Black Friday is a day we are all familiar with, some may not be familiar with the name, but it is that wonderful day of the year that people drag themselves out of bed for sales that start before daylight. You guessed it; it is the day after Thanksgiving sale. The term black Friday has its origins in the early twenties when this shopping day of massive frantic crowds was likened to the mass hysteria of the stock market crash of 1924. In later years, the term was used by police officers and pointed to the traffic jams and masses of people rushing the stores. It was not until recently that the term came to mean the day on which retailers were in the black or turning a profit. At any rate, it is one of the busiest days of the Christmas buying season and as such, retailers will have massive sales aimed at drawing crowds into the stores as early as four in the morning.In order to get into stores, people have been known to camp out overnight so they can be the first ones in. To make matters worse retailers will often only receive a limited number of big-ticket items that have been drastically reduced. This can lead to a free for all of people scrambling to get their hands on an item before they are sold out. There have been incidences of angry people turning violent to get the latest gadget or gizmo that there were only three of in the whole store. Barely controlled chaos is what many retail workers will call this day. Sounds like a whole lot of trouble for very little benefit if you ask me. Generally, I stay away from the store the entire day but one year I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. I found out that many of the items on my list were still available and on sale several hours after the initial rush and the items that were not there were very few and no chance of reaching the front of the line. Electronics were the worst, in our tiny department I bet there were nearly one hundred people all vying for one of five laptops that were on sale. Needless to say, that was the last year I got up at three in the morning to go shopping.With all the publicity and craziness people, tend to forget that there is another way to shop. Traditionally the Monday after Thanksgiving was thought to be the busiest online shopping day of the year, earning it the name Cyber Monday. This was probably because few people had broadband internet in the early part of 2000 so many would wait until returning to work after the holiday to do their online shopping. Things have greatly changed in the last few years and online retailers are now offering online sales on Thanksgiving Day! What could be better than relaxing at home with a hot cup of cocoa and doing your Christmas shopping in your pjs? That is a great start to the Christmas season if you ask me.