Thanksgiving Weekend is the one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, from the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) through the following Monday (known as Cyber Monday–famous for online shopping). Throughout the weekend, you can enjoy extended hours at shopping malls (some stores open on Thanksgiving), sales on gifts and décor for the holidays, and plenty of holiday spirit.
Why is it called Black Friday?
“Black Friday” is the common term in the U.S. for the day after Thanksgiving Thursday. It’s the day when millions of consumers get the day off from work or school and crowd into stores and shopping malls for what is considered by many to be the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
The meaning of the term “Black Friday” has changed over time. Some popular, but incorrect explanations exist. We visited our favorite fact-checking resource, snopes.com to find the following factual information:
- In 1951, the earliest known use of “Black Friday”, it referred to the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving in order to have four consecutive days off. Employers likened it to the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Plague.
- In 1961 the term “Black Friday” gained widespread popularity after Philadelphia newspapers and television picked up the term “Black Friday” (and “Black Saturday”) from Philadelphia police who used the term to describe the massive traffic gridlock and other headaches caused by the hordes of shoppers heading to the city’s downtown stores on the two days after Thanksgiving, which became known as “Black Friday” and “Black Saturday”.
- Another popular explanation is that it is the day on which retailers began to show a profit for the year (in accounting terms, moving from being “in the red” to “in the black”). This use is relatively recent and dates from 1981, long after Philadelphia police used the term to describe traffic congestion.
- Still others have stated the term comes from employees, who call it Black Friday because of all the extra hard work. It’s a long, long day for retail employees.
Whether Black Friday is a day of dread or glee for you, we’ve put together a thoughtful list of retailers where you can find meaningful gifts for everyone on your shopping list, as well as decorate your home in full regalia to celebrate Christmas holiday season.
Best places to shop on Black Friday
This list of retailers for gift ideas, party supplies, and holiday decor focuses on locally owned stores offering an alternative to big box stores and shopping malls.
At these local retailers you can find meaningful gifts in a range of prices. Some offer unique, hand-crafted, or local products.
Outlet Malls in the Puget Sound region
Outlet Malls in the Seattle-Tacoma area always have extended hours for holidays and offer additional discounts over already low prices.
Art and craft shows in the Puget Sound region
We keep a running list of art and craft shows throughout the year. It includes information about the art community around Puget Sound such as art studio tours, which are a great way to support local artists, the local economy, and do your gift shopping all at the same time. Win-win-win. Everybody wins!