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Shopping On Thanksgiving? A Reader Debate

Today on Yahoo Finance there’s an interesting article about how some stores are moving their black Friday sales to midnight on Thanksgiving day. When I first heard this news, I bristled a bit. I’ve already shared with you my unhappiness over stores setting up holiday displays in October. And can I tell you I heard Frosty The Snowman on the radio the day of Halloween? But I draw the line with stores trying to push me out the door to get in line to shop while the pumpkin pie is still waiting to be cut. Even us deal hunters have our limits.

Every year I enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family. We eat, chat, enjoy each other’s company and just relax. Much later that night, I drive to the store with the best deals (usually Walmart) and I get in line around midnight for a 6:00am opening. This is already a nutty proposition. I mean, I live in New England after all. It’s pretty dang cold standing outside over night, but I do this because I want to get the most bang for my holiday buck. However, I’m not leaving my holiday dinner to save a few dollars on a television set. You know what I mean?

And now that they are opening many stores at midnight on Thanksgiving, that means people will have to leave their houses by 6:00pm in order to line up to get the deals. We usually start eating dinner around that time! What person is going to slave away on a lavish meal all day long, throw dinner on the table, and grab her  purse and head out the door? Is that what they want us to do?

Let’s not forget about the workers that have to give up their own holiday meals. Sure, there’s the extra pay, but I bet most of them would rather enjoy the holidays with their own families. When the corporate types stand at that press conference microphone in their shirt and tie, telling us that the employees appreciate the extra holiday pay, I want to puke.

Here’s some guy making $300,000+ a year telling me that he’s actually doing the employee a favor by opening the store on a holiday? Baloney. I don’t buy it. I bet that same guy will spend the whole Thanksgiving day and evening with his own family chomping on a turkey leg while his hourly workers head to the store to deal with the holiday masses. Some favor, right?

I think the thing that gets to me the most is the underlying problem. Christmas has become so commercial that it’s the only message anymore. I know it sounds cliche to “remember the reason for the season”, but it’s so much more than that. We’ve become a society of stuff. We spend so much time focusing on shopping and getting more stuff that we are losing perspective on the simpler things. And before you think I’m getting preachy on you, I’m just as guilty.

I also think that the retailers are playing us. The early displays, the piped in holiday music, the push for earlier holiday sales… it’s all a manipulation. I think they are creating a frenzy for the sake of making a buck at the expense of our holiday traditions. And this quite frankly makes me not want to shop in their stores.

So, for me and my family, we just say no to shopping on the holiday. No standing outside with a throng of people. No clutching my Dunkie’s coffee cup trying to stay warm. And most importantly, not spending money at stores whose executives think that it’s a good “opportunity” for their employees to work on a holiday.

What say you? Are you for or against shopping on Thanksgiving day? Those of you who participate in this reader debate by commenting on this post will be entered into a drawing for an envelope of free product coupons (ARV $30). To enter, leave your first name, last initial, the state you are from and your comment. Entries must be received by Friday, November 18th 11:59pm ET.


  1. I strongly believe that on holidays and sundays we would be better off sharing a 2nd piece of pie with the family and then work off those calories washing up the dishes together then have some fun chasing the kids around in the park, or going for a bike ride together etc. I really like purchasing some very unique gifts at craft sales. It supports the local crafter and not some corporate big wig eh!

  2. I think that opening at 6am the day AFTER Thanksgiving is more than enough. Because even having the stores open at Midnight requires the store’s employees to get there hours beforehand.

    Heidi S, in MD

  3. Sarah D, RI
    I’ll be away at my in laws so i don’t do black friday. I did it once but didn’t get the big deal. Plus my kids are little(2 and 4) so there is no in demand thing here that can’t wait until clearance time. Also with cash being tight there no need to spend my morning/night doing this for a few dollars off a couple things. Plus you can sometimes get a few deals on line. There is one thing i would like from target, a comforter for my son and i’ll just see if they offer it online for the same price. Or wait until the line is clearanced for the next disney design(cars 2 comforter)
    And my goal is to have most of my holiday shopping done before thanksgiving, so that i can enjoy the holidays without the stress of going to the stores. I now live a bit away for the major stores so i can only really go shopping during the times they are the busiest.

  4. I agree with you and I would like to see more stores closed for more holidays. I remember when I was a kid basically nothing was open on Christmas day or Thanksgiving.

  5. I do not mind as much the dispays..but opening atr midnight…I worry about people drinking and driving..just to get a deal. I have slowed down on getting out on black Friday due to the crowds…it is toooooo scarey. Just ty to find a place to park the car is a nightmare!
    Donna L.

