The day after Thanksgiving, the streets are jammed with screaming cars and stores are swarming with human heads bobbing around like chickens racing for seeds. Everything is chaos as people fight for the best Black Friday deals.
Many people claim that Black Friday is their favorite day of the year. They love the thrill of shopping and chasing after great products at reduced products. Black Friday is my favorite day of the year, although I have never spent it inside of a store. I spend Black Friday with my family putting up our Christmas tree.
The tradition started 23 years ago once my parents moved back to New Jersey from South Carolina. They were only one year into their marriage with a six-month old baby girl. They began the tradition by going to a Christmas tree stand located in Little Falls on Route 46 until a few years ago when the stand moved to Pompton Plains. 23 years later, and we are now a family of five that still goes to the same Christmas tree stand and gets helped by the same tree guy, Phil.
We wake up early on Black Friday morning and go to the diner for breakfast. Then, we pick out the best six-foot Douglas Fir tree we can find and head home. Once home, my parents bring the tree into the house while my sisters and I prepare the appetizers. We make an antipasto, an assorted cheese platter and put out chips and dip and cheese doodles (a family favorite). We pour the champagne and sparkling cider and put on the first movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. While we watch the movie and eat the snacks, we start putting the lights and decorations on the tree. As the day progresses, we continue with our list of Christmas movies and continue putting the ornaments on the tree. We have a quick dinner break before proceeding to the most tedious and time consuming part of the tree, the village.
For 23 years, my mom has been adding a new piece to the village. The village started out with one piece, but now it is so big that it has become a whole night process to set up. Everyone else in the family eventually goes to bed except for my mom and I who stay up until the village is finished. That's when I make tea, and we put on It's A Wonderful Life. After all the pieces of the village are in place, we fill the village with fake snow and then finally the tree is complete. We get to admire our tree from the day after Thanksgiving until Mmid-January when it is finally time to take it down.
Black Friday is my favorite day of the year because it is not about shopping, money or deals; it is about family. My family spends the whole day together, even when some fighting may occur, and by the end of the night, we end up with arguably the best tree in the Tri-state area.