It is almost American Thanksgiving weekend and many Windsorites have adopted this as the unofficial start to the holiday season.

That includes doing Christmas shopping on Black Friday.

What was once an American tradition has clearly been adopted by Canadian retailers and shoppers.

“The changes in the Canadian dollar is just another reason to keep shoppers in Canada,” says Chris Savard, general manager of Devonshire Mall in Windsor.

Savard expects Devonshire Mall to be packed on Friday.

“Last Black Friday we had 39,000 people in the building in one day,” says Savard. “This year, we expect to go way over 40,000.”

In her six years as manager of Samsonite at Windsor Crossing Outlet Mall, Rhonda Fabischek has seen Black Friday become one of their busiest days of the entire retail year. In part, because of what the customer wants.

“In the last two weeks especially, customers have been coming in asking about our Black Friday specials,” says Fabischek. “They come in, shop, look at prices and then return on Black Friday.”

For anyone planning on traveling to the U.S. Friday, border agencies on both sides have a few tips, reminders and new tools to help make the trip go smoothly.

“We do anticipate busy traffic,” says Ken Hammond, chief officer, U.S Customs and Border Protection. “We have the Lions game, shoppers, and then of course the Thanksgiving Day parade.”

Hammond says the number one thing you can do to speed up your crossing time is have documents ready to go.

“Believe it or not, but it will save you 20 seconds, and when you add that up it leads to hours of time lost,” says Hammond.

If you plan to brave the border for shopping, remember once you make that purchase, you have to pay HST when you come home from a day trip.

If you are gone for more than a day, you won't have to pay HST up to $200, not including alcohol and tobacco. Stay away for two days and you can bring back $800 and not pay the duty.

The Canada Border Services Agency has created a duty calculator. Travellers can type in purchases and it will estimate the amount of duty and taxes owing.

Something every traveller might not know, Canadians can bring back one turkey from Michigan duty free.

Any more than that and you have to pay what CBSA officials call “very high duty’ charges they say will more than double the cost of the bird.