Black (Bag) Friday.

For 18 holiday seasons, I worked as a bookstore manager. 

That means that for 18 Black Fridays in a row, I was at work in a bookstore, trying to maintain my patience and sanity with the whole affair.  I didn't always succeed, by the way.   

The first year after I quit working, I spent Black Friday sitting on my couch in my pajamas, feeling for all the world like I was forgetting to do something really important.

It felt like bookseller PTSD.

Anyway, I've had a couple more years since then to get used to the idea that I really don't have to go to work any more, but I can say with absolute certainty that there is nothing - NOTHING - that would make me go shopping on Black Friday.  Or pretty much any other day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I shop online, I shop early, and other than an occasional trip to the grocery store, I stay home between Thanksgiving and oh, say, January 15.

I really hate crowds and traffic, so my particular brand of crazy just demands it.

But this year as my Twitter and Facebook feeds and my e-mail box began to fill ups with DEALS!  LOW PRICES! and as my friends and family planned strategies for where to go stand in line for the ABSOLUTE ROCK BOTTOM PRICES OF THE YEAR!  (Well, until tomorrow, anyway!) I felt like doing something.  

But I couldn't leave my house. (See: crazy.)

I could have shopped online, I guess, but my shopping is largely done, and it would have just been for the sake of shopping, and I didn't want to do that, either.

So I created my own new tradition.

I shall call it...

(cue music)



I spent the entire day cleaning out closets, organizing drawers, and collecting bags full of things to donate.  

My kids kind of hated me just a little.  Ok, maybe it was a lot.

But I held strong and kept going.

By the end of the day, I had filled FIVE large garbage bags with things to donate.  Clothes, toys, household items, books... nothing was safe from the black bag of sudden death.

By day's end, I had also taken out two large bags of things destined for the trash pile, and I had taken one bag of Zachary's old clothes to the basement to save for Cooper to grow into.

It always makes me feel slightly less crazy to clear out and declutter my house.  This time it felt even better than usual, because I felt like I was getting my house ready for the influx of STUFF that is part of Christmas.

So, yeah.  Black Bag Friday.

It just became my new tradition.

And I can't wait for next year.

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