Black Friday began Thursday this year making many line-sitters happier to be awaiting holiday specials in daylight.

“I think it is better,” said Christian Gragg, of Copperas Cove. “Think they are trying to make everything safer.”

Gragg got to Target in Harker Heights at noon and was the second in line for the store’s 8 p.m. opening. He was waiting to buy a 50-inch television.

Georgina Martinez, of Killeen, started standing outside Best Buy in Killeen at 9 a.m. She was about 10th in line to make good on some of the national retailer’s Black Friday deals. She planned to purchase the Windows Surface tablet.

“Since it starts at 6, I will be home tonight to celebrate Thanksgiving and eat some turkey,” she said. “I am going to celebrate after I am done (shopping).”

Having participated in Black Friday midnight sales before, Martinez said she prefers the Thursday sales compared to midnight ones.

“Normally, I eat and rush out to be at a midnight one,” she said. “Or I go to Walmart, where you push and fight.”

For Gragg, shopping on Thursday meant no more waiting in the dark. Last year, he got in line at 7 p.m. for a midnight opening. He was 32nd in line to purchase a TV with only 36 in stock.

This year was Gragg’s third Black Friday and Andrea Chambers’ 12th.

“Black Friday every year is fantastic,” said Chambers, sitting outside Target. “I got here about 3 (p.m.).”

Chambers also was shopping for a 50-inch TV, as well as Angel Tree gifts for children.

“If I save on a $30 toy, that means more toys for more kids,” she said.

Despite the good deals, Chambers wasn’t sure if she liked Black Friday spilling on to Thanksgiving.

“I don’t like the fact that it takes times away from the family, but I am grateful I don’t have to drive at 3 a.m.,” Chambers said.

Many others who didn’t shop Thursday said they wanted to spend time with their families on the holiday.

“I love the rush of Black Friday, but this year they have gone too far,” said Heather McNeely, of Fort Hood, on Facebook. “The retailers have all their good sales today (Thursday). So they are telling me pick a good deal or pick your family. Well, I pick my family. Also what does this teach our children? It only teaches them not to give thanks and you get whatever you want for Christmas.”

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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