Pleasant Thanksgiving attracts thousands of shoppers in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Some families are spending all night hitting the stores to get their Christmas shopping done. Despite the increase in online shopping, people in line outside stores on Thanksgiving say they need to see it and feel something before buying.

Thanksgiving and Friday are the only window for some people to finish all of their Christmas shopping.

Thursday was a 'sunglasses wearing, leave the jacket in the car' kind of Thanksgiving. "It's gorgeous out, 60 degrees. I don't think you can ask for a better day in November," shopper Aaron Chall said.

With minutes to go before opening, the line outside Belk in Huntsville was in the hundreds and people were hoping to find deals on all sorts of items. "We're going to get her some boots, and then we need silverware," said Beth Potter.

You better believe people had their ads handy, and in at least one case, matching outfits. "We get a lot of attention," said Kay Toungette. That makes it easy for these friends to "spot one another," her fashion twin Misty Holloway explained.

You don't want to lose one another in this crowd. Clerks were ready at their stations as the doors at Target opened. Carts were passed out like candy, but this wasn't a flood, more of a stream of patient shoppers.

"They know how to handle the crowd," said Sandy Johnson. "That's the reason I like coming here."

London Glenn was one of the first in line, easily claiming a 50-inch smart TV. Within nine minutes, he was back at the checkout to pay for it and he knows exactly where it's getting plugged in. "In the game room."

For others, the game is afoot. "We've got a whole stack of papers in the van," said Toungette. "It's all mapped out."

The objective, finish all of their Christmas shopping in 24 hours.

"I like to finish it tonight and go home and have it wrapped before work on Monday," said Holloway.

"I don't have time to shop between now and Christmas, so I have to get it done this weekend," explained Johnson.

As they push carts and carry bags out the door, every purchase means a mission accomplished and onto the next stop.

Several people told News 19 they don't plan to go home, instead take a break for breakfast before the stores reopen around sunrise on Friday.