I remember well my Mom and her sisters going out the Friday after Thanksgiving on Christmas shopping sprees.
I don’t think the term Black Friday was in common usage at the time (maybe among retailers, but not the general public).
The first time I remember hearing the term was after I was grown when I heard a lady at church tell my wife that it was “Black Friday” at Walmart the upcoming Friday and “the whole store will be like half price” on that day but “you got to get up at the butt crack of dawn.”
I don’t remember if we took advantage of that year’s “butt crack of dawn” sales event, but by the time the boys were probably 3 and 5 years old, we were hip to the game and braved the crowds and the early morning hours to get our hands on the deals of the day. I vividly remember throwing myself on a boxed up trampoline to claim it one year. I also remember my lovely wife turning into Rambo to rescue a Nintendo Wii from a bin one year.
Nowadays, retailers use the “Black Friday” term for all sorts of sales. “It’s Black Friday in July!” or “Black Friday deals all month long!” or whatever ridiculousness they can come up with to the point that the phrase has lost all meaning.
Of course, it’s all online all the time these days. Unless something changes, this will be the third year in a row I’ve checked off all of the items on my Christmas list without leaving the comfort of my own couch. I won’t say I miss fighting the holidad crowds, but there is some satisfaction to be had in grabbing the last holiday Barbie.