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Remember to be courteous, kind

Pundits and analysts have been pronouncing Black Friday a dying tradition, but pundits and analysts are not in the immediate circles of family and friends who set out today in bargain hunts for the perfect, and affordable, Christmas gift.

For many, today represents a memorable, annual, fun part of the holiday season, a continuation of the family oriented holiday that is Thanksgiving.

There are several ways to make the day, and this weekend, which will include Small Business Saturday, more satisfying and less frustrating.

No matter the statistics, there will be increased traffic today. Be patient with your fellow motorists.

There will be fewer parking stalls available nearest the door to your preferred shopping haunts today. Park a little farther away and walk.

And, be sure to park near a light, take a picture of where you parked with your cell phone so that you will remember where to go when your arms are filled with packages later, and be kind to people coming in and out of the store. You’d want someone to hold the door for you, wouldn’t you?

Realize that the people working in the stores are just that: People, just like everyone else. They had to get up early and get to work. They had to be on their feet through a long and busy day. Some of them likely will be temporary help without all the answers to every possible question. Most of them will be doing their best. Be nice to them, smile and learn how infectious a smile can be among a tired bunch of hard workers.

Don’t get frazzled if the perfect widget that you set out for at some crazy hour in an attempt to catch the big widget sale isn’t available or the person ahead of you took the last sale-priced widget.

Because come Christmas, it’s not really about the gifts but the thought in the heart of the giver toward the receiver that will count.

If you live Black Friday with that atop your mind, all the other advice about being patient and kind and nice and smiling will fall right into place.

Now, enjoy your shopping.

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