Just as dinner is starting to wind down many of our stores are ramping up for what is claimed to be the biggest shopping day of the year. Love it or hate it Black Friday is as much of an American tradition as Thanksgiving itself. Shopping all night or choosing to #OptOutside this year? Check out how some of our ladies choose to spend the day.

Kelly Conroy, The Forest Dweller 

I’ve never had any Black Friday traditions. The thought of being exhausted, cold, and surrounded by crowds makes my anxiety flare in a way that no bargain could quell. Plus, Thanksgiving usually falls around my birthday, so I’ve spent most of my Black Fridays sleeping in and eating cake (not a bad tradition in itself). But this year, I’m turning 30 and wanted to welcome the new decade in a special way. So, after I fill up on mashed potatoes and pie, I’ll be heading into the woods with my husband and my hiking boots. The long Thanksgiving weekend is a great opportunity to spend time doing something you enjoy with people you love and REI hit that nail on the head for many people with their #OptOutside campaign. For me, there’s no better place to express gratitude than in the expansive outdoors and I’m looking forward to this new, forest-filled Black Friday tradition.

Kelly backpacking


Allie Eklund, The Realist

In years past, I have duked it out in the shopping lines at hours of the night I should have been sleeping. It wasn’t that great. What memories and traditions I’ve really enjoyed on Black Friday (or can we bring just “Friday after Thanksgiving” back?) have to do with being outside and away from the unruly consumers. I’ve found that most of the items sold on Black Friday are crap. Sorry folks, you’re buying cheap, mass produced items that are “on sale.” Most of these items should have always been on sale. After watching the True Cost Movie this year, I had a reality check with myself. I realized that much of what I buy, and much of what is sold on Black Friday, is not in line with my core values. Therefore, I #optout with Kelly Conroy, with REI, and hopefully with you too. Curious if your core values are being stepped on? Read my article about opting out everyday, not just on Black Friday HERE.

Chantel Elder, The One and Done

I will try everything at least once but most likely twice…just to make sure I know how I REALLY feel about something.  I tried Black Friday with one of my besties a few years back and let’s just say I don’t need to try it that second time to confirm how much I don’t care about a deal. Unless you are really in need of a massive t.v. I didn’t find the deals to be all that crazy. Also …Amazon, Groupon and basically online shopping in general has everything pretty darn competitive these days. While I love some traditions, I also love variety so – every year my Black Friday is a little different. This year I plan to brunch with friends and fully deck out my house with Christmas Decorations in the evening, while wearing my comfiest pants.

Kristen Flowers: The Observer

Every Black Friday I have to work so I can never take advantage of any deals but we open up our phones lines at the radio station to hear about all the great stuff YOU scored. We love talking to the people who have been waiting all night to grab that big screen TV. Their exhausted but satisfied voices make us smile. We get people to call in from all over town and give us the deals no one is talking about so we can spread the word. If we hear about something amazing, we might even send out an intern with our credit card! It’s the best way to grab the goods without having to throw any elbows!

Stephanie Ganiban,Guest Contributor: The Deal Hunter

Black Friday is a right of passage in our family. Growing up, I waited and waited until I was of the age to receive an invite. There is a method to their madness and I am now a part of it. We are an organized family, to say the least. They are methodical in their preparation of which stores we will go to and in which order. They come equipped with coupons and the ads circled with what they are looking for, in addition to the completed Christmas lists from all of the family members. Someone, me these days, is in charge of the first coffee run before we meet. We’ve met at the ungodly hour of 4AM before, but generally it’s around 5AM. It’s literally a marathon shopping day for the women of the Ganiban clan, one that his coveted in our family and has always been a tradition. For lunch, we always pay homage to our Grandma and eat at her favorite Mexican restaurant, Kiko’s (in the Arden area). Then it’s back at it, until the evening. To say they take this day serious, is a huge understatement. One year there was a picture of all of my aunts and Mom published in a national publication – a picture of them with their shopping bags walking in the parking lot at Arden Fair mall. It’s exhausting (and leaves me poor, every year), but I love being a part of it with my favorite women, it’s a honor to spend the day with them every year.

Kelli Gould, The Walker

Black Friday may be all about shopping for some, but for me, it is a day to be completely MIA while all of you crazies are out waiting for parking spots at the mall and in line for hoooours to save a couple bucks. Black Friday is a day where you do nothing but aim to look and act like a walker from The Walking Dead (minus all the blood). It’s a day for a messy hair, no makeup, no showers, pajamas, movie marathons and all the leftovers. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it??

However, I will admit that I did partake in the Black Friday hype one year. It wasn’t intentional though, it just kind of happened. Being from Modesto, where there is actually nothing to do, I needed a break from my day of lazy, so I went to Target. I strolled the aisles while everyone rushed through viciously tossing just about everything in their cart. Wow! These people are insane! How fun! I had finally found the point to Black Friday shopping: it is THE best time to people watch! Kids running around, babies screaming, couples fighting over which kitchen garbage can to buy…this was better than the movies!  After an hour of prime time people watching, I left purchasing one item – a dvd of Old School that I found on the $5 shelf! Not too bad for my first, and last, time Black Friday shopping!

Maria Hill, The Couch Surfer 

I consider myself a professional bargain hunter, there are very few things I will pay full price for. So you think Black Friday would be my official holiday, right? Then you are underestimating how much I love sleeping. Besides an early morning flight I can’t think of one instance where I would voluntarily get up before the sun comes out, or even worse camp out overnight in a line. Instead,  I prefer to shop from my couch and am grateful for companies like Amazon that make getting deals on Black Friday a pants-optional activity. Let’s be honest too, most of the merch I am scoping out deals on is for me and not for my Christmas list, because I was good this year too! It seems like Black Friday just gets bigger every year so I use the website Black Friday to stay on top of sales, also something I can do in my pajamas while drinking eegg nog. So for all of the deal hunters that go from the dinner table to the store, I salute your commitment to a bargain but can’t wait to shop from the comfort of my bed.

Jamee Villa: Slow Mover 

We have no traditions in our new little family or even in our large extended family and guess what, I like it that way. I absolutely refuse to wake up when it’s dark to shop. The last thing I want to do is wait through long lines with a million people I don’t know who are fighting over slippers and TV’s. That is a side of American culture I heavily despise. After most likely, stuffing my face with turkey and pies and guzzling copious amounts of Chardonnay, I enjoy the slow wake up or in reality, the loud scream of my child, “MAMA!” We will more than likely have coffee and breakfast snuggled on our couch watching Frozen for the 18,000 time. If we are lucky enough to leave the house it would be a play date for my daughter or a  get together with friends for lunch and drinks, toddler in tow. If my husband and I both have a day off from work with our daughter, we enjoy that time, together. The holidays move so fast….slowing down feels good for the soul.

Rachel Smith, The Napper 

I have a very specific tradition on Black Friday and it’s to sleep in as long as possible and do as little physical activity as possible. I detest shopping and waking up early as it is, so there’s no way you’d ever convince me to get out of my warm bed and fight crowds in the parking lot to get an Espresso machine. That is ridiculous. Plus, everything is available online these days and the sales are starting earlier and earlier every year so I really don’t even see the point of shopping because there’s really nothing I need that bad that merits physically leaving my house and waiting in a line. So on Friday, you will find me cozy in my bed and if by some miracle should I wake up it will be to eat leftovers and move to my couch to watch TV and drink champagne. It’s like I always say: If you’re sober enough to go shopping, you’ve lost at Thanksgiving.

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