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  7. I think the stores and malls putting out Christmas ornaments and decorations in Sept. and October is awful. It’s like the 5th of July is when the stores start putting up their displays. I’m not going to give up dinner with my family to stand in line. My sis-in-law used to work for Wally World and had to go in on Christmas night to get ready for the day after Christmas sale. It’s only about the almighty dollar anymore.
    Nancy W

  8. No thank you ! I plan on spending the holidays with my family. Shopping can wait .


  9. I am still up in the air on all of it, I mean I love shopping on black friday and getting up at 3am to get in line, but I do not want to leave at 9pm to get in line for a midnight opening…. Blah!

  10. Um… did you see where Wal-Mart decided since Target is opening at midnight that they’re going to open at 10pm for Black Friday sales? that’s like Black Thursday sales…..

  11. I have to admit that I do like the Christmas music on the radio early – maybe not on Halloween, but on November 1st I want to hear it! (I just love Christmas music though, I understand that not everyone is ready for it so early.)

    I never did the black Friday thing, but I am new to couponing this year and I think I might go to CVS on Thanksgiving morning (while my daughter naps.) They are going to have some great deals but I won’t miss watching the parade with my baby for them. If I can plan it so I am ready to go when she naps I will go, If not no big deal. Love the blog!

    Stephanie R in MA

  12. I agree with your stance. The memories that our made at our home after Thanksgiving dinner aren’t worth giving up by standing in line in the cold to save a few dollars.

    Jacklyn C., IL

  13. Nope, absolutely not, no way. Of course our typcial Thanksgiving dinner typically involves a dozen people and a dozen bottles of wine.

    I don’t usually do black Friday anymore. I enjoyed it growing up as an event with my mom and aunts and other girl cousins. But we left the house around 6am. I won’t stand in line for 6 hours to fight for a deal. I can spend a little more on the few store bought toys since much of our holiday exchange is handmade by us.

  14. I know how you feel, Mel. I was surprised to see Christmas commercials on tv the day after Halloween! What?? It’s crazy.

    For many years I worked at a hospital and as many of you know, getting any of the holidays off was rare. I didn’t mind working some of the holidays but when it came to holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas I would get really down. I hated missing out on being with my family for a long weekend or for Christmas celebrations. It was a drag.

    Every year, when I hear or read that this store or that store will be open on a major holiday, it makes me sad for the workers too. You are right Mel. Sure they are getting extra money, but I bet the majority of them would give up the extra pay to spend time with their loved ones.

    I really do not get the whole 24/7 society we all live in. Back in the 80’s I lived in Germany and they shut everything down on Sundays and at 5pm during the week , stores, banks, pharmacies etc… And the funny thing is, the Germans were well adjusted, happy people. They somehow managed to go from 5pm to 9am just fine.

    Maybe we could learn something from the Germans and the rest of Europe? Perhaps we don’t really need to be a 24/7 society?

  15. Cheryl E in PA. in general, i find shopping a nightmare at the holidays. i am very crowd-phobic. in my MA days, I remember taking an HOUR to find a place to pack at wrentham in the weeks b/w T-day and X-mas and then barely being able to see in the stores that were so packed with folks. for me, black friday is not worth it (though i have done online deals).

    also…be extra careful ths year with your holiday shop!! even putting big horror stories of trampeling swarms aside, it is easy to get jostled about in the crowd and you are still recovering so be safe. i’d wager your balance is still “off” and that the wrong nudge would make you see stars (i had someone stumble back into me on the T once…i swear they heard the shriek through all the tunnels since it hit me in a vulnerable spot). get friends to come and form a safety ring for you!!

  16. I have NEVER EVER stood in line & shopped Black Friday even though I live less than 1/2 mile from a Walmart store. I sit in my jammies @ shop all the deals online. I have to say, I DO QUITE WELL 🙂

    Great post.

  17. I totally thought you were a mid-night deal shopper lol! Glad you will be staying with your family. It’s not just people in retail who have to work the holidays, my husband will be doing three 12 hour shifts at a hospital over Thanksgiving.
    carrie b. MA

  18. Kmart has been open on Thanksgiving for years now. One year because we needed a tv my DH went and got one for around $100.

    I feel bad for the employees. When I worked in retail at a store like Marshal Fields, we started Christmas the day after Thansksgiving. The Hallmark store within our store would have the Christmas tree up and then it was officially Christmas! Now I see Christmas in late September at Costco. What a total turnoff.

