By noon Thursday, all seven adult members of the Jackson family had their marching orders.
Some members of the family were in line at Best Buy, one person was waiting in a Walmart, another was standing outside a Target, and still others were going to Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Toys R Us.
Family matriarch Teri Jackson had been planning for a few weeks, she said. At 53, Jackson has become an expert Black Friday shopper. She knew where the best deals were and what time the lines would be getting too long to bother.
“It’s a science,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Do it big and do it right, and you can get all your Christmas shopping done in one night.”
Having stores open earlier and creeping into Thanksgiving was not a problem for most people in lines outside area stores Thursday.
Some were happy about it because it meant not waiting in line for so long and being able to get to bed earlier. Others had moved their family’s holiday to another night so it would not be rushed.
For the Jacksons, a family that includes seven grandchildren, shopping for Christmas is not cheap.
To take advantage of Black Friday deals, Teri and her husband, Earl, decided a few years ago to move their family’s Thanksgiving dinner to Sunday. This ensured the family would still be together, and that the men would be able to watch football.
“It works for us,” she said. “Everyone is off work, we can be together. And the best part? My holiday shopping is already done.”
Each family member is responsible for getting their hands on specific items, no more and no less. Teri Jackson said that last year her son, Eric, had been lazy and did not get in line at Toys R Us until about an hour before it opened. He missed out on two items on his list and spent that Sunday’s Thanksgiving celebration at the kids’ table.
“He called me to say he got in line early today,” Jackson said.
Outside Toys R Us on Thursday, Megan Stewart had set up a chair toward the front of the line around 3:30 p.m. She was responsible for purchasing some gifts for her 4-year-old nephew, including a remote control car.
“He’s going to be very excited,” she said.
Stewart’s family also celebrates Thanksgiving the weekend after so it does not impede the shopping. On Thursday, her family spent the morning volunteering, then shopped at night.
Outside Target in Augusta Exchange, Shantra Edge and her friend Malika Williams took turns keeping a place in line and sitting in the car for a few minutes with the heater on.
They had Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. and were in line by 6. They were waiting for the store to open at 9 p.m. and had no shopping plan.
“We’re both moms,” Edge said. “Were hoping to find some discounted toys for the kids and get home to bed. We both have the same budget as last year, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.”