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Black Friday, or Cyber Monday: Holiday Shopping without Stressing Out

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The holiday season is officially upon us, now that our turkey and stuffing buzz has worn off, and we awake ready to shop our little hearts out. I have never been one for Black Friday shopping, the thought of it makes me anxious. I’ve heard stories of people getting trampled, people camping out for XBox 360s, or whichever other hot item must-have. Not me, I’ve never done it. I was tempted though this year.

I am one of those people who hates the fact Christmas is so commercial. I resist the pressure to buy, buy, buy, especially where there's hype. I’m generally looking at my list on December 20th still trying to figure out a game plan, including who I should be getting presents for, and a budget so the credit card doesn't get used too much. I know it has to be done though. I'm not about to go on strike from presents (find shopping tips links at the end of this article). This year, I have already started to pack-rat away some little finds I know I can use as part of a gift for someone, I bought beads to make a necklace for someone, I have some other ideas to make as gifts, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

My oldest sister, came to Thanksgiving dinner with her own game plan. She wanted me to come with her, probably for the teaming-up aspect, and I considered it for the sake of being able to experience what it was all about. She and her 11yr old daughter, and 17 yr. old son were all getting up at 3 a.m. to get to Starbucks by 3:30 for a buy-one-get-one-free deal. Then they would head off to Wal-Mart to get in line for the items they had in their sights. They planned on getting MP3 players, digital picture frames, and a list of other things. Then it would be off to a couple other stores (Target, Khol’s, Best Buy, etc.) to get things they had planned to pick up against competition from all the other passionate early morning Christmas shoppers. They would sleep most of the rest of the day. I've noticed some Black Friday shoppers are a little like addicts.

I love Starbucks, so a buy-one-get-one deal would get me excited, but only if it wasn’t at 3am. I think I can bounce for $4 in lieu of forfeiting sleep.

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