Heart pumping, mind calculating and Dr. Pepper fizzing in the cup holder. Christmas music blaring while you're racing as fast as possible to the next destination. Then pushing through the huddled masses of people till you find that one item that makes staying up for 36 exhausting hours all worth it.
Oh yes, it's Black Friday shopping time. This one day of the year that suddenly throws every rule of common courtesy into the trash can. The day where the nice, gentle mother lets her natural protective instinct for her children (financially, in this situation) overtake her and turn her into a ruthless mother grizzly bear, grabbing as many items as she can on her sweet children's Christmas list.
The question with Black Friday is where to shop and what deals are offered at that store? Well, the simplest way to find those deals is to visit the stores' websites. Then you'll already know, before you even go out, how to split your group up to get all of the merchandise you want, or, if you're at Walmart or Target, to meet at the electronics section for faster checkout.
It goes without saying that other people are reading this, therefore, it comes down to who is faster at getting to that merchandise. Also don't forget that Walmart matches prices, so if you can find it at Walmart, then get it from them there instead of wasting your time going somewhere else.
Now, all stereotypes aside, you don't have to go and wait in lines to necessarily get the best deals on Black Friday.
For example, Amazon.com has been having Black Friday deals online since the first week of November.
Also, if you type "Cyber Monday" into Google, then you come up with plenty of deals or coupons that you can use for online sites.
For example, I found a deal on retailmenot.com that gave me free shipping on finishline.com, which was already offering buy-one-get-one on NCAA hoodies. So that's a total saving of $50-plus right there. Although there are plenty of websites that offer deals now, Cyber Monday -- Nov. 26 -- will be your best bet at finding great deals without the lines.
As for me, I think that Black Friday is more of an experience rather than a day of savings. I couldn't wait for the Black Friday ads to come out this year, but to my astonishment, I found that deals start at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Walmart. Now I think that is cutting too far into the Thanksgiving holiday. I heard this phrase the other day and I thought it really was ridiculously true: "Don't you think it's ironic that Americans spend the most money on new things the day after they say they're grateful for what they already have?" Crazy, isn't it? Really, are we supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving in a rented U-Haul while going to Black Friday?
Black Friday has a purpose but when stores like Walmart and Target are cutting in with deals starting at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night I draw the line. I will still be shopping this year because it is tradition for me and my cousin to hang out that whole night, but where will they draw the line? People should remember to honor Thanksgiving and let it have its day. Don't get me wrong, I love Black Friday because of the adrenaline rush of mega sales, possible fights and hanging out with my cousin. But there is a time and a place for that, and I think the Black Friday sales should move back next year to no earlier than midnight. I have said my piece, but I hope as shoppers we can change that.
Come Black Friday, there are plenty of choices out there but not a whole lot of time to snag things at those kinds of deals. So grab a computer, print out the Black Friday ads and make your battle plan now. As for me, I'll be in the middle of it all and enjoying every minute. Best of luck to you crazy Black Friday shoppers.
Hunter DeVries is a senior at Fremont High School and Black Friday professional. He'll be tweeting his Black Friday Adventure so follow him @Hunter_DeVri3s and see how you stacked up.