Holiday shopping season began weeks ago

In years past, Black Friday marked the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. This is the day retailers traditionally offer special bargains to lure shoppers into the stores after a day of gorging on turkey, pumpkin pies, and football.

But the holiday shopping season, and the sales, keeps starting earlier and earlier. Christmas decorations began appearing in stores before Halloween. One local radio station started playing holiday music around the clock a week ago. There’s nothing soothing about hearing “White Christmas” when there are piles of leaves to be raked.
In early November, Boscov’s began advertising “After Thanksgiving Pricing NOW.” For a while now, Target has been offering “Pre-Black Friday” sales on toys. eanwhile, stores are opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday. Macy’s planned to open at 4 a.m., an hour earlier than last year. Not to be outdone, Kohl’s planned to open at 3 a.m.
But deal-loving shoppers don’t seem to mind. (By the way, the best way to learn about all these great deals, of course, is to check out the ads in your newspaper.) One family in Florida has been camping out at their local Best Buy since Nov. 17 in order to be the first in line for promoted Black Friday deals.
Here’s one upside to all of the early holiday sales: Maybe it will leave shorter lines for the rest of us last-minute shoppers.

VIDEO: Maybe if more Americans shopped early, the nation might avoid the stampedes that have marred recent Black Friday openings.