Sunday, November 25, 2018

Turns Out, Black Friday Is Fun

I'm terrible at remembering to take proper pictures. Do I have any pictures of friends and family seated around our Thanksgiving table? No, I do not. Not one. I do, however, have photos of silverware. That's right, SILVERWARE.

I don't even remember why I took this photo. 

Do I have a picture of my 3 youngest laughing and joking with their three next-door friends? No, I do not. I do, however, have a strikingly posed image of the leftovers I sent home with Theo.

That's definitely something the kids will want to look back on, years from now, right? Of course right. 

So you'll just have to take my word for it that we had people over for Thanksgiving, everyone ate and talked, and then (after our guests left and Rachel and Brian went to work at Best Buy) I went upstairs and fell asleep for an hour. When I came back downstairs, I apologized to Larry and Theo and Uncle Matt for my absence. Turns out, though, that they had all fallen asleep, too.

We are an exciting family, is what I'm saying here.

Susie and I finished off the evening with a rip-roaring game of Yahtzee, because that's how we roll. Get it? How we ROLL? Oh, I'm a laugh riot tonight. 

Rachel and Brian had to work again on Black Friday. I visited my yarn store (30% off, between 8 AM and 10 AM!) and did a little damage to my wallet there. Then I came back to find Susie waving a Michael's coupon at me, determined to go pick up a little snowman she'd had her eye on. So off we went.

So adorable! And only $5...
I used to be a total Black Friday refusenik, you know. I may have even smugly boasted in this very blog about not participating in this barbaric shopping ritual every November. Indeed, I looked down my nose at those consumption-driven souls who sacrificed family time to chase after some holiday bargains. 

Well, it turns out that the price for my soul is some discounted yarn and a cheesy holiday decoration made in China. 

I can't think of a good segue here, but I need to talk about trees. Stay with me.

Let's start with the sorry fact that the holiday magic of driving to our local Home Depot each December and tramping through the not-snowy parking lot to pick out our pre-cut tree has never really taken with Susie. In fact, she's been trying to convince us to stop buying live Christmas trees for a few years now. Since I usually spend the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas and the 2 weeks after convinced that our tree is about to spontaneously combust and kill us all, I am sort of on board with that plan. 

But not Larry. He clings to the romantic idea of the fresh pine smell in our living room, to the dubious enchantment of an honest-to-goodness tree draped with lights and ornaments, gradually dropping all its (flammable) needles on our living room floor. Also, he apparently thrives on the stress of running to all the stores (ALL OF THEM) 5 days before Christmas, looking for lights to replace the ones that used to work but don't anymore.

So! Susie convinced me that what we needed to do was gradually introduce Larry to the wonder of reuseable, less-ignitable trees. You know, wean him gently from his addiction to the combustible kind...


Yup, while we were at Michael's, we bought a cute little pre-lit tree, which Susie happily set up in our downstairs family room. Hey, it was only $20, okay? Doorbuster prices!

And, whaddaya know, it's been 2 whole days and all of its needles are still on. I call that a win.


  1. The lights. It's the lights that won me over to the fake tree side. Having those lights already on the tree with no effort from me every year was a game changer.

  2. I grew up with a fake tree, so I was fine with. The Husband was like Larry, so we had real trees for years. Until one year an ice storm hit and ruined all the trees in the local lots, so we bought a fake tree that we used for years until the lights on it died and it was looking ratty. After three more years with real trees, The Husband - fed up with wrestling with the lights, the needles and watering it - suggested a fake tree last year. We will never go back now.

    As for Black Friday - yeah, you can score some deals...particularly if you find that sweet spot in between the early birds and the afternoon shoppers and avoid the lines.

  3. I am with Larry 100%. I love the smell of the fresh tree and the fun of finding the right tree at the lot. For years we cut one down, which was new for Coach and I. A tradition we started and have since abandoned. It is hard enough to gather the gang to go choose a tree, never-mind drive out to Timbuktu and cut one down. Mini cannot believe that Coach has gone along with the real tree ordeal forever seeing as he wants to go fake. I just keep telling her to hush.

    I am not a black Friday shopper, but that is mainly because weekend after Thanksgiving is Midwest dancing championships. I am either traveling (like this year) or busy getting anxious if it is local. I would prefer to wait in long lines for stuff I don't need, but alas - I am the mother of an all-in Irish dancer.

  4. Congratulate yourself for not taking too many pictures. It's better to have the experience than to chronicle the experience of others.

  5. I used to have a real tree as that was what I grew up with...usually the most Charlie Brown tree we could find as I couldn't afford the really good trees. Then came the pre-lit fake trees on sale at Michaels for less than a real one. Sold! Except one year I didn't check the lights properly, ended up removing them and restringing the tree only to realize the original lights were working! *head-desk*

    This is the last year for this fake tree (I think it is the second one in 15 years or so) as it will be going to the trash or perhaps to Value Village (it's still better looking than than the two I saw there last week!).

    Sounds like a great Thanksgiving Day, with a turkey coma after lunch. :)

  6. My kids are the opposite. For some reason they think we need a real tree. Scott even tried to throw away my fake one. Everyone complains about it but once it's covered in ornaments I think it looks just fine!

  7. Real trees, fake trees... in my experience they both drop needles! Dh bought us a new fake tree in the after Christmas sales 11 months ago, but we still have to attach the lights. I have strong memories of my father struggling with getting all the strings of lights to work before he was ready to put them onto the tree (while the cat played with every single one) and since that memory is one of those big ones, we struggle with lights every single year.