    I learned two years ago (ttok me a while to get to that because I hate waiting for packages to come) that if you want something you can get it on line without the aggravation of not finding it on the shelves at the store. Not as full but as you get older the stressless shopping becomes worth it.

    Caroline in Chicago

  19. I completely agree with you! I don’t like hearing Christmas music in stores. I’m thrilled to hear that Nordstroms isn’t decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I wish I could afford to shop only there for Christmas.
    We don’t need anything badly enough to stand in line on Thanksgiving Day. Honestly, right now, going without sounds so much better!
    We are going to try to focus more on the reason for the season and less on what we can get. And we might be doing more homemade stuff for friends this year.
    So, I’m with you…no shopping on the holidays!

  20. The midnight openings are ridiculous. My daughter is an assistant manager at a Vera Bradley store in the northeast and every store in their mall is required to open at midnight. Her store tried to opt out and was told that it would be fined if they did not participate!

    I will be shopping at CVS on Thanksgiving morning but nobody in my house will be awake at that time so I won’t be missing any family time.

    Jennifer H., GA

  21. I have always loved Black Friday and my whole family would go (female only of course)! It was like an extension of Thanksgiving. Last year my sister and I went to Toys R Us around 9:00 for a sale that opened at 10:00 and then I ended up standing in line at Walmart for 2 hours to get a bracelet to come back and buy a t.v. at 6:00 when they were supposed to go on sale for my grandma. I thought the whole thing was deceitful and I did not like it. The only reason I did it was to get the t.v. for her, I would not have done it for anyone else.

    I am not looking forward to Black Friday this year – I want to enjoy my family more than I want a good deal and quite honestly there is nothing in those ads that I feel I HAVE to have.

    I will still go shopping on Black Friday with my family and our annual breakfast but I am NOT going to be in some line Thursday night.

    I just hope enough people make a stand that it is not acceptable so that next year they start going back to the way it used to be.


  22. love the atmosphere of black friday and holiday shopping, but am def. not going to shop on Thanksgiving day or even try to stand in line for a midnight opening. just not worth it for me..rather be in the warmth of my home with my family.

    Rachelle R., CA

  23. Our household policy is “One Holiday at a time”. We do Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas. That gives us the opportunity to enjoy each holiday without the next holiday encroaching on the one we’re celebrating.

    I have to say I’ve never done the Black Friday deal. I can’t think of many things more miserable than being cold, tired, hungry, and on top of that, having to deal with the craziness. I try to shop year round. I don’t wait for them to jack the prices up for Christmas.

  24. I think Black Friday is early enough for the deals, I agree that the employees would rather be home with their family on Thanksgiving. I don’t do the whole Black Friday shopping.
    Joanne B

  25. Well said!

  26. They had a Target employee on the news tonight who said he’d miss dinner with his family cause he had to go to bed to be at work at 11 p.m. That’s sad, sick, and disgusting. I, too, am sick of seeing or hearing about Christmas months before. And, I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving or standing in line for the stores to open on Friday. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. CHERYL L., IL

  27. Mel I TOTALLY agree with you, i have done black friday with my girlfriends then we do breakfast but I am going to get the early deals this year and sleep in I think, I am so ticked about it.
    Bev M in MN

  28. This makes me sick. I work at Target, and when I found at we were opening at midnight, I thought.. “when am I going to enjoy my dinner?” and NO. I will NOT be receiving this “holiday pay” they are speaking of. I will be receiving it from 11pm to 12am, for ONE HOUR. That is it. Not worth it to me, to have to sleep while my family is enjoying dinner.

    Stacey A from PA.

  29. You’re right Melanie. It is all about manipulation. This year has been bad for most families due to the economy and the massive layoffs. Even my family has been experiencing some financial issues and we are very good at saving money. These stores put out their holiday stuff and start offering deals earlier because they want more people to purchase them. They figure if they put the crap out earlier that people will spread their shopping out and they will end up buying more.

    I have not seen a single shred of Thanksgiving ANYWHERE this year. I guess America has forgotten to be grateful.

    My stance is a bit of an Old Fashioned one. I personally don’t think Christmas items should be on the shelves until around Thanksgiving time. I was mortified to see that Target had their outdoor decorations out in the middle of October and their Christmas items were all out even before Halloween…

    Beth J., California

  30. I did black Friday shopping once, and that was enough for me. While I did it to stretch my money farther to donate items to a charity, fighting the throngs of people is not worth it. While I appreciate the excitement of it all, I think many have lost the true meaning of holidays. We have stopped gift giving in my household, instead we have family and friends over and cook them their meal of choice, and spend some time together. Holidays should be about family and loved ones, not about if you can run fast enough to catch that last toy.

