5 alternatives to Black Friday shopping

Avoid the crowds for a day of relaxation and memories.

Let's admit it, Black Friday shopping is not the best way to spend the one Friday you might have off between now and Christmas.

While getting holiday shopping out of the way early might be convenient, waking up at the break of dawn for sales that will continue into the holiday season does not sound pleasant. Instead, consider doing one of these alternative activities on your day off, which can be more relaxing and even memorable.

1) Holiday decorating

The Christmas decorations are already up in stores across the country and now that Thanksgiving is officially over you can also start welcoming the next holiday. Invite friends and family over to decorate your home for the holidays. What better way to spend the day off than with people you love while also getting a major task off your list?

2) Volunteer

It can be difficult for people to work at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, due to family celebrations and dinners. But you can still volunteer at charity events the day after. Throughout the holiday season there are various volunteer opportunities, from the annual New York Cares coat drive to weekly soup kitchen events, that anyone will be grateful to have more helping hands on board. New York Cares has different volunteer opportunities on a daily basis.

3) Small Business Saturday

While it is not on Friday, it is a great way of supporting local businesses in your neighborhood. It will not only help smaller businesses thrive, but it also provides you with some unique gifts that will put that department store sweater to shame.

4) Thanksgiving leftovers potluck

The question about what to do with leftovers always comes up. Instead of trying to find hundreds of different ways to transform stuffing and mashed potatoes so you don't get sick of eating them after the third day, try hosting a potluck. Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn't mean the holiday spirit is gone. Take advantage of the day off to enjoy the company of others, while also not having to worry about preparing an entire meal - the ideal situation for any get together.

5) Relax

It might sound crazy and obvious but the Black Friday storm has caused people to think that relaxing on their day off, instead of getting all the best deals, is wasting the day. But spending the day sleeping in, enjoying the outdoors while the weather is still warm for late November or even just sitting on the couch all day on a Netflix binge can be a great recharge to prepare for the hectic holiday craze that is to come.

If you don't take advantage of Black Friday, fear not, the sales will still be around for Cyber Monday and even throughout December, when stores will knock down the prices even more to clear out their stocks. You can also be on the lookout for daily online sales at various websites. The stores and items will still be around, but the one day off will not.

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