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Christmas shopping season kicks off

Several kiosks were busy with customers Friday afternoon during their Black Friday sales. (Photo by Candice Black)

PARKERSBURG — Christmas shopping the Eve of Thanksgiving and into the wee hours of Friday morning has become a tradition among some families over the past decade.

As the shopping season officially started Thursday evening, a few shoppers shared their experiences with Black Friday shopping and some of their yearly traditions.

Jane Graham started her shopping trip at about 1 p.m. Thursday. After making rounds at the mall and those nearby stores, Graham went to Cracker Barrel to check out its Christmas decor.

“It has not disappointed,” Graham said.

Graham made a tradition to shop with her son’s girlfriend every year.

The mall was busy with shoppers Friday afternoon during the biggest shopping event of the year. (Photo by Candice Black)

“We like to shop and we like to not have to stay home all day,” Graham said. “It’s a win-win; we ate with everyone, then we get to do what we like best.”

For the past six or seven years, Black Friday aficionado Beth Barnes goes out to shop for her five grandchildren. She shops with her daughter and granddaughter every year.

“I love it. It’s our time,” Barnes said.

She said they were planning on shopping all through the night.

Miranda Duty and Macy Kendall have only gone Black Friday shopping for the past two years. They decided to start shopping last year to get a television and this year to snag a good deal on comforters.

Jane Graham at one of many stores she went to with her son’s girlfriend. The two began their shopping trip early Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Candice Black)

Duty said the televisions were gone by around 6 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the store opened. She said it seemed to be a little more hectic than last year.

Duty said she wants to continue the tradition next year.

A possible new tradition started Friday at the Grand Central Mall with the start of the “Give the Gift of Kindness this Holiday Season” campaign.

Through Friday, Dec. 27, mall goers are encouraged to Gift Kindness and a chance to win $1,000 toward the charity of their choosing. Some acts could be holding a door for someone, paying for someone’s layaway or sending a hand written note.

Participants can select their act of kindness in the form of a gift tag near the Sprint store and play area. To be entered in the drawing, contestants are encouraged to share their act of kindness on Instagram, follow and tag Grand Central Mall and use #GiftKindnessContest.

Mendy Gray, left, Jayci Gray, middle, and Beth Barnes, right, upheld their yearly tradition of hitting the stores for good Black Friday deals. (Photo by Candice Black)

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

Police officers were on duty at Walmart as a safety measure to ensure no issues. Four officers were on duty Thursday night. (Photo by Candice Black)

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