Once, at a Black Friday sale, my mom and sister and I went at 5 in the morning to get an $88 jeep for my niece. It was a great deal, and for the joy she got out of driving that thing around the backyard at my sister’s house, might have been worth it. That was 10+ years ago, and even then I left the store with a mangled hand from some crazed shopper who thought I was going to get in the way of her getting the thing she wanted to buy so she rammed my hand with her cart.

This year, I slept in.

In the last ten years, Black Friday has gone from fun, early-morning tradition to all out crazy.

I don’t know what happened with the woman and the pepper spray in the Wal-Mart in LA, but you know what I think? Shame on Wal-Mart!

Wal-Mart seems to be driving this mob mentality craziness by starting the sales earlier and earlier, by being open all night and allowing mobs of desperate shoppers line up ready to pounce on the latest greatest deal.

You know what bothers me the most? Most of the crap that people bought during Black Friday chaos they bought using credit cards because they thought they were getting a good deal. And most of them bought stuff they didn’t need.

It’s getting out of hand.

This year, Dave and I are trying to tame down Christmas. It’s gotten out of hand for us, too. We spend more than we should and the pile of presents around our tree by the time we’re done is a little embarrassing.

So we’re doing it differently.

It’s too late for me to implore you to not participate in Black Friday, but I’d like to share these thoughts:

  • If you have buyer’s remorse, please, take the stuff back while you can still find the receipt.
  • If you do decide to keep the stuff you bought, try to pay off the credit card you used as quickly as possible so that you actually realize the savings you were trying to get.
  • While you’re gearing up for the holidays, take some of the money you would have spent on Christmas gifts and donate it to charity or sponsor a family for Christmas.
  • If you really want to give a great gift, make something for someone or spend time with them. Go to the VA and sing Christmas carols, or volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, or get involved in your church’s or community’s efforts to help the less fortunate.

That’s my rant. How do you feel about Black Friday? Did you brave the craziness? Was it worth it? How do you feel?