The day after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday. I think the name comes from the fact that all the stores operate "in the black" on this day because of the sales they offer, so the stores make a lot of money.
Many stores open early in the morning, and crowds will line up to get into the stores to try to get the bargains before anyone else. A lot of times, stores will have only a limited quantity of an item available, and that's when it gets crazy. For example, my friend LA and her son went to Wal-Mart this morning so Caz could get a crazy cheap iPhone 5S. There were only five iPhones available, and they were twelfth in line. Through a series of fortunate events and about four and a half hours worth of patience, Caz did in fact end up with the fifth iPhone. He's always been a lucky bloke.
(I've been reading a book by a British author, hence the bloke comment.)
My mother-in-law used to get up super early and go Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law. She doesn't do the early morning thing anymore. Today she did go to Office Max because I advised her to buy an external hard drive for her computer. She got a screamin' deal on it, too.
I did go to the store today, but I just bought some saline solution, some lotion and a rawhide bone for Osi. I'm not exactly the consumer the retailers are looking for.
My approach to Christmas shopping is pretty methodical. I figure out how much money I have to spend. I make a list of all the people I would like to give a gift. I decide how much to spend on each person and come up with a couple of ideas in the price range. I go to the store and buy those things. I try very hard to stay in my budget and to get my loved ones things I think they will use and enjoy. I do not much care to browse and look at every store. I just like to purchase and get out.
Last year I took a day off work and let T take a day off school and he and I went Christmas shopping. It was a fun day for both of us. I'd love to do that again. I don't know if T will be happy to take a day off school, though. His class schedule is pretty loaded and he does a LOT of homework. We'll see, though.