The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Shoppers get in Christmas spirit on Black Friday

You might have watched the affable shoppers rotating inside Crossroads Mall early Friday and thought you had just entered a page of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic.

Everywhere one turned, there seemed to be a character out of “A Christmas Carol,” arms bundled with freshly bought packages, hands clinging judiciously to cups of coffee, glad-handing, waving, chatting happily on cell phones and using them to photograph the moment for posterity.

Every character, that is, except sour old Scrooge.

“Everybody has had just the best attitude,” mall Manager Kathy Housh said.

“Everybody has been happy. They’re enjoying themselves. In some seasons, I’ve noticed a lot of high stress. But this year, everybody is very thankful. Everybody is very considerate. It’s been very pleasant. We’ve had a wonderful turnout. I have just been pleasantly and wonderfully surprised.”

Nature put early risers in the mood with a colorful dusting of snow that decorated evergreens at the mall, worthy of a Currier & Ives card, but had the decency to keep it off the roads.

“Some people said it got them in the Christmas spirit,” Housh said.

“We had just enough snow to make everybody happy and not enough to stop them. It looks very cheerful.”

Crossroads’ three anchors — Belk, Sears and J.C. Penney — opened promptly at 4 a.m., and crowds were already lined up to get started. All others opened their gates an hour later.

No merchant was complaining, recession or not.

“There seems to be a lot more people,” Housh said. “And it seems to be evenly spread out through all the mall.”

Snoopy is turning 60 this year, so the popular Peanuts character at a piano and playing a tune was a best-seller item at the Hallmark shop, clerk Teresa DeLano noted.

Ditto for the Hallmark Christmas ornaments, along with wrapping paper and other seasonal essentials.

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