Around dinnertime on Thanksgiving, Joni Adams-Akita was thinking of her grandchildren.
But not while sitting with her family in front of a turkey. The 54-year-old Pasadena retiree was hovering near the jewelry counter at a Wal-Mart in Duarte, waiting for the few sets of Crayola crayons nearby to go on sale at 6 p.m.
The crowd around her had the same idea, hoping to score a packet of the coloring utensils, which were marked down to $11 from nearly $20.
Not far away, in a line that snaked past displays of socks, undergarments and shirts, her husband waited. His green wristband would give him access to a limited number of discounted electronics, such as game consoles.
Around the couple, other Wal-Mart patrons scurried around the store stacking their carts high with toys, towels, scarves, televisions and more.
"Wal-Mart seems to be more organized this year than in previous years," Adams-Akita said.
She has shopped Black Friday sales for more than a decade, saving more than $300 on gifts one year, she said. Cyber Monday is off limits -- her husband's credit card information has been stolen five times during online shopping efforts, she said.
In a way, Adams-Akita said her holiday tradition allows for family bonding. She joins her daughter and grandchildren for a Thanksgiving lunch at a Mimi's Cafe, before the younger family members are returned home.
"And then it's on," Adams-Akita said, clutching her Crayola crayons. "We do serious business."