Black Friday has been the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season ever since 1924, when the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began. Many employees have the day off. Decorations go up around the neighborhood. And crowds of shoppers hit the stores in preparation for a festive December.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in retail sales in November and December, and consumers seem ready to shop.

To my fellow consumers, best of luck. There are lots of great deals and unique finds to be had. Check out our Holiday Gift Guide inside today’s Camera for countless local examples. May your lines be short and your receipts long.

Business owners, if you get to the end of this long day and your Black Friday sales aren’t what you had hoped, put your feet up for a few hours (all the hustle and bustle can wear a body down, after all) and then give us a call at 303.473.1400.

The Camera, Colorado Daily, Broomfield Enterprise, Longmont Times-Call and our digital media products have you covered! Let us help you wrap up your 2014 with a glittering bow of success.