By Alyssa Azzara

Special to Live Wire

FORT WORTH, TX – NOVEMBER 27: Shoppers Jeri Hull (L) and Karen Brashear (R) wait in line while shopping at Toys”R”Us during the Black Friday sales event on November 27, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. Toys”R”Us stores nationwide opened at midnight Thursday, November 26, providing shoppers access to its Black Friday deals five hours earlier than ever before. According to the National Retail Federation, a trade organization, as many as 134 million people, 4.7% more than last year, will shop this Friday, Saturday or Sunday. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday where families across America come together to celebrate what they have and are thankful for. But for many people, what they really look forward to is the day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday.

Every year, Thanksgiving lands on the fourth Thursday of November, and Black Friday is the fourth Friday. According to, “the Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season since the early 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the term ‘Black Friday’ began to be heavily used by stores advertising deep discounts.” The word “black” refers to retailers’ hopes that sales on that day will turn their finances from red – or negative – to black.

But in recent years Black Friday has started on Thanksgiving. Target stores open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and close at midnight, then reopen at 6 a.m. Friday. Walmart stores also open up at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Toys R Us doorbusters begin at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and continue until midnight but there are continuous deals until Saturday.

Madison Lathe, a student at Manchester Community College, is not a fan of Black Friday deals starting on Thanksgiving.

“It seems like everything is starting earlier and earlier these days,” she said. “I saw Christmas decorations up even while Halloween stuff was still on display. It’s crazy.”

But if you want to join the craziness, there are some good deals to be had.

Target is giving away $250 gift cards with the purchase of an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. Walmart’s best deal is the Sharp 55-inch 4K Smart TV for $298. Some deals at Toys R Us include the Xbox One Slim Core Console for $189.99, $90 less than the original price, 40 percent off Star Wars Lego sets, and $10-$30 off selected video games.

If you want to catch the best deals at stores, you’ll have to schedule your Thanksgiving dinner earlier in the day. Angelo Russo, a student at MCC, said that the earlier Black Friday hours don’t bother him.

“It’s better for me,” he said. “I go shopping at nine on Thursday night and then the next day I have work.”

This year, Russo said he is looking forward to buying an Apple Watch and the new iPhone 8 for himself and said that he usually spends up to $1,000 on holiday shopping. He doesn’t plan his shopping ahead of time based on deals.

“I go to the store and see if there’s something I like,” he said. “Most of the time I buy for myself. Closer to Christmas is when I buy for other people.”

Lathe said that she starts shopping for gifts on Nov. 22. Lathe doesn’t spend a lot of money around the holidays in comparison to other people, but more money than she’d like to.

When asked if she’s looking forward to buying anything this holiday season, Lathe cracked a joke.

“Can you buy motivation?” she said.