a quarter to six on the day after Thanksgiving,"
quipped Karen Bain. "I've done this for as long as I
Meanwhile, Sheila Bohannon's motto is start early and
"I find it challenging to shop on the day after
Thanksgiving and get the best deal for the least
amount of money," Bohannon said. "I have done this for
years, way before it was so crowded. I will look for
clothes for my boys and things for my husband. I have
presents for most of the rest of the family. About
half of my Christmas shopping is completed." And they're not alone. Today, countless individuals
will make their way through the mobs of determined
shoppers, eager to load their carts with the holiday
specials merchants are offering.
Whether you like it or not, all the relentless pushing
and shoving is tradition. The day after Thanksgiving
is the biggest shopping day of the year.
"I'm there all day, I'm a real professional," Bain
declared with pride. "I don't even stop for lunch. I
eat in the car in between stores," she chuckled. "When
I grow up, I want to be a professional shopper."
Although Bain said she sometimes takes a friend along,
she goes it alone when she does what she describes as
"I usually go alone for serious shopping," agreed
Bohannon. "I hit it hard and get it done. Later on I
will have a friend to go and we browse for the fun of
being around the Christmas spirit, hustle and bustle
and the nippy weather."
Evidently there's a certain strategy to power shopping
today. For instance, Bain usually carries a list of
the must-have items and wings the rest of it.
"I try to have all the names and sizes of the people I
need to buy for on a handy list," Bohannon noted, "you
know, the family, secretaries and friends. I try to do
the boys first, to get a better selection, and then
buy the other items."
"One thing I do is if I see a whole crowd going one
way I'll usually follow them because that usually
means they know where the sale is. But sometimes I've
followed them and missed a sale because that's not
where they were going after all," Bain cautioned. "I
also check out the stores a day or two before, so I
know where I need to go and the location of what I'm
going after. You know, sort of scope it out."
Bohannon suggested scanning the advertisements and
taking notes from the television commercials.
On a side note she mentioned the plan of a having a
friend wait in line while the other person finishes
her shopping. Then, Bain explained, once the
individual is ready to check out, the shopper takes
the decoy's place.
"I usually try not to stand in long lines, it's a
waste of time," said Bohannon. "And be rested, eat
before (so not to waste time) and dress comfortably
with good walking shoes. It can be a bit stressful.
However, you need to keep in mind that your are there
with others trying to shop for their loved ones, too.
It can be a lot of fun seeing people you have not seen
in a long time, chit chatting and enjoying the