Beth Powell shopped once on Black Friday, about five years ago.
She doesn’t plan to do it again. She started shopping online six weeks ago.
“I’m not coming after Thanksgiving. It’s not that much of a savings,” the Aiken resident said of Black Friday. “Not to deal with crazy people.”
She’s not alone.
To avoid the crowds, traffic and stress of last-minute holiday shopping, some in the area have chosen to finish buying their gifts before Black Friday.
Powell’s daughter, Jessica Young, also of Aiken, crossed the last item off her holiday shopping list Monday.
The mother of two young children, ages 2½ and 4 months, Young started shopping in July and paid for her final Christmas gifts at Target on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway with more than a month to spare. During the past few months, she has purchased toys, clothes and sporting goods.
“Having the little ones, it’s harder to go shopping with them, so I started earlier,” she said. “I really want to be able to enjoy the whole holiday season without scrounging around for last-minute gifts. Once my Christmas tree goes up, I want my presents to be underneath my tree.”
Young said she found some good pre-Black Friday deals.
“If you keep your eye out, you can find deals before the holiday,” she said.
Terry Green, of Augusta, not only finished her holiday shopping one month ago, but has also wrapped all of her presents. She started shopping in June.
“I did mine because of the economy. I was afraid the prices would go up, so I started very early to take advantage of any sale that I could,” she said. “I would never shop on Black Friday. I watch everyone else run frantically around.”
Green budgeted well and found good deals, so she has “no bills this Christmas,” she said.
Keith New, of Augusta, had money available this year, so he started shopping early. He began Nov. 12 and finished Wednesday. He found clothing at a one-day sale at Macy’s and toys at other retailers.
“I don’t like the hustle and bustle of Black Friday. A dollar more to me is better than being in the hustle and bustle with all that traffic,” he said.
Ashlie Kelly, of North Augusta, started shopping the day after Christmas last year and finished the second weekend in October. She bought toys, clothes, men’s gifts and a video game system. She usually starts early so she “can enjoy the Christmas season without running around at the last minute.”
“That way I can do everything I want with my kids. Avoiding the crowds and no lines are a big plus, too,” Kelly said.