday the 24th, better known as “Black Friday.” Like last year, Americaâ€™s retailers have asked me to deliver a special message to all of you who have decided to stay at home between 5am and noon on Black Friday:
On a more serious note, if you are indeed planning to brave the crowds on Black Friday, Mr. Cheap Stuff has a collection of all the Friday specials. Print this out and use it tonight to strategize. The bigger your family, the better, since you can conceivably be in as many places as you have family members all at once.
Here’s my recommendation for those of you who don’t want to stand in line: at certain places, such as Best Buy, most specials do indeed go on between 5am and noon. The big rush is in the early morning, lasting from about opening time to about 3 hours later. If you don’t mind missing out on the $100 XBox (or the death matches that go along with trying to get the XBox at that price), you can get there around 8 or 9 am and still catch a number of great deals, all without having to kill thy neighbor to do it. You’ll still have to wait in massive lines, but think of that as a chance to meet people. Who knows, you may meet your future best friend in one of those lines, if you just stretch your hand out and say “hi, my name is _______”.
Now, since you will be spending time in lines, a good technique is to go with a couple of people. One person grabs an empty cart and stays in the line. The other runs around the store looking for things. Both are in constant phone communication, so its like being in two places at once. (Isn’t “the future” great?). If you have a big enough family, you can assign duos like that to attack every store in town, even get your Christmas shopping done in one fall swoop.
For the record, the reason I know about all this is because a couple of years ago, my parents decided they wanted to take advantage of the life-threatening deals that go on during Black Friday. They strategized and observed, and what you just read was a short version of our mostly impromptu playbook.
Anyway, enjoy your holiday. For those of you driving to and from other places (like yours truly), stay safe on the roads, don’t drink and drive, don’t over eat, yadda, yadda, yadda. Finally, for those of you interested, the Bucs are playing the Cowboys at 4pm on Thanksgiving. (Go Bucs!)