Black Friday is a holiday unto itself. People wait in long lines, refresh their browser in the wee hours of the morning, and even begin as early as Thanksgiving evening! I have done Black Friday both ways. Shopping late at night and staying home in my pajamas. I certainly prefer the later. (Seriously, think of the traffic alone!)
The Balance website reported that shoppers in 2018 spent over 717.5 billion dollars last Black Friday. It averaged to 1007.24 dollars per shopper! Now, remember when I said you should be finished with Christmas shopping before Black Friday? Well, if you heeded my advice, here are some recommendations on how to spend the day instead!
Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
Love Hallmark movies? Can’t say no to Lifetime Christmas movies? Here is your chance to indulge. No more social media guilt about skipping Thanksgiving. Become hygge and light some candles while sipping a hot beverage.
Hike a Local Nature Trail
REI began #OptOutside in 2015. Since then, outdoorsy people have found alternative ways to spend Black Friday outdoors. I did the same in 2016 during Friendsgiving in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Even if you are not into nature, you can find a way to enjoy the day outside. If you live on the Gulf Coast, the likelihood is the weather will be warm enough to sit outside at a cafe or walk the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bridge.
Clean Out Your Closets
If you are planning on a new holiday wardrobe, you will need room. You may also find it relaxing to declutter before the Elf on the Shelf comes to mess everything up. I recommend this as a time to embrace the spirit of giving by donating clothes to a local shelter or charity.
You can also continue onto your pantry and refrigerator to make sure everything is up to date and fresh.
Put Out Your Christmas Decorations
I have noticed a great number of my friends and family have gotten a jump on the holiday. As of the day this posts, many have already posted pictures of cute Christmas trees and festive lights in their homes. My tree goes up Thanksgiving weekend. Since my husband is opposed to pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating, I usually only put up my tree early if I’m out of town that weekend. The stretch between Thanksgiving is only 27 days, so that is not a lot of time to enjoy the decorations.
Hint: Remember those holiday movies? You can play them at the same time you decorate!
Do an Airbnb Experience
Now, this is not the cheapest option on the list. However, it could be a lot of fun. This year in China, Ed and I tried three different experiences hosted through Airbnb. We took a walking tour, photographs, and even a Soup Dumpling Cooking class. Airbnb vets artisans, experts, and creatives to host their own experiences in their local cities.
So far, the Gulf Coast has a bike tour, cooking classes, and more are being added all the time. Take this as an opportunity to be a tourist for the day or learn a new skill.
Make Your Own Cards and Gifts
If you feel confident, create a craft station in your home to make some handmade gifts. You can make cake mixes in jars, frames, or go with whatever Pinterest finds you. While you are at it, you can also make your own cards easily with scrapbook paper, stamps, and cardstock.
You can also wrap completed gifts and sign cards.
Find a Volunteer Opportunity
Remember the quote from our friend Dr. Seuss in his Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas:
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
Some organizations have a process to screen volunteers, but could always use help at fundraising events. My time volunteering with the Salvation Army entailed assisting at the Angel Tree booth by signing out Angels and then collecting gifts. Local residents of the Gulf Coast can check out the organization Gulf Coast HUB for Volunteers & Nonprofits to assist in finding opportunities to help. Help your own heart grow three sizes too big by helping out this holiday season.
Christmas Test Kitchen
Dig through your Pinterest boards and cookbooks! Use this day to try out all the cookie swap recipes and Christmas goodies you would like to give out this year. You can enjoy the smell of fresh baked goods instead of standing in line at Starbucks for 30 minutes with all the other shoppers.
Friend Bonfire and/or Leftovers Night
Spend time with friends by enjoying your surplus of leftovers together and listening to the crackling fire. You can choose other activities like board games, corn hole, or a holiday movie night. It may also be a great night to try putting everyone’s phones in a basket in order to enjoy each others company.
Alright, If You Really Must…
Some of the deals and interest free financing are too great to pass up. Remember 3 things:
- Most of the big sales and deals are available online that day! (Clicking refresh in pajamas seems better than standing in line.)
- In order to indulge your need for consumerism you can always create a free wish list on Amazon of things you would like under the tree!
- Small Business Saturday is a thing and the next day!
It is totally fine if you want to shop until you drop. I have enjoyed this in years past. However, I wanted to recommend and encourage everyone to rethink the day in order to use it best for you.
What are your Black Friday plans?
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission is you click through and make a purchase.