The Annual One-Day-Only Winter Holidays Earlybird 5:00 AM 99% Off Sale
“Tom Green once cut the power off in my house causing my alarm clock to reset and not go off which made me miss the sale. Green didn't think it was funny as hell. He actually apologized.”
The Annual One-Day-Only Winter Holidays Earlybird 5:00 AM 99% Off Sale is a
Christmas Winter Holiday Christmas-oriented sales event unlike any other. Once an event designated primarily for "Christmas shoppers", retailers decided it would be best to change the sale from a Christmas sale to a Generic "Holiday" sale, to prevent offending minorities. Offended by the attempt to prevent offense, The Christian Right launched a campaign in 2005 for the War against the War on Christmas. Jewish people reportedly didn't care what the name of the sale was as long as they "save their precious, precious money."
Some indeterminate time ago in some obscure New Mexico town, a treasured, but ancient, small local shop called "Ol' Farmer Ben's Goode Time One Stoppe Foode Shoppe" was bankrupt. Ol' Farmer Ben himself died of a heart attack upon receiving the news. His son, Ol' Farmer Ben, jr., decided to have one last sale to rid the store of all its wares and commodities. This "Going-out-of-business" sale was a huge financial success, and the shop actually managed to stay in business. Today, Ben★Mart is an international corporate powerhouse with no soul.
Retail "Sales" became increasingly popular from then out. There were Summer sales, Fall sales, Spring sales, Fourth of July sales, New Year's sales, Chinese New Year's sales, President's day sales, Easter sales, Labor Day sales, George Washington Carver day peanut sales, and many more. There were sales on clothes, sales on games, sales on books, sales on movies, sales on hardware, sales on software, sales on ware, sales on snails, sales on sails and sales on sailing snails. Within the first few years of sales, there were so many overlapping sales people often didn't realize they were saving money. Retailers realized they needed one surefire "zinger" of a sale. They needed a Christmas sale.
Everyone knows that, whether they like it or not, Christian people (and celebrators of Christmas in general) are gluttonous, consumerist pigs. They're fat, too. What the retailers needed was a season where rampant consumerism and waste could hide under the facade of a cheery, traditional wintertime wonder for the whole family. So, overnight, retailers devised a sectarian Christmas, one where the focus on the fictional, superficial character "Jesus" shifted to a focus on the fictional, superficial character "Santa Claus", effectively watering down one of the most popular and influential religions of all time.
The sale itself was successful for many years. Christians began to recognize blatant commercialism as just another aspect of Christmastime, Jewish people saved money on a Holiday they didn't celebrate, atheists and agnostics continued to shop for ungodly things in ungodly ways, Muslims continued to blow stuff up in foreign lands, Buddhists didn't really react at all, and Hindus continued to be ignored. All the while, Ben★Mart, Target, and the like continued to earn a profit through a complex economic process that involves selling things for less.
Things went very well for a long time. Too well. Retail mega-corporations were beginning to ponder their future. Would the good times last forever? The sales department said: no. The marketing department said: yes. Marketing lost, and had to reform before the fabled "End of Retail" occurred. Their strategy was to simply change the sale's moniker from a "Christmas" sale to a generic "Holiday" to avoid offending minorities. They merely hoped and prayed to their threadbare Gods that none of the Majorities would notice. They did.
The War on The War on Christmas
Fox News, much like an agile winter fox on the hunt for its helpless prey, sniffed out the subtle changes in advertising quickly. Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and that other wimp jumped on the retail industry, like a Fox tearing savagely tackling and ripping to shreds an innocuous baby. Originally intended to be a one-time news story on a slow news day, Fox News came to realize that everybody cares about the War on Christmas, and, more importantly, it boosted their ratings. Within a few hours, Bill O'Reilly single-handedly turned retailers from the cheery, ideal Christmastime Americana image of perfection into a secular, progressive empire that wanted to destroy your concept of family and sodomize your puppy. Evangelical conservatives didn't take this very well.
