"That wasn't on the list when we started," said Kristin McConnell, in Annapolis to visit family for the holidays with husband Patrick, a Naval Academy graduate in Marine officer training in Quantico, Va. "But it is wheedling is way on to it."

Susan Reimer

Late start

At Best Buy in Timonium, the midnight rush of about a thousand shoppers had tapered off by the early morning hours.

Matt Dawson, store manager, said there had been over a thousand people in line by midnight with the first shoppers lining up as early as 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

Limited quantity $199 42-inch TVs were sold out about 45 minutes after the store opened.

"So far, so good," Dawson said. "There was a lot of excitement with customers being here at midnight and shopping. I guess it's easier for people to stay up late."

He said the store stayed busy for a couple of hours after opening and tapered off. Tablet computers, TVs, laptops and gaming systems were hot sellers, he said.

One shopper, Jo Ann Pertee, of Towson, said she had to drag her two sons, ages 11 and 12, out with her at 6 a.m.

She was buying the boys an XBox 360 on sale for $199.

"I brought them along so they could get exactly what they wanted," she said.

Pertee said she expects to spend the same amount as she did last year on gifts. "This year is good, prices are good," she said.

Originally, she said she planned to go to Best Buy at midnight, but after driving home from a Thanksgiving dinner with her sister in Upper Marlboro, she came home — and woke up at 4 a.m.

After Best Buy, she said she planned to drop her sons off at home and head back out to Walmart.

Melanie Dorwart, of Towson, with her fiancé, Scott Gilley, of Bel Air, was shopping for electronics, cameras and iPods at Best Buy. The couple said they had never shopped on Black Friday before.

"I do all my purchasing online, so this is my first excursion into the real world," Gilley said. "I'm trying to get ideas for her."

They both said they were impressed with the appearance of the store after its midnight opening.

"I thought the store would be a wreck," Dorwart said.

"After opening at midnight, I thought they wouldn't have much selection," said Gilley.

They considered coming to the store at midnight after Thanksgiving, but "we had too much turkey and stuffing and were tired," Dorwart said.