We’ve all seen the photos and the jokes of the swarms of people who flood into stores to get that one toy on sale for $9.99 on Black Friday.

Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Jingle All the Way” where he did all he could to get his son Turbo Man, that’s what I think of.

But, nowadays is it still the madness that it initially started out to be, and is it worth it?

It’s never been worth it to me. Yeah, I’ve been Black Friday shopping, but I always waited until at least around 7 a.m. when most of the crazies had gone back to sleep.

Most of us have heard about the story of the origin of one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but let me give you a refresher.

As the story goes, after operating at a loss or “in the red,” stores would earn a profit or “would go in the black” on the day after Thanksgiving.

Hence the name “Black Friday.”

There are other origin stories that float around, but this seems to be the most common.

In addition to Black Friday, there’s Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, all focused on either spending money or donating money.

Not only do these additional days offer other ways to shop for deals, but also there are plenty of other reasons not to wait until that one sanctioned day to rush to the store for deals.

In bigger areas such as the Tanger Outlet mall in Mebane, North Carolina, they choose to have their Black Friday sales all weekend.

Local stores also held their sales even prior to Thanksgiving Day, and I’m sure those sales will last longer than some shoppers think.

On a personal shopping trip to Belk on Wednesday, the boots were already on sale including those $19.99 Rampage boots that seemed to be flying off the shelf Thanksgiving evening.

I also know Goody’s had sales earlier in the week as well.

A lot of shoppers, especially younger ones, prefer to shop from the comfort of their home. With Amazon Prime, eBay and more, anything can be shipped to your door just in time for Christmas already boxed and ready to be wrapped. For the right price, it could be shipped wrapped as well.

I couldn’t tell you from personal experience if the shopping hoopla is what it used to be on Black Friday, but from the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like it all depended on where you went.

Maybe shoppers have caught on that they can get sales almost any day leading up to Christmas or are just over dealing with the craziness of it all.

Some even believe the best deals are marked the night before Christmas.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com