Fox News stupidly continued their stupid war on a stupid, nonexistent war for a long time. They went almost 24 hours a day on the same subject, pausing only for commercials heralding Holiday sales, and even though it killed Hannity not to be ragging on Democrats, Homosexuals, and Global Warming all day from his comfortable perch above all of those disturbing and nasty things, he decided that it was journalistic duty to report the important news. Everything from a town mayor not wearing red and green during a Christmas-related speech to a nine year old Jewish kid playing a wrong note while performing "Silent Night" at an elementary school's Fourth Grade Winter Concert, and everything in between, was reported.
The irony, of course, is that Fox News was defending everything wrong with Christmas that early Puritans had fought dearly to keep out; i.e., Christmas Trees, Yule logs, Egg Nog, etc. Earlier Christians would deem Bill O'Reilly a Pagan, bastardous heathen for protecting these stupider elements of Christmas. By declaring that anyone against these superficial elements of Christmas anti-Christians, they betrayed the ideals of the "True Meaning of Christmas" - that unofficially being "Jesus was born, make peace, and be nice for once". But by fighting and hissing, they killed off any meaning Christmas would ever have again that didn't involve receiving material goods, watching corny and just plain bad Holiday movies, and Egg Nog.
Surviving a Christmas sale and successfully purchasing the item(s) of one's choosing can be a difficult, even near impossible tasks. In some cultures, attending these sales is a "right of passage" for moms, and failing to save, save, save is an unerasable mark of eternal shame. So, do you think you have the guts, the brawn, and the sheer ruthlessness to wake up early, wait the lines, and bribe the cashiers to get your snobby, ungrateful 11-year-old brat a Wii he sorely doesn't deserve?
- Money - For purchasing items. Credit cards also work, but checks are more unorthodox.
- The Right Attitude - The willingness to trample your fellow human being for a bargain, and the ability to do it day in, day out, is something all expert shoppers must wield. "Belligerent" is probably the best word to describe the attitude required.
- One or more Shopping Cart(s) - And not those sissy hand held things either. The rolling kind. Try and buy your own in an extra large size; they're only legal in Texas, but if you buy them during a holiday sale you can save a ton of money.
- Food - You could be stranded for days, if not weeks. The best offense is a good defense.
- Gun - Just in case.  (Better offense.)
A well thought out schedule can be the difference between another year of your child's sense of magic and wonder and having a Gothic high schooler who hates you and plays Doom with his one, invisible friend all day. Also, if printed on thick paper and rolled up can be used to swat anyone who takes the last Tickle Me Elmo off the shelf before you do.
2 Days Before
Arm yourself with only the essentials. Relax. Do yoga. Stab the postman, then maliciously rape his dead body. Smoke crack and listen to Snoop Doggy Dogg Cds. Whatever you can do to stay stress-free for a day, because the next few days will be aisles and isles of pure, unadulterated, Soccer Mom-filled hell. On that note, you should probably get some rest, too.
1 Day Before
Wake up at around 5:00 AM. You should already be dressed from yesterday. Grab your bags and leave without so much as a goodbye kiss or look backwards. Do so, and you will crack under the pressure. Just drive to the store and wait in the already bulging line.
You can never prepare yourself for this day. No matter what you read, or hear, or learn, or feel, or love, you will never be prepared, especially if you are a n00b. Grandmothers who have returned to the sale for decades still are not prepared, and many a Grandma has been elbowed in the chest or tackled to the greasy floor in such an unexpected and fresh way that they would comment "Huh, that's a new one." Hopefully, you already have a carefully crafted list of what to purchase. By the time you get to them, they will all be gone, and you'll have to buy third-rate schmuck instead. You may be involved in, or witness, a brawl, duel, or sissy-fight. Regardless, you must keep walking forward. By the end of the day, you will be exhausted and emotionally drained, and you won't have anything you were trying to get. But don't worry, because J.C. Penney has another sale in three days. Lather, rinse, and repeat until Christmas. Then take an hour off to ready yourself for Boxing Day. Heck, take two.
- "Tradition" meaning "doing the same thing year after year, whether you want to or not. Because it's tradition.
- Including that abysmal Peanuts Christmas Special.
- Not that you're gonna shoot anyone. It's a bluff. Plus, pistol-whipping is effective, too.
- Even the knowledge that you cannot prepare will not prepare you. Not even a smidgen.
- Three is too much.