Thanksgiving is a few days away here in America. After we have our fill of turkey and ate our second helping of pumpkin pie, we sleep off our food coma and awake to find the biggest shopping season of the year is now upon us. If you thought Black Friday, then you are correct. Let’s also forget that in recent years Black Friday has really become Black Thanksgiving Thursday these days in the interest of this topic of conversation.
Everyone knows Black Friday, and its online equivalent Cyber Monday, is the official start of the holiday shopping season. It’s the one day of the year where just about everyone is looking for a good deal on just about everything you can think of––flat screen TVs, iPads, DVDs…you name it. These deals are even more important now with many people across the country not having as much money to spend on a whim. If you can get an item for half the regular price, you’re going to be waiting for that sale. It’s also the best way to get a head start on your Christmas shopping for the friends and family on your list. But if you’re a geek with a geeky hobby or interest, focusing your spending solely on your loved ones becomes quite the challenge.
Personally, my biggest spending items around the Super Bowl of shopping days are video games and DVDs. These tend to cost the most money, and if there’s a game or movie I can wait to buy until there’s a price drop or sale, I will do it. I’ve been raised to always scope out a deal and to be savvy about how I spend and save my money. I’m rarely an impulsive buyer and I’m really good at saving money until something better comes along. It’s a gift and a curse when I rarely want to give my money away so easily.
When I hit the stores at my local mall or browse through pages of hot button items on Amazon, I go in with the intent of buying for my friends and family but somehow leave with a purchase for myself in most cases. It has become a bad habit. I have a ton of geeky friends who like the same things I like. When I look in the video games, DVDs, or books section I almost always end up finding the one thing I’ve been waiting to get at a later date on sale or having a 2 for 1 type of deal. This is particularly problematic when I’m trying really hard not to buy anything for myself, or leave the store without at least buying something for a friend or family member. Some deals are just too hard to pass up. A mixture of emotions start running through my head––satisfaction and guilt. I feel satisfied for saving money on the thing I’ve been wanting for myself for the longest time, but guilty that I’ve lost my focus along the way. I’m going shopping for OTHER people. Not for myself. ‘Tis the season for giving, not receiving.
Having expensive hobbies and interests is what any geek can understand and relate to. There’s always something we want to get, but are holding off for a number of reasons, like we don’t have the money right now or we want to wait until the item becomes cheaper. That’s when Black Friday and Cyber Monday becomes the best time to grab the thing you most want and actually finally purchase it. Sure, you spend more time looking for the things you want and less on what your friend might like and want, but a deal is a deal. You just have to grab it while the opportunity is still there, right? RIGHT?!
Have you ever been faced with the same dilemma I have around the holiday shopping season time? Do you go in thinking you’re going to buy your best friend the game he has been eyeing for months, only to come out with shopping bags of stuff for yourself?