Before daybreak in Tucumcari shoppers were hunting the aisles for holiday bargains on Black Friday.
Frank McKinley was one of the first Friday morning customers in Kmart which opened at 6 a.m.
"I saved a hundred dollars," said McKinley, who added he was happy with his purchase. McKinley had his arms full as he carried out a high definition TV set to his vehicle.
Shoppers were spreading their spending between one end of Route 66 and the other as they drove between Kmart and Alco. Both stores were offering holiday specials and discounts.
Gail Spencer said, "I found some good buys on toys and clothes."
LaDonna Chacon wasn't one of the early birds, but had done some browsing in the mid-morning at Kmart to check out the specials.
Chacon said her family tries to keep their Christmas gift giving simple and for the immediate family. For the kids, on Christmas and on other holidays and special occasions, "We put money in their savings account. Then after they graduate, they have a nest egg."
Janie Jones of Las Cruces said she was able to bypass the temptation of holiday shopping. "I'm just here visiting family (the Vances) and trying to help them get some of the essential household items."
But Julie Lisabelle, who had the back of vehicle loaded with a large box labeled "Tool Center," said she'd couldn't resist. "It was a good deal," Lisabelle said.
After Kmart, Mike Sandoval and his wife, Anita, were at Alco. "There have been some pretty good deals on electronics," he said.
Anita Sandoval said she'd found some buys on watches and jewelry.
Toys for her three children are what Christine Rivera pointed to in her shopping bag.
“I was shopping about a week ago, and I spent about the same amount of money, but I got more this time,” Rivera said.
Lena Parker was also checking out the bargains at both stores. Parker said she planned to spend a little more this year. A home care assistant, Parker said, she had more clients this year and planned to add more packages to her family’s Christmas.
Overall, however, shoppers said they were planning to pare down on their Christmas spending this year compared to 2007.
"I'm trying to spend less, but look for good deals, and get as many things under the tree as last year," Lisabelle said.