Turkey and stuffing leftovers were stored Thursday after big meals as families bundled up and headed out to continue another holiday tradition — Black Friday shopping.
The excitement started even earlier this year as many stores opened as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Emily Lane, 13, waited three hours with her family in line at Target to get some deals on movies she will be giving as presents this year.
“We’ve done it since we were all really little. It’s just the fun of getting together and hanging out, standing in the cold,” said sister Shawnda Stewart, 23.
“We have dinner at our grandparents’ then we usually sleep over together, then get up really early and go eat breakfast afterward,” mom Tara Cavett said of years when the sales actually started in the early morning hours of the Friday after Thanksgiving.
She was specifically looking to buy an iPad mini amongs the items on sale.
Her husband, Jonathan Cavett, said he joined the group to spend time with his family.
Many shoppers were joined by family members as they waited in the cold for store doors to open. Jerri Prater was waiting with her mom Teresa Prater on Thanksgiving night, looking to buy a big-screen television and some scarves for family members.
Jerri said it had been a tradition for 10 or 11 years for the two to shop the Black Friday sales. She said her favorite part was seeing people act crazy trying to get to items they want. The Praters were also planning on shopping the majority of today.
Brothers Isaac and Abraham Anderson were also waiting in line looking to buy a large TV to give as a gift.
“Last year, I was at Kmart for 14 hours,” said Abraham Anderson. “This is a lot better. I’m glad they are doing it at 8 p.m. instead of midnight.”
However, he said he preferred the sales to start on Friday so it did not take away from time with his other family members on Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile at Bradley Square Mall, long lines were forming at various entrances. Some shoppers near the front of the line at Belk said they had only been waiting about 45 minutes.
Vickie Herron was joined by her sister in pursuit of a certain brand of suitcase.
Three generations waited for Belk to open as grandmother Marie Berry was joined by her daughter Tamra Jarrett and granddaughter Brielle Jarrett.
“Its traditional for us,” Tamra said.
The three have been holiday shopping partners for the past decade.
Boots, pajamas and a Kerning coffee maker were on their list of things to buy.
The family is systematic in their approach to the sales.
“If somebody needs something and you don’t need anything, then you are posted in a spot to get it before it gets gone. So, we actually plan it out and tell everyone where they have to go,” Tamra said.
The earlier start of the sales had mixed reactions.
“I would rather it be on Friday so we are not having to rush from dinner to get here,” Tara Cavett said.
Vickie Herron said she prefers the sales starting at midnight on Thanksgiving.
“It seems more exciting starting it at 12,” she said.
Tamra Jarrett said she preferred the sales start early on Friday morning, so it does not take away from the Thanksgiving holiday festivities.
Sue Stone, who was waiting in line for Belk to open, said she thought having the sales start on Thanksgiving day is more exciting.
Some stores did wait until early this morning to start after-Thanksgiving day sales. However, many did not see the lines that Thursday’s kickoff of holiday shopping had brought to other stores.