Well, did you go out? Brave the crowds and stand in line? Or did you sleep in, at least until your regular waking time? Bonnie and I were going to go out early this morning, but last night around 8:30 I backed out on her. My reason? There wasn't anything I HAD to get, but mostly because I didn't want to wait in ridiculously long lines. Or so I thought. At 9:00 I paged through the Toys R Us ad again and realized their sales were INCREDIBLE. I found 2 or 3 really good gift ideas for each child, plus birthday and Christmas gifts for one of my nephews. Since they were opening at midnight, I thought that would be easier on me than getting up in the middle of the night--so I decided to go.
It was a really interesting experience. I definitely underestimated the crowds--there was a line of people waiting to get in that snaked from the front door, past Office Depot, and all the way to the street. Most had planned on waiting in line: they had layers on, hoods, and many were wrapped in blankets. Employees were passing out tickets for electronics, and a lot of the people lined up appeared to be college-age. I walked back to my car and sat in the dark warmth for 30 minutes. At midnight I walked to the area in front of the entrance and got swept up in a growing crowd slowly inching our way toward the door (yes, basically weaving ourselves into the line of established "wait-ers"). At 12:10 there still didn't appear to be anyone entering the store, but the crowd was surprisingly patient and well behaved. I got into the store about 12:20, took a cart, and began working my way through the crowds to find everything I had put on my list, around 14 items. It was tricky; most people that I saw at first did not take a cart, instead opting to pile stacks of boxes in their arms so as not to be slowed down navigating a shopping cart. However, everyone was patient and courteous; I didn't observe any fighting, rudeness, or anything of that nature. Thankfully, I was able to find EVERYTHING on my list!! Amazing. By 1:15 I was ready to get in line.
THIS WAS THE LONGEST.LINE.EVER. It snaked across the front of the store, through the every aisle across the front half of the store, and then through 2/3 of the aisles in the back half of the store. I had no idea I would have to wait so long to buy my items. The one advantage to the line was that I got to browse almost every aisle. I was so hungry that I contemplated taking a can of Gerber fruit puffs to snack on and paying for them at the counter, but I was too embarrassed to do that. I only saw three people I knew, one mom from daycare, and Hope's daycare provider and her 22 year old daughter--they were shopping for all the children in her daycare. So, when do you think I arrived at a checkout lane? 3:30am. Yep. It took two hours and 15 minutes to get to the front. I loaded my car, got home, had a quick bowl of cereal, and curled up into bed at 4am.
Was it worth it? I think so. I found wonderful toys at amazing prices, and I have almost finished all the Christmas and birthday shopping (between my children and the cousins there are 5 birthdays between Dec 5 and Jan 3, in addition to Christmas). Would I do it again next year? Maybe. But maybe I'll I might just choose sleep over shopping.