The whole Black Friday thing just doesn’t work for me. The thought of waking up in the middle of the night to stand in line at a big box store to purchase someone’s idea of a bargain is painful, at best. Needless to say, I’ll be avoiding Black Friday like the plague, once again this year.

Shopping for bargains online is much more appealing. I appreciate the online merchants that put the effort into quality email campaigns. A substantial discount,  special offer, or free shipping will often sway me into buying online, rather than at a local big box store.

I always try to support small local merchants. Those trips into town, late in the season, can be magical. Nothing can replace the swirl of snow flurries and the clang of a small shop’s door.

When it’s too late to run out and pick up something locally or order a physical product over the Internet, online gift certificates save the day.