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Shoppers get a head-start on Christmas shopping

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Julie Rapoza of Manteca was already in the Christmas spirit while shopping on Black Friday. She wore her Santa hat and Christmas sweater while spending most of the day crossing off her gift list.


POSTED November 26, 2011 12:35 a.m.

Julie Rapoza of Manteca is usually among the Black Friday early morning shoppers.

Not so this year. She waited later in the day to tackle her Christmas gift list.

“I actually got a late start,” said Rapoza, who started her day of shopping at about 8 a.m.

In doing so, she avoided those day-after Thanksgiving crowds standing outside the doors of major retailers during the wee hours in order to catch the bargain deals.

Traditionally, Black Friday is considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Rapoza and others were aware that such stores as Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, for example, opened at midnight for the first time.

Kmart kept it traditional by opening at 5 a.m., calling it “Blue Friday” while featuring a 40-inch HDTV, Sony PlayStations, and billiard table, to name a few, in the advertised 6-hour special.

For the past 15 years, Rapoza has used Black Friday as a way of getting into the holiday spirit. She again sported a Santa cap along with her Christmas sweater while conducting her shopping.

Rapoza made six stops during her Black Friday shopping spree. By 4 p.m., she had crossed most of the items on her list.

“I shopped for seven people and I’m close to finishing my (Christmas) shopping,” said Rapoza.

Kmart was the last stop for the day since the retailer at 255 Northgate Drive was the closest to her home.

While there, she happened along former Raiders great Lester Hayes, who was signing autographs and other related sports memorabilia for a good cause.

A cornerback out to Texas A&M – he was All-American there as a safety – Hayes was known for his bump-and-run coverage and smearing an adhesive known as ‘stickum’ all over hands, arms, and jersey. He was also AP’s 1980 Defensive Player of the Year not to mention an important member of the Raiders’ Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII titles.

Proceeds from Hayes’ booth will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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