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DALLAS - Just because it's at a store, instead of at the dinner table, doesn't mean the Truong's don't have the Thanksgiving spirit.

No actually, it's fun, Emma Truong said, Because we're spending time with family, so it's time together.

The Truong's - and a lot of other people - spent Thanksgiving shopping at three shops in the Galleria.

Midnight might sound way too early to open for Black Friday sales, but for some it was too late. Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy began Black Friday on Thanksgiving morning.

And though the discounts aren't quite as deep, managers say customers and employees are all happy to be here.

We take volunteers and not really require that anyone sign up, if they're not interested, explained Blake Devillier, district manager of Banana Republic. They also earn time-and-a-half for their work today which, for a lot of our employees, makes them quite happy.

It's not that it's un-American, but many Thanksgiving day shoppers were foreign-born and glad to take advantage of lighter mall traffic.

Toby Gonzales, however, is practicing a very American tradition - the early bird catches the worm.

Come a day early, beat the hassle, Gonzales said, And get actually the pair of jeans I want, and not stuck with some [pair] left over.

All of the stores close several hours before midnight, so employees can prepare for midnight door-buster deals.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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