All in all, we had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. I was a little unsure of my feelings regarding the first big holiday since my parents moved out of their house, but it all worked out somehow. Since we weren't hosting a dinner this year, Jon and I decided to be Thanksgiving Day nomads and travel between three different houses. We started the day off with a heavy dinner with his mother's side of the family. We then moved on to a light dinner with his father's side of the family, and ended the evening with desert in the company of my family. It sounds like an unbelievable amount of food, but we did a pretty good job of warning and restricting ourselves in order for it to work. There was a whole lot of reminding each other to save room for dinners #2 and #3 going on.
Somewhere in the midst of all that eating I let my mother-in-law talk me into participating in the Black Friday Sales. I'd tried it once before, probably about 7 years ago. A few friends and I drew up a plan of what stores opened first, waited in line, shopped faster than anyone should have to, and moved on to another unopened store to wait in line. I was tired and cold, and returned home around noon with nothing but an Elmo cookie tin and the new Jewel CD. I promised myself that I would never do that again, no matter what great deals the stores offered next time. But of course my mother-in-law is the one person in my life who can tell me to jump and I'll ask how high, and so I agreed to go bargain hunting with her even though I knew that I suck at aggressive shopping.
Luckily, she was even less interested in waiting out in the cold for an unlikely deal than I was, and had an alternate plan. Apparently the outlet mall opens at midnight every year on the day after Thanksgiving. All we had to do was make the 40 minute drive to Aurora, spend 30 minutes looking for parking (which included a lot of dirty driving tactics on my part), and we shopped for 30% to 50% off already discounted prices until 4 in the morning. I still didn't buy much; a little something for my mom, for my little sister, and a dice game Jon and I had been scouring the stores for, but that doesn't matter, because even better than the shopping was the atmosphere. It's an outdoor mall and so all of the stores had decorated their exterior with lights and garland. Bells were ringing, and Santa Claus was Ho-Ho-Hoing in the distance, and for the first time in a long time, I was happy to see snow--big, fat, snowflakes that stuck to my eyelashes. Christmas never started so early for me.
We stopped for warm chai on the way home, and I walked in the door just in to time to see Jon off to work. I slept until noon and then headed out to Target for a few smaller, less advertised deals. And let me tell you, nothing feels quite so comfortable as soft flannel sheets that look awesome and only set me back $12.99.