The countdown is on to Black Friday and Cyber Monday! So, which holiday shopping experience do you prefer? For several years now, Cyber Monday has been a popular staple as it allows the luxury of shopping online from the comfort of your home or anywhere by laptop, PC, or phone. On the other hand, there are still some die-hard shoppers out there that like the hustle and bustle of browsing on foot! Many love the idea of going store to store for great deals on Black Friday! Then, of course, some like to do a little of both. It all comes down to technique, no matter what the case may be. To participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping, consumers need to know precisely how much they plan to spend and have a list or a general idea of what they want to purchase. There's no sense defeating the purpose of Black Friday or Cyber Monday if your outing online or on foot turns into chaos and leaves you strapped for cash for the remainder of the holiday season.

There are different theories about when, why, and how Black Friday began in the United States. One theory brought to light on The History Channel suggests that Philadelphia police coined the phrase in the 1950s to describe the scene in the city the day after Thanksgiving. As the story goes, a cascade of shoppers and tourists were in the area for the traditional Army-Navy football game held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Police were left to work long shifts to keep the peace and to watch for shoplifters. By 1961, the term "Black Friday" stuck in an effort to get people to come out and shop for big discounts the day after Thanksgiving. Some businesses wanted the name changed to "Big Friday" because they didn't like the idea of a shopping event being named after the tragic U.S. gold market crash of 1869. By the 1980s, Black Friday caught on in other parts of the nation with the "red to black" concept, which offers significant profit margins for merchants and big savings for shoppers.

From Investopedia online, the idea behind Cyber Monday began in 2005. With e-commerce on the rise, the National Retail Federation realized the magnitude of purchases online and how the Monday following Thanksgiving would become the biggest online shopping day of the year. Hence, Cyber Monday was born. So, during your shopping mission, whether it be while elbowing someone in-store for the last thing-a-ma-jig or scrolling and clicking away at warped speed on your laptop or phone, remember it's still the thought that counts...uh, but only, of course, if its name brand and in red.