The scene outside Washington area malls and shopping centers largely confirmed retailers’ predictions that consumers were willing to give up a family dinner — or at least dessert — for a deep discount.

This year, stores have boldly invited themselves into the dinner hour — 8 p.m. — mingling some of the oldest of American rituals: giving thanks, eating turkey and hunting bargains.

Tweet us the best deals you scored this holiday season using the hashtag #mybestdeal. If you use Instagram, tag your photos with #mybestdeal.

Follow the morning rush with tweets from Post reporters and you:

Last update: 12:38 p.m. This blog is now closed.

Hayley Tsukayama: Best Cyber Monday deals

Cyber Monday is almost as big a deal as Black Friday, particularly as gadgets and games continue to top holiday wish lists around the world.

Many stores have yet to reveal the full extent of their Cyber Monday plans, but some retailers have offered early details about their plans. Read them here.


 Small Business Saturday is the new black (Friday)

Skip the crowds on Black Friday and hit the locally-owned shops tomorrow — including Politics & Prose — during Small Business Saturday. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Black Friday has apparently grown impatient. Now it’s more like Black Thursday Afternoon, a shopping event that threatens to eclipse Thanksgiving dinner, as would-be pie-eaters save a few hundred calories and a few hundred dollars on a 72-inch flat-screen television.

If this all seems a bit ludicrous — forgoing pie!? — then maybe Small Business Saturday is more your speed. Rather than braving the big box store crowds today, wait until tomorrow and shop locally.

The benefits of an earlier start time

When the doors opened at the Target in Columbia Heights Thursday night, the entry process was problem-free.

About 30 minutes before opening, Target employees walked the line handing out tickets for those interested in buying a television. The tickets guaranteed a television, which company officials said helped to avoid a frenzy when the doors opened.

The escalators leading up to the store were also turned off, and security officials only let 25 shoppers through the doors at a time.

“The way we do this is a very orderly system,” said David Stein, director of building operations for DC USA. “We don’t allow the pushing when the doors open and by turning off the escalators, there is an orderly flow.”

Vera Young, 50, said she was able to buy a portable DVD player, Wii games, electronic cars and a Wheel of Fortune game in less than 30 minutes.

“I got everything on my list,” Young said as she walked out of the store. “It was very organized this year. All I had to do is sit and the associates brought everything out to you, so I’m in and out, and that is wonderful.”

 — Tim Craig (@timcraigpost)

#mybestdeal a $39 blu-ray player!! @washingtonpost #BlackFriday #9shopping  

 — jennyfromthebak, Instagram user

jennyfromthebak via Instagram

Teen robbed of purchases outside Arundel Mills Mall

A 14-year-old boy who had just left a store at the Arundel Mills Mall early Friday was punched and robbed of his purchases, according to Anne Arundel County police.

The teen was attacked a little more than two hours after the shopping center in Hanover, off the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, opened at midnight to promote Christmas sales on what has become one of the busiest holiday shopping days.

 — Peter Hermann

sleeping under a christmas tree at tysons at 11:30 last night = awesome. #blackfriday

 — Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack)

@sarahhalzack via Twitter

 Wonkblog’s Neil IrwinBlack Friday is a bunch of meaningless hype, in one chart

 Don we now our oversized sweatpants! Let us cast aside our post-poultry haze, overcome the fact that we are stuffed with stuffing, and head to the mall!

On Wal-Mart, on Target, on Best Buy and Macy’s! Cheap TVs and iPhones and please pass the gravy!

Black Friday is here, and if you happen to derive pleasure from streaming around big box stores or mega malls as part of a teeming horde, well, who am I to judge another person’s sources of enjoyment. 


Early to shop, early to bed? 

Steven Overly

By the time the 2 a.m. hour settled in at Columbia Mall, Marie Ahlgren-Stephanos and her 18-year-old daughter Alexandra Stephanos were spent. They sat in the eatery at a table piled high with bags from Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. Elsewhere in the mall, her 15-year-old daughter was still going.

 “It’s amazing how frenzied people get over everything,” said Alexandra Stephanos. “It’s the same deal you’ll get later in the season or you can get online.”

But Michelle José, the mall’s marketing manager, hopes to keep shoppers coming throughout the day. She said the staff plans to refuel customers with bottled water and granola bars starting at 6 a.m., and offer valet parking for $5 to eliminate that headache for drivers.




 Wal-Mart staggered sales throughout the night, starting Thursday night and including one that kicked off at 5 a.m. this morning. 

J. Freedom duLac : 

“I’m not big on the whole crazy Black Friday thing — unless it’s really, really worth it,” Nino Guidry said.

It was just after 4:30 a.m. Friday, and the 27-year-old IT consultant from Falls Church was first in line at the back of the Walmart on Lee Highway in Fairfax. In fact, he was the line for the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones that were going on sale soon for $129 with a two-year service plan.

“It’s usually about $200,” Guidry said. “Plus, you get a $100 Walmart gift card with the phone. Not bad.”

Some people decided to ditch the deals and stay at home. 


 Lots of folks out shopping at Columbia Mall for #BlackFriday. You know who isn’t here? Santa Claus. 

— Steven Overly (@StevenOverly) 

@StevenOverly via Twitter

 Others embraced the early deals.


First wave of Target shoppers all walking out with big screens.I found a bargain too, but practical. Half off!!

— Tim Craig (@timcraigpost)

@timcraigpost via Twitter




@washingtonpost #MyBestDeal @sears door busters napping to get their 50 inch TV #blackfridayon2 #BlackFriday

— Parthiban Shanmugam (@hollywoodcurry)

Shoppers napping at Sears
@hollywoodcurry via Twitter

$2 DVDs at #Walmart. Grab a stack, then sort. #MyBestDeal

— Katherine Boyle (@KTmBoyle)

Walmart's $2 DVDs
@KTmBoyle via Twitter

  Last night’s madness 


Temperature at Walmart on Black Thursday
@chrislhayes via Tumblr



This is how walmart was telling customers where to line up. Fairly effective, I thought.

— Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack)

@sarahhalzack via Twitter


 More from the Post’s holiday coverage:

Black Friday creeps into Thursday

Your guide to Black Friday 2012

Holiday Gadgets and Games Guide