Well, I did it- I went shopping, and took Hubby with me. In years past, I've had good luck starting at 24 hour places. No waiting in the cold, and I can shop early. We opted to start at Walmart, because the bulk of our list was there. The store still had all the deals wrapped in black, and instead of opening some things early, the store waited until 5am on the dot to open the packages.
In fact, they made announcements- anyone caught opening one of the saran wrapped flats of sale items, or caught with one of the special BF items in their cart would be escorted from the store. Nick wanted badly to replace his Xbox 360- it died not long ago, but it was not a true "Red Ring of Death" death, so it isn't covered by Microsoft.
We saw some good sales on it today, so we were thinking of grabbing one. It would blow almost all of my BF budget, but I didn't have a lot of things I wanted, anyway. We walked around first, getting the lay of the land, so to speak, so I could find where the items I wanted were.
There were a few items we never located, and afterwards, heard the same thing from others in the store. I'm not sure where they had those items, but oh well, right? We finally had to ask about the 360, because it was not out anywhere, and we were told it was being handled in the "Site to Store" area (formerly "Layaway").
In fact, all the game systems (DS, WII, 360, etc), the lap tops, and the computers were all being handled back there. We went to get in line, and we weren't that far back. However, for starters, there were no limits on how many systems a person could claim. Next, the problem we had were people letting other people they knew in line with them.
What went from about 10 people ahead of us had more than doubled by just after 4. At that point, Nick suggested that we skip the deal for the 360 (which basically just included a free game, which we already have), and strategically relocate ourselves before the mad rush.
We opted to relocate to the movies. We wanted to get 1 DVD for Raegan from Santa- the other two kids each had 1 from Santa already, but Raegan didn't. Aside from that, at $2 each, we figured we'd grab a few we like and give them to one another from each other.
There were a lot of movie flats, some with $2, $6, $9, and $10 movies, and 1 with $16 WII & DS games. When the time came to allow us to tear into things, I had Nick positioned on the other side to look for $6 & $9 movies, and I'd grab the $2 movies. He was also to look for a DS or WII game for Chris.
I ended up with quite a few movies. Nick added 2 $9 movies, 1 $6 movie, and 3 WII games. We took a few minutes to get back to each other, but when we met up, we quickly sorted- I ditched a $2 movie Nick grabbed that we already have, and I ditched a $6 movie I grabbed that Nick also grabbed (Golden Compass).
From there, we separated. He went to housewares to look for the $20 sheets, the rubbermaid set, and a $4 mini-food processor. I went back towards the movies because that's also where the PJ's were, and I had forgotten to go grab them.
The sheets were never located (or gone?), but Nick came back with the other two items. I was able to grab PJ pants for me, Nick, & Raegan, and then full sets of PJ's for Chris & Gillian, all for $4 each. We met back up, and I grabbed the last item- clogs with a soft lining for me to wear around the house for $4.
We were out of Walmart pretty quickly. I didn't check the time, but we had to hop on the highway, drive 1 mile down, get off the highway, and get to another store, and we were pulling into that store at 5:20am, so we made darn good time.
At that store, there was no mad house. It was pleasant! We grabbed a soft fuzzy blanket for Nick & I each ($5.99, but they're single size blankets), 3 fleece blankets for the kids, 3 pillows for the kids (buy 1 get 2 free!), 2 games- one for the DS, one for Gameboy Advance (they play in the DS) for only $5 each, plus 3 more movies they had on sale.
We were back in the van by 5:40am, and on our way to our last stop- Ace Hardware. They had pet beds for $5, which I wanted to get for the kittens. They also had colored flood lights for $.99, and we have a dual floodlight on the house- I thought a red & green light would be nice for Christmas.
We got there, and it was closed still. We failed to notice the name was actually True Value Hardware, and NOT Ace Hardware, so when I dragged myself out later in the day just to go there, I was sadly disappointed.
After leaving the closed True Value, we went and grabbed breakfast. We were home and laying back down by 6:30, where we finally fell asleep.
I went back with Raegan to "Ace", but upon realizing the mistake, we went to Walmart to look around. I found another $2 movie (Borat- and it came with a free T-shirt! For $2!), plus I grabbed some of the C9 Christmas lights to put outside when the work is all done on the roof. I also grabbed the kids each a strand of lights to put in their windows, and double as night lights. ;) Blue for Rae, green for Chris, and multi for Gillian.
I grabbed myself another pair of PJ bottoms, too, to wear now. My old ones are about worn out. I found Guitar Hero ones that are all soft and fuzzy. I passed by some towels for $3- Tinkerbell, Hannah Montana, and some other Disney ones, so I grabbed one for each of the kids.
From Santa this year, the kids are each getting 2 movies, 1 towel, 1 pillow, 1 blanket, 3 CD's, 1 pair of PJ's, and 1 gift card. The rest will be from us.
We have 1 specific game Chris REALLY wants that just came out, so it wasn't on sale today, but we want to get it for Chris. After that, the kids are 100% done. DONE! Oh, and did I mention, we are giving Chris & Gilly each one of the 3 WII games for their Birthdays, plus the Gameboy Advance game for Gilly's birthday, and a $5 Hannah Montana barbie doll. So, we're almost done with Chris for his birthday, and Gilly is done! Their birthdays are December 27th (Gilly) and January 15th (Chris).
Now I just need to wrap it all....