Black Friday is finally here. Are you one of the many shoppers that stands in absurdly long lines for the chance to buy a steal of a deal? In a recent survey, 23% of US adults plan to go shopping on Black Friday this year. That translates close to 60 million people.
I have a confession to make. I have never gone to a store on Black Friday. The thought of waking up early or staying up all night sounds atrocious to me. As an introvert, crowds tend to violate my personal space, plus I don’t have the patience to wait in long lines.
On the flip side, I have had a bunch of friends, most of them extroverts, who love everything about Black Friday. They love shopping the deals, feeding off the energy of the crowd, and the anticipation of hustling down an aisle to get that coveted item.
With that said, I do enjoy sitting on my laptop and shopping deals on the Thanksgiving weekend. I even took a day off a couple of years ago for Cyber Monday. Shopping at work is a big no-no, and I was really looking to upgrade my TV. I am not an early adopter, so I still had a bulky tube TV at that time.
If it wasn’t for Amazon and Slickdeals, I probably would still be shopping at the mall. For those unfamiliar with Slickdeals, it is one of my favorite websites. It aggregates all the deals across the Internet into one easy-to-follow page. The best part about Slickdeals is the community is so large and will quickly share whether or not a deal is actually good, or something that should be passed on.
Last year, I was able to pick up an awesome Dell laptop that went on sale the day before Thanksgiving for 50% off. I barely had time to order before it sold out. So if you’re in the market for something, make sure that you are paying attention throughout the day.
Celebrating Christmas As Kids
Something that my wife and I discuss a lot is Christmas, both currently and as we grow as a family. My wife’s family is Iranian, and though they celebrated Christmas, it wasn’t a huge deal for her family. On top of that, my wife’s mom passed away two days before Christmas a few years ago, so that time of year is hard for her and her family anyways. In fact, I don’t even think my wife’s family is putting up a Christmas tree this year.
I grew up much differently in this arena. My Christmases were much more magical. My Mom put up seven Christmas trees, ranging from 8 feet to 12 feet. They went up the day after Halloween and didn’t come down until mid-January. She took decorating for Christmas very seriously.
As a kid, I loved Christmas and everything that went with it. I still have fond memories as we opened presents on Christmas morning. Afterwards, we’d go to one of my Grandma’s house to open up more presents and eat lunch with my cousins. Then, we’d go to my other Grandparent’s home to open up even more presents and then have dinner with my other set of cousins. Christmas has always been a huge family affair.
Sidenote: The most memorable Christmas that I ever had was when I was in 1986. My parents gave me Nintendo video games, and I thought, this is awesome but I don’t have anything to play them on. Then, at my Grandma’s house, I got another Nintendo video game, and again, I thought, I guess I have to find a friend’s house to play them at. Then, at my Grandparent’s house, I got the Nintendo Entertainment System. Best.Christmas.Ever.
I think this video summarizes what happened at their house fairly accurately:
So in many ways, I’d love to provide memorable Christmases like the ones I experienced for my son as he gets older. My wife and I continue to discuss how we should emphasis the true meaning of Christmas and how much we want to spend on presents.
Our Plans for Christmas
In years past, we really haven’t bought each other many presents. My wife is somewhat picky when it comes to gifts, so I wouldn’t dare surprise her with something. It leaked that I was going to buy her laptop for her birthday, and when she found out, she put a kibosh on that. She said it was too much money, and her current laptop worked great. That’s arguable though.
Sidenote: A laptop does not work great when the battery doesn’t hold a charge, and it must always remain plugged in. On top of that, I have replaced the battery multiple times. To me, that means that your computer is dying. Never mind that the trackpad barely works, and web pages load up like at modem speed. But if that makes her happy, then so be it 🙂
Now that we have a kid, we have talked about how much to spend on gifts for him. He’s currently one years old and gets more excited about balloons and plastic spoons that he can bang against the window than actual toys. So, we’ll probably just get him some balloons to chase around the house. However, in the future, I have a feeling that may not be sufficient.
How Much To Spend on Christmas
The average shopper is planning to spend $929 on gifts this holiday season according to the American Research Group. With the average U.S. family income of $55,775, according to the Census ACS survey, this means, on average, that families spend 1.66% of their total income on presents for Christmas.
My wife and I have decided we’d like to keep the total cost of gifts to less than 1% of our total income. At 1% of our total income, I believe we’d still be able to be generous with our families without breaking the bank and allowing us to still safely hit our targeting goals.
So readers, how much do you plan to spend on Christmas this year? Is there something that you’re dying to have? Is there something that you’re dying to give someone? Or are you going to pass on the gifts and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas? Share your thoughts below.