This year was my second go-round, and I had mapped out several stores to check out for their early specials. I spent about three hours shopping before needing to crash, so I took my purchases home and collapsed on my bed. I woke up a few hours later and headed back out after recharging to get a few more things.
I know a lot of people think I'm crazy for shopping with the rest of the crazies to save a few bucks, but I have consistently had fun with Christmas shopping every year. What's more important to me than anything else is seeing the look on people's faces as they open the gifts I had gotten them, and seeing their reactions. I don't care so much about what presents I get from other people as how happy they are with what I got them. The best example of this was last year when I got my mom tickets to see Jersey Boys in DC. She shrieked once she read the ticket receipt, much like a 6 year old kid opening the big present he or she was hoping to get for Christmas. Job well done.
Once I was done with my shopping today, my girlfriend and I were talking about every place I went since last night, and she showed me this video:
And once again, my hopes for mankind have been stabbed right through the chest.
Year in and year out, you can bank on CNN and other news networks showing the madness from stores around the country as they open for their Black Friday specials. This video is a perfect example of what they show every year, and I'm stunned every time. After I had watched this video, I went to check Wal-Mart's Black Friday ad to see what cell phone these people were rioting over. I saw a couple in their ad, one of which was a prepaid cell phone.
My girlfriend had a really interesting thought when she showed me this video: all these riots and chaotic waves of people on Black Friday are always at Wal-Mart. I'm not sure what, if anything, that means, but I can't remember the last time I heard of any rioting on Black Friday at a Best Buy, or Target, or Macy's. It's no wonder why we have websites like People of Wal-Mart out there. Somehow there's this stereotype of Wal-Mart having the lowest common denominator of customers, and videos like the one above drive the stigma even further home.
I'm not even sure how this stereotype came to be at first; it's like a chicken and the egg argument. I've never been that much a fan of Wal-Mart to begin with, and videos like the one above do nothing to encourage me to change my mind. It's almost enough to make me want to stick with shopping online for Christmas (which I have done in the past), but I get a bit o a thrill by doing my Christmas shopping old school-style.
At least you'll never see me in one of these riot videos.