As I post this, it is still about ninety minutes from midnight, and a few additional hours away from the start of the 2009 holiday shopping season as a lot of stores and (hopefully) consumers gear up for Black Friday.
In this case, the term is not politically incorrect but, depending upon which theory you believe, refers to either the retailers' hope that their profit margins go from the redness of debt to the blackness of profit; or the more modern theory that the name is derived from the fact that a lot of stores will be open long before sunrise Friday morning!
The average opening time for this event seems to be 4 a.m., with most open by six, although one retailer started advertising late Tuesday night that they would be opening at THREE A.M. when previous ads simply stated "Opening early Friday morning."
Now whether or not this annual sales gimmick works remains to be seen. Pundits theorize that a lot of the consumer base that is planning to shop this holiday season will be going for more basic staples of life instead of the more extravagant/high priced items of the past.
And weather will certainly be a factor in the northern climates, which might keep all but the most ambitious from shopping.
As for me, the only place I intend to be in the wee hours of Black Friday morning is sound asleep in my bed!