The Christmas holiday is almost over. So many of us are currently basking in a cloud of tissue paper, gifts and empty eggnog mugs- breathing a sigh of relief. All that shopping, gift wrapping and preparation is finally over. I think it’s safe to say that most people have had enough of humanity for one holiday season and are relieved to be done pushing through the crowds. I know the mall is the last place I want to be for at least another few weeks. However, not everyone seems to share that sentiment. This is why it has come to pass that the only shopping day worse than Black Friday is the day after Christmas.
I first learned this lesson while working in retail as a naive teenager. Surely, the mall would be dead the day after Christmas- isn’t everyone all shopped out by now? Oh no, Teenage Val. Not by a long shot. People eager to return or exchange unwanted gifts or to just clean up in after-Christmas sales so they can get MOAR THINGS are invading stores on December 26th. It is about as crowded as Black Friday with the added bonus of tired, grumpy shoppers trying to find something to replace what they got with what they actually want. And everything is picked over and what’s left you may have to fight for. I can’t think of anything worse, frankly.
My family all seems to feel this way as well and to that end, we are pretty candid with each other about what we plan to buy, particularly for the kids. I knew pretty much all of the gifts my kids would get for Christmas from our relatives a few weeks in advance because we all try collectively to avoid the misery of the mall after the holidays. No wrong sizes, no repeat toys- it usually works out very well. If it did not and I needed to make a return, there is nothing that would convince me to brave the stores the day after Christmas. I get anxious just thinking about it.
The day after Christmas is not a holiday and I certainly don’t feel the same way about December 26th shoppers as I do about Thanksgiving shoppers but it is a personal preference of mine to stay far away from all things retail after having dealt with it for the last several weeks. If that is your thing and you plan to line up to be the first one to ditch that stanky perfume from your mother-in-law, I wish you all the luck in the world. I will be sitting on my couch drinking coffee and praying that the new gifts keep my kids occupied for at least a full 24 hours. I need to recover so I can be ready to do it all again next year.