Today is Black Friday. Urban myth deems today the busiest shopping day of the year -- the day after Thanksgiving.
This is a day Canadians are not as familiar with due to the fact that our Thanksgiving happens in October. By this point the Thanksgiving holiday is a distant memory and we have already been listening to Christmas carols in the shopping malls and watching holiday decorations magically appear.
But our American friends unofficially mark today as the opening of the Christmas shopping season, giving way to door-crashing sales (who wants a crushed door?), deep discounts and enormous queues and crowds.
Apparently, the term came from the Philadelphia Police department in the 1960s who were none too thrilled when dealing with the massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks.
More recently, accountants have referred to it as the period when merchants often go from being in the red (a financial loss), to being in the black (making a profit).
And of course, we now have Cyber Black Friday, referring to shopping online. This is when smart shoppers stay within the comfort of their homes and shop online, still taking advantage of many deals. I don't know about you, but my computer is much warmer than standing in line at dawn, with probably a slim chance of purchasing that item that apparently just can not wait for another day. :-)
And of course there is Cyber Monday. Confused yet? You will have to wait until Monday to be free of the confusion.
Do you start your holiday shopping on Black Friday? If you do, just be careful out there!