Holiday Shopping Draws Crowds Before Sunrise

For thousands of shoppers across South Mississippi, Friday morning was time to put down the fork, and pick up the charge card. Keli Rabon visited Singing River Mall in Gautier to see how Jackson County shoppers were celebrating their favorite holiday - Black Friday.

There are only a few days of the year you'll find anxious shoppers pouring into stores at 5 a.m.

"Yes, yes Black Friday!" one shopper yelled.

But inside the walls of Singing River Mall's JcPenney, shoppers warmed up to some hot deals.

"They call this Black Friday, when all the merchants do good. Well, we just came out to do our part," Julie Engel said as she purchased a few special Christmas ornaments.

The sights, sounds, and spending of the holiday season were easy to find.

"This morning pretty much everything is on sale. Then we have extra door busters that are pretty good," JCPenney Sales Associate Rhonda Dees said.

For some, Black Friday is just about the thrill of the hunt and finding 60 percent off sales. But for others, this kickoff to holiday shopping season has a very different meaning.

"It's supposed to be a family time. This is what it's about for us. Spending time together, doing things together for our family, shopping, and just having a good time," Moss Point resident Julie Engel said.

While bonding over clothes shopping, the Engels know the day is young.  There are many more stops on the list.

"I went though the sales ads yesterday. I don't know what time it is, but I've got to be somewhere at 6 o'clock. So it was like, get what you've got to get here. There's a list for this store, there's a list for this store. That's our strategy. So get in, get home early, take a nap," Engel said.

A strategy that makes the day after Thanksgiving one of Engel's favorite days of the year.

"I don't have to cook. I can get up early, go shopping, go home and take a nap, and not feel guilty," Engel said, delighted to know that she still has plenty of shopping left to do, and plenty of deals to find.

Even if you didn't brave the cold or hit the snooze button too many times Friday morning, there's still plenty of time to find good deals. Singing River Mall will be using extended hours for the rest of the holiday season, opening from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.