Black Friday shopping a 'tradition' for many

| Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

To go or not to go?

There is usually a cut and dried answer when it comes to Black Friday shopping.

Either a person loves it or they hate it. There's no middle ground on this one.

The mad rush of people and the euphoria of getting a bargain have some individuals planning strategies at the dinner table on Thanksgiving afternoon or evening while they pour over the Black Friday sales fliers with bellies still full of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

In fact, planning the strategy is a group effort for some and part of the whole Thanksgiving tradition.

In recent years, knowing the Black Friday deals for most retailers are just a few clicks away, with advertisements or other websites becoming more and more available that “leak” information earlier in the week.

Black Friday has apparently turned into the entire Thanksgiving week rather than just one day, with retailer websites, such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Best Buy and even, offering deals all week long.

Today it's easier than ever to get a great deal without getting off your couch.

That still won't stop millions of shoppers across the country from getting the whole retail shopping experience at their favorite stores. It's “tradition” that brings them out year after year, some Fay-West area residents say.

Julie Hoffer of White will be one of them. She and her sister-in-law, with whom she has been shopping for about eight years, have become a little thrown off by stores that offer deals on Thanksgiving day and night.

“We enjoy our family time and don't like cutting it short for a sale,” Hoffer said. “Last year we tried to shop all night, and it just wasn't the same. This year we plan to go to Wal-Mart Thanksgiving evening and then come home and go as we normally would have gone any other Black Friday.”

Michele Solarchick-Akins of Scottdale uses the day to spend time with friends and family.

“I go shopping that day with the ladies from my family,” she said. “We are all so busy in our day-to-day lives, and we don't spend as much time together as we would like, but Black Friday is ours. We don't care if we find all the super deals; we just like being together.”

Jocelyn Richter of Acme said hitting the stores early Friday has always been a tradition for her as well.

She started going with her mother when she was young and now goes with her best friend.

“Dad used to ask how we could get up that early to shop, and Mom would ask him how he got up so early to hunt,” Richter said. “Now I go with my best friend. We eat breakfast out and shop till we drop! It was always my way of getting in the Christmas spirit.”

Tanya Hodge of Connellsville has gone shopping on Black Friday since she was 3 or 4 years old. For years she would go with her mother and grandmother.

“After my grandma passed away, it seemed weird to go without her. But now when I do go, I think of her, and it really brings back some good memories of us women who love to shop,” Hodge said. “In a way it's kind of like a tribute day to shop for Grandma Dee.”

While there are those who love to shop, there are also those who love to stay home.

Sarah Prinkey of Dunbar said she always stays clear of Black Friday shopping.

“Getting into a verbal or physical fight or getting trampled on isn't worth the money I'd save,” Prinkey said. “Black Friday is all about greed and not what Christmas is about.”

Annette Grote of Scottdale said she tried shopping on Black Friday once and hated it and she's never gone again.

“I dislike crowds and getting up early, so my Black Friday is started with a piece of pumpkin pie and the playing of Christmas music while I decorate the house for Christmas,” she said.

Grote's family ends the day with a couple of their favorite Christmas movies, turkey sandwiches and a cup of cocoa.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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