Black Friday bargains worth enduring long lines, crowds

By Susan Kantor

Some people watch football and eat pumpkin pie as their Thanksgiving family traditions.

This year, the Kantor family decided to start a new tradition.

We were going to brave the masses of minivans and gym shoe clad suburbanites at the major chain stores for this year’s Black Friday.

We spent hours pouring over the stacks of sale papers after we recovered from our turkey comas on Thanksgiving.

We circled the best doorbusters, comparing prices and making lists of what we wanted from each store.

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    We mapped out our game plan for the order of which stores we would go to first.

    We set our alarms for 4:15 a.m.

    We were ready for battle.

    With only four hours of sleep, I didn’t consider myself to be in the best condition to brave the stores at such a ridiculous hour in the morning.

    Best Buy was first on our list for digital cameras and $3 DVDs.

    The images of riots and cranky customers on the news didn’t discourage us.

    We were determined this year.

    The scene at Best Buy at 5:00 a.m. was complete chaos.

    People using carts to push their way through more people, lines that wrapped around the store and seemingly had no end; the police guarding the doors.

    I opted to leave my mom there to brave the line at Target, which opened at 6:00 a.m.

    The holiday cheer continued at Target.

    After waiting in line for a half hour, it was like the running of the bulls with red shopping carts when the doors were opened.

    I darted to the home appliances section to get my $35 vacuum and $17 coffee maker.

    My sister ventured into the chaos of the electronics department to get an $8 flash drive.

    We left the store with everything we came for.

    We were finally in the holiday spirit, while half my family was still stuck in line at Best Buy.

    The next and final stop on our Black Friday adventure was the mall.

    With the parking lot nearly full at 6:30 a.m., we knew we would have more lines and crazy shoppers to battle.

    Two and a half hours and eight stores later, my second wind was long gone and we decided to call it a day.

    Team Kantor sat down to a restful breakfast and debated over whether or not we should go back out into the field for whatever deals were left.

    We laughed at the crazed shoppers rushing for their deals and gloated over the great deals we scavenged.

    It was around this time that I had my Black Friday epiphany: We were those crazy shoppers, and we did get great deals. And through all of the crowds and crankiness, we had fun! It was worth the time and the effort and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

    And I sure am going to enjoy unwrapping that $13 George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine on Christmas morning.