A picture of a line outside of Kohl's on Black Friday.

People are constantly shopping every single day. So why do millions of Americans pick one Friday a year to wake up early and stand on ridiculously long lines for their Christmas shopping? Black Friday is a national phenomenon that many people just go with, but do not truly understand.

“The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. ‘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” says blackfriday.com.

Black Friday became a big success once retailers discovered that they could draw in large crowds by offering drastic discounts. Though stores can open as early as 5 a.m., people still get there early and wait in long lines until the store opens. This could be because of the drastic discounts, that most of the time do not even make a profit for the store.

A picture of a line outside of Kohl's on Black Friday.

As stated earlier, Black Friday is meant for the start of Christmas shopping. Many people look for the best deals that they can find at various stores whether through advertisement or finding the deal themselves. So, what exactly are these top deals?

Blackfriday.com says the top stories, which are ultimately the best deals, for the 2010 season are Walmart, Amazon.com, Target, Sears, and Kohl’s. The following are these stores’ advertisements for Black Friday and what they have to offer shoppers.

1)      Walmart:  “Walmart reigns king of Black Friday deals, usually going toe-to-toe with nearly every type of retailer by offering a large variety of doorbusters and multiple days of sales. Black Friday is still the big event at Walmart.”

2)      Amazon.com: “Amazon.com is one of the largest internet retailers in the US. They have become extremely aggressive with their Black Friday deals, often offering an entire month of daily deals plus big discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

3)      Target: Target, established in 1902, has grown to become the second largest discount retailer in the United States (after Walmart). It is common for Target to match Walmart’s Black Friday deals to attract shoppers.

4)      Sears: “Sears was founded in 1886 and now operates over 3,000 stores nationwide and in Canada. They have become one of the top Black Friday stores and offer both in-store and online sales for shoppers.”

5)      Kohl’s: “Kohls was founded in 1962 and has become a popular stop for Black Friday deal hunters. While they offer some deals on electronics, it’s the hundreds of name brands in apparel, jewelry, toys and household items that bring people through the door.”

Sources: Blackfriday.com, Google Images.