My sister from New York comes out to see me every Thanksgiving.
First there was Thanksgiving itself. I have it down to an art. First, I have mastered the long-suffering sigh. Then, I say, wearily, "OK, OK, I'll stuff and bake the turkey. But if I do all that work, the rest of the family has to bring the rest of the food and clean up."
What a great scam given how easy roasting a turkey is! And at 23 cents a pound for a nearly 25 pound turkey, it didn't even cost all that much.
Then, another of our longstanding family traditions is to get up really early (4:00 a.m. this year) and hit the Black Friday sales. My sister does all of her family shopping for my family that day. I get the stuff I don't think will be as cheap again before Christmas.
I failed to get one of the $200 laptops at Wal-Mart. Apparently we had to be there by 2:00 a.m. when they handed out tickets.
But a local department store had every sock and bath towel in the place at 50% off, and I definitely scored some bargains.
Plus, two of my kids want WII's this year and I got them for $174 a piece.
Old Navy was a bonanza for kid's clothes and t-shirts--everything I wanted was $5 each.
I know I'm supposed to despair of the rampant consumerism that is unleashed on Black Friday, but I was too busy out there buying.
My Christmas budget, which is usually $2000 for tree, decor, and gifts for 12 kids and grandkids, plus assorted spouses/boyfriends, is $1600 this year.
I'm determined to stay within the budget, and Black Friday helped me meet that goal.