Envision it with me: the football game is over, the leftovers are put away and your entire Facebook feed is talking about heading out soon to brave the crowds for some Black Friday doorbusters. You’d love to join them, but ... the military moved you to the middle of nowhere. And we do mean the middle of nowhere.
Take comfort, my friends, it’s possible.
How to Black Friday in the Middle of NowhereThanks for the Internet, Al Gore. Seriously, do people actually go to stores anymore? Because, I mean, pants, and bra (or just pants if you're a dude ... and don't pretend you want to wear pants because we know you don't) -- reasons that make internet shopping that much more pleasurable. Coupled with the fact you can snag a doorbuster deal without worrying people will be using your body to bust the actual door down, and I see a win-win. And, when you commit to doing all of your holiday shopping online, you don’t even have to worry about trying to fight the tryptophan from the turkey to stay up late -- the best internet deals happen on Cyber Monday!
Scope out the independent stores trying to be hip. Small towns are notorious for one-of-a-kind, hole-in-the-wall gems that can only be found in Small Town, USA. During our first Christmas season at a tiny base in Oklahoma, I bought my mother an antique looking clock for her mantelpiece at a quaint little store with the coolest stuff. It is one of her favorite decorations, now. Sadly, we’ve since moved on, and I hate that I can’t pop in and see what neat stuff they have. During the holidays, the store was adorably decorated, and every day they featured a bargain item. It’s not a flat screen television for $30, but small businesses usually have their own way to offer deals to holiday shoppers.
Time for a road trip. Even the most remote installations are usually only two to three hours from a major city. Grab a couple of friends, bring a gallon of coffee for the ride and zip on over to the closest mall. If you get there early, even if you plan to spend a significant chunk of time shopping, you can easily drive back in one day. Yes, it’s a long day, but the shopping part will energize you ... and the selection of restaurants for lunch. Be honest, you already started fantasizing about where you want to eat. Yep. You definitely live in the middle of nowhere.
Show off your shopping skills on base. Not feeling like a road trip, but online shopping is just not cutting it for you? Get in line for the Black Friday deals at the Exchange. If you’re a member of the Exchange online, you can see sales prices and upcoming deals. It may not be a three-story mall with an ice skating rink and free pretzel samples (oh those pretzels! Can you already smell them??), but if you’re desperate for that crazed Black Friday feel, this is the next best thing.
So what if you can’t grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte and spend 10 hours running from store to store snagging the best deals in town? Even in the middle of nowhere, if you get creative enough, you can join the rest of the country in hunting for the perfect gift at 5 a.m. after cooking for a million hours the day before.
It’s an American tradition. Happy bargain hunting!
(Photo: "Boxing Day at the Toronto Eaton Centre" by 松林 Ｌ from Toronto, Canada - IMG_2768.JPGUploaded by Skeezix1000. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.)