It's here again...Black Friday. Whether you are set to campout and trample someone for a $20 DVD player at Walmart or campout and trample someone for a $100 computer at Best Buy, you should be prepared for the long and winding crush of the season's biggest shopping day.
Fortunately, you live in Houston, where folks are generally friendly and there are rarely fights over toys or flat screens. Still, the stress and exhaustion of the day may be a bit overwhelming, so we'd like to offer some advice on how to take the edge off the day after Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, not all of them involve alcohol.
5. Listen to the traffic reports.
Radio and online traffic reports -- or perhaps an app -- on Black Friday will give traffic as well as how full lots at area malls are. Pay attention and be patient. You've got the whole weekend to blow your paycheck.
4. Enjoy Christmas decorations and music.
Whether they be in neighborhoods like Candlelight Plaza, that turns their homes into a Christmas version of the Vegas strip every year, or more traditional options like City Hall, Uptown Park or the massive tree inside the Galleria, go ahead and enjoy the sites and sounds of the holiday. So many gripe and complain about Christmas coming to early. Well, after Thanksgiving, those complaints end and you can drown yourself in Sunny 99.1's Christmas music marathon without fear of reprisal.
3. Take a walk or a ride.
This is a wonderful time to be outside in Houston and this is a MUCH greener city than most think. Take a walk in Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Discovery Green, one of the city's arboretums or even around Rice University. Grab your bike and follow the trails along Buffalo Bayou or in the Heights. Work off some of that tension and burn off some of the calories from Thanksgiving dinner!
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2. Buy local.
Besides being great for our local economy and giving you the option of buying unique gifts for your family instead of things they don't want -- cough...another hoodie...cough -- buying from local merchants is often easier with less wait and hassle than at big box retailers or the mall. Plus, you know your money goes directly into the Houston economy.
1. One word: margaritas
When all else fails, there is never a bad time for a margarita at one of Houston's many fine Tex Mex establishments. I myself prefer a frozen top shelf or two at the bar at La Tapatia on Richmond, but there are plenty of good places for you to happily drink the stress away. Feliz Navidad!