UNITED STATES—Those days of the crazy long lines, camping outdoors before retailers open their doors to nab those doorbuster items that are too good to be true (sometimes you can get iconic deals people) seem like they might be in the past. Why? Things have changed since the 2020 pandemic. To be honest I think the pandemic changed our lives in ways that we will never understand.

For our family it was tradition, and it was a fun one to say the least. Getting up in the wee hours of the morning and getting in line at our favorite retailers to get that big screen TV, laptop, electronic device that was a must have or something else, it was the thrill people. Look, we were never a fan of cutting lines, running into stores and acting chaotic as some people did year after year as you witnessed on TV. There is no deal that great where you have to show your tail to get the item. If so, you have to take a hard look in the mirror people and I mean a hard look.

With that said, many retailers have started to release their Black Friday deals earlier than the official day right after Thanksgiving. Guess what? It is quite smart because you don’t have that mad rush of consumers all trying to get the same deal that happens to be limited in stock people. Also with 2022 being so bad in terms of inflation, it feels like some retailers were well aware saving a few bucks any way possible was more crucial to Americans than ever before.

So you might be asking did I indulge in the Black Friday experience? Absolutely because it was family tradition, hell we use to do it immediately after Thanksgiving dinner but considering most of the retailers have shuttered their doors on Thanksgiving Day to allow their employees to spend time with family it forced consumers to go back to the golden days. Did I like the notion of getting deals on Thanksgiving Day itself? Without a doubt, but I am happy to see things go back to how they used to be.

We got up early Friday morning and started to hit the retailers. I will say I was surprised that the mall wasn’t as chaotic as it has been in the past. You could shop without chaos, but at the same time it was such a treat to be in the presence of other consumers who wanted to be back in the brick-and-mortar stores and purchasing items in person and not relying on a computer to buy your items.

Were the retailers offering steals of the century? No, not in my opinion, there were deals, but those deals came directly from hunting in places that you would not expect. Cash is king people. I prevented myself from using credit because I feared going overboard and when you’re spending cash you are more conscious of what you’re spending and why you’re spending money people. We shopped for about 8-10 hours straight and in the process I completed almost 90 percent of my Christmas shopping, didn’t break the bank, got to bond with family and had plenty of fun in the process creating memories with family along the way.

It was festive, it was snowing, and the opportunity to share laughs and bond with family while shopping just brings a smile to my face. Black Friday was not about nabbing a deal or two, it was about spending time with family and ushering the holiday season.

Written By Zoe Mitchell