Christmas is just a few weeks away, so many Central Georgia shoppers hit the stores for the type of deals they say can only be found on Black Friday.

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Christmas is just a few weeks away, so many Central Georgia shoppers hit the stores for the type of deals they say can only be found before the sun comes up.

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans participate in Black Friday shopping.

This year's most popular items include the latest Baby Alive doll, the Xbox One, and flat screen TVs.

Erwin Stinson discovered his 4 a.m. shopping trip for a flat screen was timed perfectly. He didn't run into any crowds.

"I'm really enjoying it. I was thinking that there would be a lot more traffic out this morning but it's not, so it's easier for me to spot a good sale and the things I want," Stinson said.

Others have also noticed the smaller crowds. According to the National Retail Federation sales are projected to be up 3.9% during the last two months of the year. That's more than last year, but at a slower growth rate than before the recession.

Erica Edwards shopped for her daughter and granddaughter Friday. She said she thought about staying in, but admits it was worth waking up early this year.

"It was really hard to get out of bed to come do this," Edwards said. "This is the Minnie Mouse little ride-on toy for my granddaughter, something for her to jump around in, get rid of some of her energy."

"I'm happy. I made a good decision this year," she said.

They're decisions she hopes lead to big smiles on Christmas Day.

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