Some residents and businesses will start stringing up the Christmas lights as soon as the Halloween decorations come down, but hardcore shoppers know when their dream season begins.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become the accepted if unofficial start time of the Christmas rush. It's a huge day for retailers but only the first of a roughly monthlong extravaganza.
And thanks to Abe Lincoln, who decreed Thanksgiving a national holiday, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed into law that it should fall on the fourth Thursday in November, and Pope Gregory XIII, who blessed the calendar we use by papal bull, 2012 has the longest possible shopping season.
To explain: With Nov. 1 falling on Thursday, the fourth Thursday and Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, couldn't fall any sooner. And that means there is more time – the most time any year can provide – for shoppers to shop and businesses to reap bounty.
Many merchants extend their hours during the holiday season. So, when do holiday shopping hours kick in around Renton?
Many big-box stores in town are already open until 10 or 11 p.m. Do you know of any downtown businesses that extned their hours during the holiday season? Browse the Patch Directory
How early do you start your holiday shopping? Are your gifts already wrapped, do you hit Black Friday sales, or are you a last-minute online shopper? Tell us in the comments.