I don’t know about you but I’m so glad that “Black Friday” is over. It’s an American thing to kick off the start of their Christmas spending season. Somehow, it’s spilled over the border and we see it advertised here all over the place. I get it, being in the advertising area for Detroit, but see advertisements on the Toronto media.
I’m happy to say that I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping.
It’s an annual tradition around here – my youngest daughter and I make a day of it and head off to Windsor and the two big malls there. It’s done under the pretext that I’m unable to select stylish and colourful gifts for my wife. We also spend a few moments in the food court, dining, and just people watching. There sure are a lot of people who work afternoons… It’s out annual day together. That didn’t happen this year. I can’t remember the last time I went to the mall.
This year was really different. I actually had a physical list of what we were going to purchase. In the current climate, there’s really no time for browsing and holding up things to see how they look. It was a matter of going in and buying what we wanted and getting out, sanitizing both ways. We stayed in our town to do the shopping. I had gone over the list with my daughter and she had a recommendation of the stores to visit.
It was an interesting experience. They were mostly small stores, owned locally. We could stand on the sidewalk and look in the window and see what we wanted. Then, it was just a matter of going in and getting it.
We also had a couple of visits to big box stores which was a little more than what we had wanted. You couldn’t see what you wanted before entering but we had an idea where a particular section was. It was just a matter of going there and picking up what we wanted. A quick tap and we were out.
My fingers were feeling the pain of sanitizer in and out for so many stores. There were lots of trips instead of parking once and going in. Malls are indeed more convenient but this left us a sense of helping out local vendors, at least in a small way. We’re under no illusion that our purchases would make or break them but at least we tried. We were also pleasantly pleased with the sales that they were offering just to get people in the door.
All that I have left is to visit a local winery to pick up a stocking stuffer.
Without a mall (ours was torn down years ago), we were able to hit the drive-through and head home. A normal daylong tradition was done before noon.
This blog post will appear Saturday morning and many people will be out to start, finish, or top up their Christmas purchases. I hope that they consider the smaller, local businesses that are having a tough time these days. They would welcome you, maybe not with open arms, but with a smile under that mask.
While at it, consider those who are raising money for people who don’t have it as well as you. Here, we regularly get a card from the “Giving Tree” at a local insurance agent store and Sobeys has donation bags all packaged at the checkout counter just waiting to be scanned. The Goodfellows are also out this weekend collecting for their cause on the streets.
Above all, stay safe.