Black Friday Shopping With Toddlers Is Awesome

black friday memeThere’s a lot in the media this year from people who have strong feelings about Black Friday. Yes, making people work on a holiday sucks and yes, participating in Black Friday does feed the machine that is consumerism. But if you are the parent of young children, Black Friday is awesome for reasons other than super soft and cushy throw blankets you can buy for all your cousins at just nine dollars a pop. Keeping toddlers occupied during the cold winter months is a challenge, but on Black Friday, for the parents of young kids, the world is your oyster.

My kids are early risers. Usually when I hear them over the monitor and open my eyes to a room that’s still light by moon, I rack my brain trying to think of plausible excuses to ignore them so I can get just a teensy bit more sleep. But not on Black Friday. No matter how early they wake up, I can pop out of bed too, since we have something to do that doesn’t involve me pleading with them to stop eating cat fur and counting down the minutes until Starbucks opens. Thanks to stores staying open from Thanksgiving night into Black Friday, we can be out in the world in the predawn hours and on our way to human interaction before the Today Show starts.

Shopping on Black Friday is fantastic if your children are going through a bratty phase. Any other day of the year, I would be mortified if my child started to cry or tried to climb out of the shopping cart while we are in the middle of the store, but on Black Friday, misbehaving is the rule, not the exception. Grown adults who should know better get into fights over parking spaces and doorbuster sales each year. Of course I won’t encourage bad behavior by my children, but a toddler tantrum can roll off my back more easily when I know it’s probably not the most absurd thing happening in the store at the moment.

For parents with very young kids, Black Friday provides you with the unique opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for your kids with them in tow. Infants and one-year-olds don’t understand that the kitchen play set you put in the cart is for them, and they will be just as delighted to see it again on Christmas morning. Plus, you can test toys on your kids on Black Friday to discover what they like. I bought a sneezing Ernie doll last year I never would have selected, but it made my infant giggle, so into the cart it went.

Besides the towering displays of toys to hold their attention, Black Friday offers tons of other shoppers and holiday decorations to occupy your little ones. There’s no muttering the ABCs under your breath to keep them quiet, no half-correct recitations of Goodnight Moon recalled from memory. They will be so distracted taking in the hustle and bustle around them that you may actually get to take a breathe and hear yourself think for a change.

Black Friday is the last big hurrah to be out and about before getting stuck inside with snotty nosed kids for the most of the winter, so you may as well enjoy it. While you’re at it I suggest grabbing yourself some fuzzy slippers and a comfy blanket, since they are sure to be on sale.

(Image: author’s own)

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