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15 Emotional Stages of a Black Friday Shopping Trip

You’ve got your list in your hand and you’re in a crowd of eager shoppers, armed with coffee and the holiday spirit. For you, Thanksgiving week is but a blip on your long, well-scheduled hunt for the best Christmas presents ever.

Black Friday in particular can be an emotional roller-coaster ride, from when you wake up until you’re happily wrapping gifts at home. In the spirit of making holiday shopping merrier, we’re partnered with Sears to take you through the emotional stages of a Black Friday shopping trip.

1. Am I Still Asleep? I Think I’m Still Asleep.

What’s going on? Why is it dark out? Where am I? A pumpkin pie-and-tryptophan hangover coupled with a 4 a.m. wake-up call can do a number on the psyche. You gaze at your pillow longingly … lovingly. But this is no time for weakness! Pull yourself out of bed, make a beeline for the coffee maker, and make haste. To the mall!

2. I’ve Got A Plan, And I’m Sticking To It

Just like Santa Claus, you’ve prepared your list and checked it twice. You have your plan, and it’s rock solid. You know exactly what you’re going to get, how much you’re going to spend, and you’ve even mapped out stores for the fastest routes. This is how it’s going to work: You’re going to get in and get out, and then have the Best. Nap. Ever.

3. I Am … Mildly Frustrated
car office space
You’ve arrived at the mall and it’s so packed with minivans that you must drive into a parallel universe to find a parking space. You keep your cool and welcome the opportunity for a brisk march toward our reality, the reality that is Black Friday.

4. Christmas Is In The Air, Christmas is Everywheeeeeere!

You finally get into the mall and you remember what this is all about. Christmas carols. Ornaments. The smell of evergreen pine needles. PRESENTS! You are feeling so holly-jolly.

5. Jackpot.

That too-expensive, vanilla goodness perfume that your mom desperately deserves is marked as 60 percent off. And, bonus, it comes with a new car! a complimentary tote bag. Oh, snap! Double-gift! Cross Mom off that list.

6. Oooh, Shiny Things…

A “SALE!” sign is winking at you from your favorite clothing boutique. Would it be crazy to take two minutes from your carefully planned itinerary to check out the racks? Isn’t Christmas about giving back to yourself, too? Besides, It’s getting cold, so it’s not unreasonable to say that you need that scarf-and-mitten set…

7. I’ve Totally Got This.

Ugh, this line. The upside? Extra time to regroup. While you wait, you consult a map to draw an even more efficient route, and you use your phone to reserve your sister’s present to shave off some time. You could teach a master’s course in multitasking.

8. I Swear I Wrote This Down…

How quickly everything crumbles. Your little brother — did he want the home jersey or the away jersey? was it the team’s quarterback or running back? is this guy even on the team anymore? There are far more options than you ever imagined. You look around frantically. Which one are all the other customers buying? Did he want the most popular one? Or is he more the “root for the underdog” type? You stand in front of the racks, paralyzed with indecision.

9. ::stomach grumbles::

You desperately need nourishment, but when you get to the food court, every line is spiraling around the corner. The tantalizing smell of pretzels, Thai food and pizza makes you faint with anticipation.

10. Aww, Babies! Kids! Christmas!

When you’re getting gifts for your little nieces and nephews, you seek solace in the piles of stuffed animals. You hug each giraffe, teddy bear and piglet to see which is the cuddliest. You feel that this is very important. Next thing you know, you’re stumbling into the picture-book section and get totally sidetracked flipping through the page of illustrations. Do they have chairs here?

11. Ohhhhhhh. No.

How could this have happened with your perfectly laid plans, all of your lists, and your map? You forgot that you pulled Great Aunt Louise in the Secret Santa and that you need something under $25 for the office Yankee swap.

12. I Deserve A Pat On The Back

You see across the way that soaps, candles, and hand lotions are BOGO (buy one, get one free for the uninitiated), and they come wrapped in pretty Christmas bows. Two birds, one store; you’ve settled both the office party and Great Aunt Louise. You nailed it. You are Black Friday royalty, so just give yourself the crown now.

13. Praise To The Mall Gods!
You’re sweating, shopping bags are making indents on your hands, arms and shoulders, but you spy a “gift wrapping station” sign. Praise the gods of the mall. They take everything off your hands, and with a little donation, they’ll even carry everything to the car, wrapped up all nice. Whatever did you do to deserve this?

14. Do You Mind If I Just … Lie Down Here?

Do you think if you tipped a little extra, the gift-wrapping attendant would also carry you to the car? It’s just a question.

15. I Am Content And Life Is Complete.

You made it to the car in one piece. The gifts are all wrapped and carefully stacked on your backseat. Just as you turn on the car, a radio station is playing, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and you sigh a breath of relief. “You know what?” you say aloud. “I will.”

Sears, home of America’s most trusted brands, Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, is making holiday shopping more merry with exceptional offerings for Shop Your Way members. In addition to conveniences such as free store pick up, Member Assist and Reserve It, members receive an additional 10% back in points on the first $500 of each qualifying purchase with a Sears credit card all season long.