In the early dawn light this Thanksgiving morning, the sun begins to rise behind the Green Mountains. The skies are clear, as are the roads. It's peaceful, but the stores-- are packed.
"We're here for a plasma. We got here at 3:15," said Hannah Lenehan, a Thanksgiving shopper.
"I'm going to every store that's open," said Melody Negant, who drove from Montreal.
"It was pretty hectic," said Josh Ramstrom, a Kmart employee. "I mean there were people rushing in and grabbing stuff."
Shoppers got an earlier start than ever before this year as stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart opened their doors before sunrise Thanksgiving morning, but it wasn't chaotic at all locations. While many of these big box stores are open on Thanksgiving, many aren't opening until 8 p.m. like Toys R Us. It's the first time they've opened this early to get a jump on the Black Friday shopping and they're expecting lines.
"Closing at 4 p.m. Hopefully they'll all be back by 8 p.m., so it all starts over again," said Bill Toppings, the manager at Kmart in South Burlington.
Toppings is a Black Friday veteran.
"I've been with Kmart 35 years, so 35 of them," he said.
He says most of his employees are happy to work the holiday, but he does prepare them for what they might be dealing with.
Most shoppers are here to cross off items on a Christmas list, but for Hannah Lenehan, it's all business.
"We're opening a cupcake bakery," she said. "It's a lifelong dream of mine to have a bakery."
Lenehan was one of only five shoppers to get here early enough to cash in on what some are calling Kmart's deal of the day-- a 42-inch plasma TV on sale for $199.
"We came for the deal because we're opening a bakery and we're trying to cut costs in renovations, so for saving about $300 on the TV it was worth it to come in at 3:15," Lenehan said.
So, whether you're kick-starting a dream like Lenehan or just buying that baking pan you've been looking for at a good price, shopping is at least one thing to be thankful for this holiday.
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