The best thing about Thanksgiving is shopping the next day. This year it has reached a completely outrageous level. There were many, many more shoppers out this morning than the past couple of years.
It started late for me this year. Kohls opened at 4 AM and I didn't get there until 4:05. People were already checking out when I pulled up, and I tried not to panic. The line went clear across the store by the time I was ready to leave, but it went quickly and I was at Walmart by 4:45.
When I pulled onto the street before Walmart, I was accosted with a line winding through the parking lot, through the spare parking lot, and around back to the building. It was outrageous!
It took until 5:07 to even get in the store and once inside you couldn't even move.
The fun thing about shopping today is that you jump out of bed, throw your hair in a ponytail, and head to the stores. There is no time to shower, and I am pretty sure that everyone else had this same philosophy. You could tell. Minnesota has a lot of immigrants from all over the world who eat a lot of fragrant spices. When the melting pot melts down in a hot store, it isn't pretty.
I held my breath, grabbed my stuff and headed for the check out lines. Where I stood until 6:23. It was at least 45 minutes. Kohls did a good job at controlling the checkout flow, where the line was long but it moved quickly. Walmart did not do a good job at all. In fact, they did a terrible job. Lines wound around the store, and it was the luck of the draw which line you went to. I switched lines three times before I realized that the middle lanes were the only ones moving.
Menards was about as crowded as Walmart, except all their stuff was junky. They must have used REALLY good photographers, because it all looked way better in the ad than it did in the store. What I really wanted was a Build-a-Bear for Katie, but the line was long and hadn't moved at all during the 5 minutes I stood there, so I put down my stuff and went home.
But then stopped at Walgreens on the way because they had little Web Kinz for $4. They were so cute that I ended up getting 6 of them.
I am keeping the hippo for myself.
You may wonder why I need to buy so many presents. Most of the presents are for secret Santa's. I signed up for a few for the Hmong immigrant family at church. They aren't actually at church, but the young women usually help one recent immigrant family with Christmas presents.
They leave with literally nothing just so they can get away. Also, Ed and I are getting the bulk of the gifts for our group's "Armful of Love" family, which is a family in Dakota county who needs help this year. They ask for things like winter coats and diapers. Steve and Todd call it the "Armpit of Stench" because they aren't interested in buying anything for anyone. So you can pick whichever name you like the best.
On my way back to the house I passed the Eden Prairie Community Center, which is where we usually work out. The parking lot was completely full. Uuugggh.... I'm going back to bed.
And NOW I am done with my Christmas shopping. Except the stuff I am getting from Amazon....which I was hoping would be on sale today but isn't. And I even did some of Kevin's Christmas shopping. You know how the girl traditionally shops for gifts for both sides of the family? Not in our family.