The holiday rush is now officially under way as shoppers headed out to big box stores Wednesday night into the wee hours of Thursday morning with the hopes of taking advantage of the best Black Friday deals and steals.
Many parking lots at malls and shopping centers were at capacity before Thanksgiving dinners were even consumed and ideas of fading into a turkey coma were being pondered.
That's because several large stores, like Walmart and Target, opened their doors Thursday in hopes consumers would get an even earlier start to the holiday shopping season.
For Jessica Nieves, her mom and their entire family on Black Friday was debating whether or not they were night owls or early birds.
But one thing was for sure - they're some pretty serious shoppers.
They said they started at Target and Walmart Thursday night, but the shopping didn't end there. The family then headed out to West Farms in West Hartford to take advantage of the early hours and all the sales.
"I'm tired," said Eboni Johnson, of Hartford. "But thinking about all those bargains, I'm elated."
For others, shopping that early ended in sheer exhaustion.
While shoppers made their way through the mall with bags, boxes and carts, others camped out waiting for their stores to open.
At Best Buy, across the street from West Farms, shoppers stocked up on electronic equipment and presents for the kids were bought at Toys R Us right next door.
For Doreen Daneault and her daughter it wasn't so much about getting up early; rather for them, it was about spending some quality time together.
"This is stop number four," Daneault said. "I think we have three more stops to go. But we're taking it nice and slow and hopefully finding some good deals."
In the end, that's pretty much the only thing shoppers want.
If you decided to stay home this Black Friday, you still have plenty of time to get the shopping done. This is the earliest possible time Thanksgiving could be held, so you have 31 shopping days left.
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