Family Enjoys ‘Tents-giving’ Tradition

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CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – Among the tents outside Best Buy is a family tradition.

But just because Tony Avitar isn’t spending Thanksgiving at his Akron home, it doesn’t mean he’s missing out on the holiday.

“I’m most thankful that my family’s here with me, cause it's about, it’s about family,” Avitar said.

Tony, 49, has spent the past week camped outside the store on Howe Avenue in anticipation of the Black Friday bargain.

He started his bargain hunting about 10 years ago, in hopes of finding great Christmas gifts for his kids. Now, more than 10 relatives are helping Tony keep his spot at the front of the line at the store, giving him a chance to shower and do other things at home.

“It’s more than that. It’s not only about the sales, it’s our bonding time,” Tony said. “This is my vacation time and it started years ago, and we just choose to continue it as almost like a family tradition.”

A part of the tradition is enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner – all while waiting in line.

Tony brought a fresh-baked turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and other holiday fixings for his son Seth, daughter Sierra and nephew Cody.  All four have been together over the past few days.

“There’s no tension, no stress, just a vacation if you want to call it,” Seth said. “You just get to hang out. That’s the best part."

“We all get along a lot more better, like, it’s just fun,” Sierra added.

In their makeshift home, the Black Friday shoppers are enjoying every moment. They have had air mattresses and fans for added comfort over the past few days, which they all said have been the best yet.

It may be an unusual Thanksgiving for some, but for Tony and the family, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s not just about the sales. Last year, I came here just to hang out with them,” Cody said. “Having everyone close to you around you, just kind of spending time with them, I think that’s the most important thing.”