The Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States is termed Black Friday, and signals the start of the holiday shopping season. It’s become rather controversial the last few years as stores open earlier and earlier. This year, instead of beginning Black Friday sales at midnight, some stores opened on Thanksgiving evening.

My local online paper featured several stories about people who began camping out as early as Wednesday afternoon in front of Best Buy to be first in line for the sales. Just the thought of it made me cringe. Stand in line for concert tickets? Yes, I did that in my youth (and hope to never do so again). But camp for days to get a sale? No.

I’ve never quite understood the “magic” of Black Friday. Years ago, when I lived in Chicago, several friends convinced me to meet them for Black Friday shopping on Michigan Avenue (big shopping area in town). We met at about 10am, and I couldn’t believe the crowds. Things were so bad that in Water Tower Place (an indoor shopping center) I couldn’t even find a place to sit down to rest. We ended up standing in a bar to eat, because there were no tables to sit at for lunch. I left quickly after that, having made no purchases, and went back to my quiet home and read. That’s the last time I’ve ventured out on Black Friday; until today.

The last few years I’ve pretty much stayed inside on Black Friday, happy with a good book and plenty of food. Today I’ve made plans to meet an out-of-town friend for an early lunch. But the restaurant we selected is nowhere near any big box stores. I’m hoping for a quiet lunch far from the holiday shoppers. After that, I’ll once again head home to read.

Boring? Perhaps. But curling up in a comfy chair with a nice mug of tea and a good book sounds like the perfect Black Friday to me. What about you? Do you plan to hit the stores (or have you already done so) for holiday bargains? Will you be at home thinking of creative uses for leftover turkey? Or do you have to work today?

-LinnieGayl