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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

Holiday shopping season starts

Friday, November 23, 2001

(Photo)
With Thanksgiving out of the way, area businesses are looking forward to the busiest time of the year. Residents got out early Wednesday to start their Christmas shopping and get the best deals.
SIKESTON - "I've been known to be standing in line at

a quarter to six on the day after Thanksgiving,"

quipped Karen Bain. "I've done this for as long as I

can remember."

Meanwhile, Sheila Bohannon's motto is start early and

stay late.

"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

serious shopping.

"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

moment."