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by Marthe Stinton
Courier-Gazette.com

Black Friday marks the semi-official beginning of the Christmas shopping season but is also the day when all shoppers feel what it’s like to be a linebacker. Last year, while playing Santa’s helper, I literally had a man knock me over in order to get a set of tools. Tools! But this year, instead of braving the lines myself, I will help you find the best deals in the county.

For those of you crazy enough to get up at 3 a.m. and fight the lines and other shoppers for some steep discounts, please feel free to enjoy Black Friday, but please don’t wake me.

According to a Gallup poll, Americans currently predict they will each spend $714 on Christmas gifts this year — well exceeding the $638 they forecast in November a year ago for the 2009 holiday season, but still trailing the pre-recessionary November forecasts recorded over most of the last decade. Local stores are preparing to help Collin County residents meet the expected goal with several promotions.

With anchors like Macy’s, Dillard’s, JC Penney, Nordstrom and Sears, Stonebriar Centre in Frisco will be large enough to divide and conquer. The mall will open at 6 a.m. Black Friday, and shoppers who spend more than $100 before noon can earn a $10 Shop Etc. gift card, while supplies last.

Shoppers can present their receipts at the Redemption Zone at Customer Service located on the upper level near Center Court. As an extra surprise, mall ambassadors will be wandering through the shopping center with giveaways such as shopping bags to lighten the load, stickers for the kids and more.

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