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How many of you were crazy enough to be out and about on Black Friday?
Hold up your hand if this applies to you.
My hand is in the air. Yep, I’m one of those goofy people who get up at the crack of dawn, after eating way too much turkey the day before, who looks for bargains.
I am not, however, one of those people who doesn’t go to sleep Thanksgiving night so they can get the really good bargains.
It is tradition for me, my sister, daughter and mom to go out the day after Thanksgiving to shop. We started this when my daughter was a tiny tot and rode happily along in her stroller; usually she slept and we shopped.
Nowadays, as she is approaching the ripe old age of 16 later this month, she’s as good a shopper as you’ll find.
She can dart through a crowd like a panther stalking prey. She can add up a sale price, quicker than Santa can whisk his jolly old self down the chimney and she doesn’t complain, at least not much.
This year our shopping adventure began at 7 a.m. when we gathered at mom’s house to fuel up for the adventure. This is usually where we begin, partly because it’s a central location but mostly because I’m trying to get there before my sister so I can eat that last piece of coconut cream pie. This year she beat me to it.
On our first stop at Kohl’s in Walton, the parking lot was nearly empty and there was no waiting in a long line that snaked through the aisles. We were in and out pretty quick.
Actually there seemed to be a lot of people out on Black Friday but the stores weren’t overly crowded. We didn’t witness any fights or mayhem and got most of our shopping finished by dark.
I know this year’s economy is not good and the outlook in the next few months isn’t rosy. I hear the same news reports you hear about people struggling to make ends meet and everyone cutting back this year.
In our family, we have decided to only buy presents for the little ones and will spend Christmas enjoying each other’s company as opposed to some trinket we’ve been given just so that we got a gift.
Truth be told most of us already have what we need.
I know while I was hauling out Christmas decorations, I “discovered” several boxes of items I need to take to Helping Hands or give to the Grant County Community Action Commission.
It reminded me of the scene from the movie “The Grinch” where Jim Carrey’s Grinch tells the townies in Whoville that he ends up being the recipient of all their ugly ties, flugle horns and ting tinglers. All that stuff ends up in the “dumpit on Mount Crumpit” pile where he calls home.
If you look beyond the cuteness of this Christmas movie, you realize the lesson is that Christmas should be more about family and traditions and less about “look what I got and don’t really want or need this year.”
If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the holiday, start a new family tradition and provide relief to your wallet, then there’s good news.
Every family in Grant County has an opportunity to take in several free events that can start a new Christmas tradition.
The first sign of the holiday will roll into town this Saturday when Williamstown will host the second Santa’s Wonderland. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis at Williamstown High School.
The next free event will be a free performance of “A Christmas Carol.”
A Christmas parade will get underway at 1 p.m. on Main Street in Williamstown and feature floats from Grant County businesses and organizations.
The following week, Williamstown Christian Church will again host a free “Walk Thru Bethlehem” with a live nativity on Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.
With gas prices, below the $2 per gallon mark, you could also take the kids out and view the many beautifully decorated yards and homes showing off their holiday splendor right here in Grant County.
(Jamie Baker-Nantz is the editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 824-3343 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)