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The Whitcomb family

The Whitcombs were wrapping up lunch at the Mall in Columbia after a couple hours of Black Friday shopping, a family tradition. "Every year we say we're not going to, and then we do it anyway," said Shirley Whitcomb, 66, of Glen Burnie, seated at a table in the food court with three of her four daughters, plus a boyfriend and grandson. They'd hit a few stores in an hour and a half, but "we're just getting started," one said. "I'm a shopper," Shirley Whitcomb volunteered. "That's an understatement," one of her children interjected. Whitcomb said she was shopping for clothes and electronics and had already dropped $600, a good chunk of it on a Nintendo Wii gaming system for her 6-year-old grandson Benjamin. She figured she'd be spending more on gifts this Black Friday than in years past, "not because I have to, but because I like to ... I like to buy for my kids and other people. I like to give." --Timothy B. Wheeler (Standing from left: Breanne Whitcomb, 29, of Glen Burnie; Alicia Reynolds, 47, of Pinehurst, N.C.; Brian White, 28, of Crofton; and Alicia Whitcomb, 27. Seated, Benjamin Whitcomb, Alicia's son and Shirley Whitcomb, 66, of Glen Burnie.) Baltimore Sun photo by Timothy B. Wheeler
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