So, it's the day after Halloween — is it too early to start thinking about holiday shopping?
For some residents and businesses, the Christmas lights will be hung as soon as the Halloween decorations come down. But hardcore shoppers know when their dream season begins.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become the accepted if unofficial start time of the Christmas rush. It's a huge day for retailers but only the first of a roughly month-long extravaganza.
And thanks to Abe Lincoln, who decreed Thanksgiving a national holiday, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed into law that it should fall on the fourth Thursday in November, and Pope Gregory XIII, who blessed the calendar we use by papal bull, 2012 has the longest possible shopping season.
To explain: With Nov. 1 falling on Thursday, the fourth Thursday and Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, couldn't fall any sooner. And that means there is more time — the most time any year can provide — for shoppers to shop and businesses to reap bounty.
At Algonquin Commons, incentives are already in place to lure more shoppers out on Black Friday.
The Commons will be giving free gift cards — ranging in value from $10 to $500 — and holiday tote bags away to its first 1,000 shoppers that make it out to the commons on Black Friday morning, according to the Commons' website. Shoppers can also sign up to win a $2,500 shopping spree.
At the Huntley Outlet Center, Black Friday starts a day early. Some stores will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Others will open at midnight on Nov. 23 and stay open through 10 p.m. that night.
Extended hours for shopping will be offered that weekend with holiday hours beginning in earnest on Monday.
Stores will be open an extra hour each day of the week — from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each Sunday through Dec. 23. The Huntley Outlet Center's website has more on its holiday shopping hours.
As for holiday shopping hours for Algonquin Commons, that varies by store, according to the Commons' website.