In the frenzy to grab that big-screen television or the hot new video game console on Black Friday, there’s little time to reflect. But now that the day after Thanksgiving is almost upon us, did you ever wonder why it’s called Black Friday?

The day after Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of the holiday season. And for retailers, that means big bucks. It’s that increase in revenues – and for most retailers the first time to turn a profit for the year – that got Black Friday its name.

“The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season,” explains “’Black refers to stores moving from the ‘red’ to the ‘black,’ back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.”

The rise in popularity of Black Friday since the 1960s can be attributed to marketing and the reputation the day after Thanksgiving earned for having better sales than last-minute Christmas deals.

“Some retailers put their items up for sale on the morning of Thanksgiving, or email online specials to consumers days or weeks before the actual event,” according to “The most shopped-for items are electronics and popular toys, as these may be the most drastically discounted. However, prices are slashed on everything from home furnishing to apparel.”

The scramble for every consumer dollar is even more frenzied this year, as some retailers, such as Macy’s, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney, are actually open on Thanksgiving.

What do you think about Black Friday? Will you be taking advantage of the deals or sitting it out? Sound off in the comments section below.