If you're looking to buy some cool gifts for some of your friends for Christmas, the smart thing so do is to wait for the Black Friday sales. If you've never heard of Black Friday and you don't know when it is or why it's such an important shopping weekend, this article will set you straight.

Black Friday began as an American shopping holiday that followed American thanksgiving. With American thanksgiving falling on the fourth Thursday of November, it is the last holiday before the beginning of the Christmas season. To take advantage of those who are off work for the holiday weekend and looking to start Christmas shopping, retailers began offering huge deals in everything from drills to diapers on the Friday after Thanksgiving day - this day became known as Black Friday.

For years Black Friday was a purely American, purely in-store sales event. Stores would stock especially large numbers of sale items and open early in the morning - sometimes as early as 4am - and offer special deals for early birds. However, in recent years, the event has spread to Canadian retailers who are looking to take their customers back, even though Canadian thanksgiving occurs in October.

Black Friday sales events in the United States are so popular that an unsuspecting employee attending one for the first time can be easily overwhelmed by the complexity and the crowds. For one thing, shoppers may begin lining up as early as the night before and can cause stampedes for popular products. People have been hurt in Black Friday stampedes. Also, deals change as often as every hour so it can be difficult to know when best to buy your product or even how to find deals.

For this reason, many people choose to shop on the internet instead. In recent years, retailers like Amazon have started offering online Black Friday deals that spill over into the weekend, ending with the newly named Cyber Monday. Now, everyone from an online book seller to a shoe company looking for new clients offers discounts of between 10% and 90% during the Black Friday shopping season. Black Friday is often the weekend that online shoppers order their entire Christmas lists, as there are four weeks left before Christmas for the items to arrive via post.

Some of our favourite sites for great deals!

Shoes, bedding, housewares - Shop.ca
A little bit of everything - Theshoppingchannel.com
Furniture, clothing, cosmetics - Sears.ca

Happy Shopping!!!!

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