Deal chasers soon will be lacing up their shoes, stretching their credit card handling fingers and guzzling some coffee for an all night a year shopping experience.

Next week marks the beginning of the shopping season. 

The time of year when people shove their way to mediocre deals in the name of Christmas.Black Friday is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving, but every year stores offer sales and incentives earlier and earlier.

Just a few years ago doors would open at most businesses at midnight Black Friday. 

Then stores would open a few hours earlier to grab customers.

In theory, the store that opened the earliest and offered the best deals would attract customers away from other stores while they still have cash to spend.So stores opened earlier and earlier and by this point, I don’t know when the Black Friday deals begin — if they haven’t already. 

We may already be in the throes of the holiday shopping season.I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper. 

My wife is, which worries me, because I can understand the temptation of a great deal. Who can walk away from an $8 toaster marked down from $12?The stores during Black Friday are mad houses.

I’ve seen the videos. In some instances people gather outside the locked doors of retail outlets until a store employee opens the doors and is nearly trampled. 

The anxious shoppers are armed with loaded shopping carts and set land speed records en route to a pallet of blenders still in the shrink wrap. 

Things really get dangerous when the carts are full and shoppers barrel down the narrow store aisles and bounce off other carts and people in a fight to get the last 60-inch television, which doesn’t even fit on their TV stand, marked down $100.Some people have taken the moral high ground and refused to shop at stores that are open on Thanksgiving Day. 

According to other shoppers, they’re suckers. Even though some people feel bad for the people who can’t spend time with families on Thanksgiving, there are more than enough who only see deals. The morals of some make for a better chance to get a turkey roaster for $10 off the regular price.

There are many reasons not to shop on Black Friday — stampedes, mace, shivs, crazed grandmothers and a whole host of crazies fueled by capitalism. Several people have been injured and killed in the past 10 years as they fight and claw for sale items. But it all is in the spirit of giving.

And when is it time to quit? When the last dollar is spent. Sure, Christmas will be great, but many people will be eating pork and beans and Ramen noodles through March.

After the spending is done, and shoppers are ready to head home, they get into their cars and that’s when the real danger begins. Not only have these people been fighting other customers all day, but as of 5 a.m. they also haven’t slept since they put the turkey in the oven 20 hours ago. 

It is a dangerous combination when a slew of hungry and tired zombies drive the streets in potential bumper cars. They may have to pay $300 to get the massive dent out of their vehicle, but at least they could buy an Elmo for $10 off.