The shop doors open, an eager crowd sprints inside. If you have been out Thanksgiving night and Friday morning to try your hand at snagging deals, you have witnessed the madness that is Black Friday. The fun, friendly festivities of a celebration of thanks just hours before seem to disappear from minds as countless people flock to stores to buy the perfect gift or personal treat at the right price.
Before you take part in Black Friday, be prepared, and follow these safety tips so you are only paying for that new TV, not a hospital bill.
Devise a plan. Before embarking on your Black Friday journey, decide which stores you want to go to. Account for weather, traffic and other obstacles that could impact your driving safety. Also create an exact list of the items you want to purchase. Make your Black Friday experience worth it, avoid purchasing that matching pajama set you will wear on Christmas then put away forever.
Prepare…for anything. Crazy events seem to occur every Black Friday. Keep a Red Cross first aid kit in your car, dress in layers and check the weather. Download the Red Cross first aid app on your smartphone for expert advice for everyday emergencies.
Although you may still be full from the best Thanksgiving meal of your life, consider putting those leftovers to use and pack some turkey sandwiches for your group to snack on for however long your wait may be. Also pack plenty of water in order to stay hydrated.
Dress to shop. Save yourself from being the person that gets trampled at the front doors of Target. Do not wear slippers, sneakers or boots will protect your feet, keep you warm and will be comfy to run around your favorite stores to your heart’s content. Also, dress for the weather! In Texas, Thanksgiving Day could be a beautiful 65 degrees, and snow could hit later that night. If you are waiting outside, wear appropriate attire and stay warm.
Be aware of your surroundings. Thieves love the holiday season. Deter car break-ins, attacks and identity theft by keeping no personal items in the car, walking with a partner to the vehicle and keeping credit cards concealed in wallet until point of purchase. Alert a store employee if you see anything suspicious. Also, a security guard will gladly walk with you to your vehicle if you feel unsafe.
Black Friday not your thing? Provide for others. Red Cross has devised a fabulous way to help others during the holidays in honor of someone you love. The annual Holiday Giving Catalog contains a variety of services you can support as a symbolic gift for people in your life. Holidays are a great time to reach out to others and make an impact in someone’s life!
While you are on the computer… Personally, I tend to avoid malls and shopping plazas on Black Friday. However, I find Cyber Monday to be a great invention. If you decide to partake in the virtual sale, always practice safe internet use and confirm you are purchasing from a safe and secure website (Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog is a great safe website to do some shopping). Make the experience even better by snuggling up with your favorite blanket and a mug of hot chocolate. Now that sounds like good shopping!
Black Friday can be a thrilling experience to enjoy with family or friends. Do not get too sad if the store runs out of that camera or sweater you wanted. Remember the time you just spent being thankful for all you have! Be prepared, safe, and thoughtful of others as you set out to seize the deals. Happy shopping, and may the odds be ever in your favor!