Black Friday and Cyber Monday: When deals reign supreme

Local elementary school students tested more than 80 toys to see which were worth adding to their wish lists this holiday shopping season.
Washington Post Staff
Monday, November 22, 2010; 2:18 PM

Black Friday deals are in the air, as are Cyber Monday and a heavy shopping week as the holiday season kicks off. As Melissa Bell explained:

We tried to go Anti-Black Friday, but to no avail. The shopping deals just keep coming at us fast and furious. We've succumbed. We're getting our shopping shoes on. For the week's best shopping bits, here's some tips rounded up from the Web:

Who: All of us crazy shoppers

What: Cyber Monday and Black Friday

Black Friday has always sounded totally ominous to me, and not just because it means hordes of shoppers battling it out for the latest Bieber doll. Turns out, it's for good reason. The term originally referred to the day the stock market crashed in 1869. No one knows the exact day the term came to mean the day after Thanksgiving, when stores started holiday discounts to mark the beginning of Christmas sales, but one Web site says "black" refers to the accounting practice of listing losses in red and profits in black. Cyber Monday originally referred to the Monday after the holiday weekend, when the deals from Black Friday were posted online for shoppers who didn't make it to the stores on Friday. But ...

Apparently some stores won't wait until Friday to kick off their deals. As Ylan Mui reported:

You better scarf down that turkey: Toys 'R' Us on Wednesday became the latest retailer to announce that it will open its doors on Thanksgiving Day.

Stores have competed for years to offer the biggest deals at the most ungodly hours on Black Friday. First they opened at 5 a.m. Then they threw the doors open at midnight for shopping pajama parties. Now even Turkey Day is no longer off-limits.

More from the Washington Post

Tech: Gadgets to add to your Black Friday shopping list

Live: Black Friday Twitter sales aggregator

Full coverage: Black Friday 2010

Ylan Mui: Hottest holiday toy already on shelves?

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