NORTH WALES, Pa. (CBS) — Many folks are busy making their Thanksgiving plans but some merchants, desperate to finish a dreary year on a high note, have their eyes on Black Friday and beyond.

Santa arrived at Montgomery Mall on Friday evening and settled in for what’s going to be an extra long holiday season for the big guy.

Mall spokeswoman Ashley Ponpei concedes that the majority of people will wait until they’ve digested their turkey before turning to Christmas, but they’re banking on some shoppers getting a head start.

“There’s the other people that like to get out here early, start their holiday shopping early or at least maybe just window shop and come out and see Santa. Even if they don’t want to get their picture taken with him right away at least it gives people the opportunity to see him and then plan their trip for later on in the season if they want to come back.”

No doubt the idea is to get shoppers to buy early or at least think about their holiday budgets and wish lists. A few other Malls will be welcoming their Santa’s later this weekend

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio; Carol Erickson, CBS 3

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