Five alternatives to Black Friday shopping

Skip the lines and save your cash.

Lucy Nieboer


1. Watch VHS tapes.

Soon these technological oldies will be as obsolete as eight-tracks. Before the rolls of film disintegrate into dust, take them out for one last spin. Pulling every tape from the back of the cupboard will surely induce the memory of the nights you got to stay up until nine to finish the Olsen twins’ latest spy kid flick. Rewinding through everything on your video shelf, from the two-tape original “Titanic” to your mom’s copy of “Buns of Steel,” will make you feel 10 again.


2. Look at old family pictures.

Awkward family photos are even funnier when the guy with the bad mullet is your uncle and the awkwardly posed prom couple later became your parents. Spending time at a relative’s this Thanksgiving can provide a wonderful opportunity to dig up some humorous family dirt.


3. Build a blanket fort.

Using the few allotted vacation hours effectively can be challenging. Catching up with old friends and giving the sibs some love may take priority, but remember to build in some me-time. A blanket fort provides an escape from prying parents and can be used as a personal Netflix theater or slumber dungeon.


4. Make homemade holiday gifts.

The gift-giving season can be draining on a college-sized budget. Up to age 35, the “It’s the thought that counts” excuse is totally acceptable. Putting a few hours into a decoupaged decorative box or jar of jam will save you dough dropped on a last-minute Macy’s run later.


5. Clean out your closet.

There is probably a whole bunch of stuff cluttering up your closet that you aren’t using. That Furby will probably never come in handy. Chances are that in last year’s Black Friday madness, you picked up a few marked-down goods that never even got their tags cut. Donations to charitable organizations are in high demand this time of year. Make someone else’s holiday and improve your Feng Shui with one simple cleaning task.