Black Friday in Lawrence
As my boys get older, my Christmas list gets shorter. Basically all they ask for is cash. I still get them little things to fill their stockings, but, gladly, I don’t have to look for the latest toys or games.
So instead of shopping, this year I decided I would focus more on my holiday baking. For years I made Christmas cookies to hand out as gifts for co-workers, neighbors, friends and family. I had the best time shopping for cookie containers each year. I’ve used trays, platters, baskets, jars and boxes.
Once I had the kids, my time around the holidays became very limited, and I didn’t always get around to the baking. But now that the kids are grown, I’m looking forward to pulling out my KitchenAid and filling the house with the smells of sweet treats.
My favorites are: Martha Stewart’s chocolate chip cookies and butter pecan cookies. I also make cranberry sugar cookies, chocolate crinkles and my family’s favorite butter cookies. The butter cookies are from my husband’s grandmother’s recipe. She taught me how to make these cookies when Dennis and I first got married. She and I spent many hours in her cozy kitchen. I always looked especially forward to the holidays when we would get together for our holiday baking. We would spend the day in her kitchen baking and talking. Then we would make dinner for the whole family, and after dinner we’d bring out our day’s sweet efforts.
This week in Sunday’s Journal-World ads, I noticed a few options for packaging this year’s treats. World Market has some paper baking accessories and gift tins starting at $1.99. These boxes look great and no need to wrap in cellophane. Also at World Market, the holiday jars starting at $3.99 are very cute.
Walgreens’ ad features Christmas tins and containers priced at two for $3. Also worth mentioning is the 12-ounce package of Nestle Toll House Morsels for $1.79.
I’ll be posting my favorite cookie recipes on Shop Talk over the next few weeks. Please feel free to share some of yours.
So Michaels was disappointing. The $14.99 set of three trees was sold out. So we decided to head over to Walmart on 6th. $5 fleece pullovers are a good buy. My husband is still looking at TVs. It's also nice shopping without the crowds.
Finally got a seat for breakfast. Making plans for our next stop: Michaels. Coupon for 25 percent off entire purchase till noon.
Got the first season of "Modern Family" for $19.99, that's half price. The lines are longbut moving fast. On to a quick breakfast and more shopping.
9:54 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
Walmart at midnight on Black Friday is no joke.
I wandered over to the shopping center, 3300 Iowa St., a few minutes before Thanksgiving officially ended. I had read some ads noting deals for $1.96 movies, good discounts on heated blankets and other various midnight bargains. I was confident I'd be able to find everything that had interested me. I ended up leaving with only one item thanks to some rookie mistakes.
I completely underestimated how many people had the same idea I did. The parking lot was packed and I'm pretty sure I ended up being closer to the Target across the street when I finally got out of my car. I was also a little shocked when I entered the building. It felt more like noon on a Wednesday before a new KU semester than midnight on a Friday.
The normal walking lanes were divided in two, with major sale items lining the space between. People generally followed established shop-walking patterns, though I did witness a shorter woman almost become the victim of a mauling by cart. No apology was issued, what I assumed was just the nature of the Black Friday beast.
I reached the movie section at 12:04 a.m. Everything I wanted was already gone. It hadn't even been on sale for five minutes and I was out of luck. Feeling defeated with my one item — many around me had carts full of toys, TVs, movies, towels, etc. — I tried to make my way back to the check out lanes at the front of the store. Instead, I was herded along with the rest of the shoppers on a predetermined path. The number of people around me made it hard to go anywhere but where they were going. I'm not a claustrophobic person, but I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable. I managed to break away from the crowd and walked easily through the kids clothing section, seemingly not a holiday shopping hot spot.
Another thing I noticed while I was there was that people were already claiming items that weren't going on sale for another five hours. Hot-ticket items, mostly in electronics, were being guarded by dedicated consumers. I couldn't imagine holding something for that long just to be able to buy it later, but to each their own.
The one part that did go smoothly was the check out. The process was quick and painless.
If I learned anything from the experience it's that I'm not really cut out for Black Friday shopping.
9:06 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
We've added some photos to our Black Friday gallery.
8:51 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
Chief photographer Mike Yoder was out and about during the morning shenanigans. Shoppers were bundled up to fight the cold as they waited in various lines. The man at the front of the Best Buy line had been waiting there since about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
7:41 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
While the shopping continues at some of the larger stores around Lawrence, the scene downtown has yet to pick up. Here are a few photos of the local consumer scene from a little earlier this morning.
7:02 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
Here's an update on how busy some of the go-to shopping destinations are currently:
• Best Buy, 2020 W. 31st St. - almost no line, minimal wait
• Kohl's, 3240 Iowa St. - still has lengthy lines snaking their way around the store
• World Market, 3106 Iowa St. - opened at 7 a.m. to long line of eager shoppers
The local residents from today's Man on the Street question didn't think they'd be getting out for Black Friday deal finding. Did you make it out this morning?
6:33 a.m. update by Joe Preiner
Reporter Shaun Hittle caught some of the morning craziness today at a few area stores. Check out these videos for an idea of what crowds were like.
4:15 a.m. update by Shaun Hittle
Here's a 20 second look at shoppers storming Kohl's this morning:
3:42 a.m. update by Shaun Hittle
Temperatures continue to fall into the low 20s, but some shoppers got to warm up at Kohl's, which opened its doors at 3 a.m. A block away, about 100 people remain lined up at Best Buy, set to open at 5 a.m.
While the Kohl's shoppers get the early prize for crazy entrance, nobody's got anything on the resilient Best Buy crowd. Shoppers report waiting in line since 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
2:00 a.m. update by Shaun Hittle
The trend for holiday shopping in 2009 was denimn, but this year the National Retail Federation says consumers are looking for bling.
Gift cards and clothing are still among the most-requested presents for 2010, but jewelry is a more luxurious trend we haven't seen in recent years due to the economy.
LJWorld.com reporter Christine Metz spoke with local jewelers about what they expect this holiday season.
1:10 a.m. Update by Shaun Hittle
Leah Coons, 14, waited in line at Old Navy for more than an hour in order to cash in on Old Navy's giveaway of the X-Box "Connect" dance game. Coons explained that all you have to do is spend $25 to get the game, which is "really easy to do." Later, in a hushed tone, Leah reports that only the first 30 shoppers can get a wristband for the game. Luckily, she's about 6th in line.
After she spends her $25 and gets her game, she headed to bed.
"I need to sleep. I haven't done that yet," she said.
12:35 a.m. Update by Shaun Hittle
More than 100 eager Black Friday shoppers waited outside Old Navy awaiting the store's midnight opening. Some of the deals found included two for $5 fleece gloves, hat, or scarves. And of course, this boy's vest:
Here's a look at the crowd filing in:
12 a.m. Update by Whitney Mathews
This morning, stores across Lawrence will open early and offer some of their best deals of the year for holiday shoppers. We'll be bringing you periodic updates on Black Friday deals, news and crowds in town.
Many stores will open before dawn on Black Friday. Here’s a list of some area stores that will welcome early shoppers.
- Old Navy, 3234 Iowa: 12 a.m.
- Kohl’s, 3240 Iowa: 3 a.m.
- JCPenney, 3311 Iowa: 3 a.m.
- Target, 3201 Iowa: 4 a.m.
- Walmart, 3300 Iowa: 5 a.m.
- Best Buy, 2020 W. 31st St.: 5 a.m.
- Nebraska Furniture Mart, 1601 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.: 7 a.m.
Are you shopping today? Take our poll and tell us how much you plan to spend.