My Name is ______ and I’m a shopaholic

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While the tradition of most families is to subside into a formal food coma after Thanksgiving dinner, other families take up the tradition of participating in Black Friday.

Black Friday is the first shopping day to kickoff the Christmas season.

It was dubbed that infamous name by the Philadelphia Police Department back in the 1960s as a result of the traffic jams, crowded streets and mobbed stores.

On this day, prices are slashed and door prizes are given to the first customers through the doors. Retail stores open early, close late and double their floor teams. Customers typically spend hours, if not days, in line for a chance to grab the latest gadget, widget, accessory or iWhatever.

“As a recovering shopaholic, I’m naturally drawn to deals and sales,” CBU student Mariah Howell explained. “Black Friday is the epitome of those things. It’s like a treasure hunt, really. Being the first person in the line, the first in the door and running up and down aisles with hundreds of people searching for that deal; nothing lives up to that feeling.”

While it is one of the biggest sales of the year, it is also quite possibly the most dangerous sale of the year. It was reported in 2008 that three people died due to direct involvement in Black Friday. One Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death as he opened the doors before the sale and two men shot each other to death in a Toys “R” Us.

Sound as though this holiday is living up to its name? It is.

Here are a few tips from veteran shoppers to think about when venturing out to face this beast of a sale.

Do your research. Get online and check out the product you are going for. Look for the best deals and be sure to compare and contrast the item with its competitor.

Make a list. Getting yourself organized will help guide you through the chaotic stores.

Get plenty of rest. This event takes stamina and a competitor’s edge. Getting enough sleep, even if it is on the sidewalk, will pay off in the end while waiting in line to pay for your items. It will also aid in maintaining the right attitude to make it through the day.

Dress appropriately. While it will more than likely be cold outside while waiting in line, it is going to be very different in the store. Wear layers that you can remove before entering the store to make sure you do not over heat. Also, having less bulky attire will assist you in moving about quickly and efficiently when Grandma is going for the same Taylor Swift album as you and there happens to be only one left.

Divide and conquer. Bring some friends or family with you and split up! You can get your items in half the time, have some- one hold your spot in line and tag-team in order to get the jacket your sister has been dying to have.

Make friends in line. You are going to be there awhile, you might as well get to know the people around you. Also, this is helpful when you need to go place things in your car or go to the rest room because they can save your spot in line. Share some laughs and make an alliance to box out the guys behind you to grab the hottest item.

“Natural conversation in line also leads to some amazing connections and opportunities,” Howell said.

“There’s just something about meeting people where they’re at, finding some common ground and the next thing you know the topic of school comes up and why you’re doing what you do and sud- denly you’re talking about Christ and sharing the gospel with them. Even if you leave with nothing after standing in those lines, if that is accomplished, it’s worth it.”

Good luck shoppers. Stay safe, get the loot and save some money.

For daily updates on the latest ads and sales offered at stores near by can visit http://bfads.net