    Kerri L. from New Hampshire

  31. i have to agree with you mel = the only holiday shopping i do is boxing day but we don’t go to till the after noon – there is nothing out there for me to go crazy = i’m also trying to simplfy and decluter my life.
    Carrie form Canada

  32. I worked for Wal-mart 2 years ago and had to work on Thanksgiving night (10pm-7am) so I was there for the whole sale ordeal, it was an ordeal to say the least and dangerous. I was ok with going into work at that time though because my kiddos were in bed and I knew I wasn’t missing the holiday with them.

    I always wanted the shopping to be part of the holiday tradition ya know? All the women stay the night and spend a few hours making our lists of must haves and then standing in line with the sleepy giggles before the doors open.

  33. Eh forgot to leave my name and state lol

    Monika C
    Oklahoma 😀

  34. Amanda R.

    After having worked retail for 5 years, I am totally against the stores opening on Thanksgiving. It is a day for family and giving thanks, not trying to rush to save money. I’d rather pay a few more dollars and get to spend the evening with my family.

  35. I agree that it is not necessary to open on Thanksgiving day. Family time supersedes any deal. Somehow I feel that enough people will show up on Turkey day to make it profitable to the retailers and this will continue on.

  36. Heather C. in IN

    I used to think the store opening at 5am was bad! There’s no reason that a store has to open at midnight. The deals will still be there if they open at 6am. It would be nice if a big box store would set a nice example and say that their employees need to enjoy the holidays too. But I don’t see that happening!

  37. That is why I coupon shop, so I can get deals all year long and not have to spend all December blowing the budget and stressing out buying presents. I would much rather scrounge clearance racks during the year and find the perfect gift at a fraction of the cost, than deal with the crowds in December!

    Tammy L, SD

  38. My husband could have written this word for word. He strongy believes in Thanksgiving, because it’s a non-denominational holiday. All religions can play, therefore there is no excuse to be open and deny your employees the day. He refuses to shop at any store that opens on the holiday – Kmart has been out for that reason, now Walmart is joining his list.

  39. I definitely feel that the “higher ups” are being VERY greedy and manipulative of people especially during the holiday season. I think that the only people that would benefit from the stores opening so early are the people that don’t celebrate the holidays since but that is a very small bunch.

    Amanda C. from NY

  40. Alycia R

    At fist I thought oh good,( before I sound aweful let me explain, I have 3 boys,my youngest is physically disabled and in a wheelchair, his twin brother plays hockey and always has a one day tournament on Black friday so I miss out on this shopping extravaganza because there is no way I would get around the crowds with the wheelchair, not to mention I wouldn’t be able to get anything that was for him) but, on the other hand, I Love my holidays with my boys and the rest of my family and if a midnight sale means standing in line come 6pm then I say NO WAY….let the employee spend their holiday with family and friends and let me play one more hand of cards with my boys, after all how much time do we get in life to sit and spend time with all the kids together, between all the activities they do and work and so on? so I say the heck with it… I’ll go out after my hubby gets home from the tournament with my son and if there is anyting left that is on my list then it was meant to be. I am only looking for a couple specific things this year anyhow. My boys didn’t ask for much!

  41. I always enjoy looking through all of the Black Friday ads, but I have to tell you that I’ve never seen anything that has remotely tempted me to get up in the middle of the night to stand out in the cold waiting for a store to open. I’d much rather shop online.
    I think the stores can wait until the next day.
    Jen R., NH

  42. Becky from TN

    My dad passed away years ago. He loved the Black Friday experience. He did not buy too much, but used the crowds to gauge the economy. That was way before it went over the top commercial. In his memory, though, I try to experience the frenzy at one store. Thanks to the internet it is much more pleasant to get the deals right from my MacBook.

    I am struggling with all the “stuff” and hoping to reel it back this year to remember the reason. We’ll see if I can pull it off.

  43. Melanie W. NH

    I love to go out on Black Friday though I have never landed a major deal. 6 or 8am opening AFTER the holiday is plenty. I refuse to go to any store on Thanksgiving unless it was an emergency for my children!

  44. Hi melanie. I work at Colony Place at a store that opens at midnight (not Walmart) and mass has a blue law that retailers cannot open on thanksgiving day. Stores in our state can’t do the 10pm openings. We get there at 1130pm to open at 12am. Also-there is no holiday pay because black Friday is not a holiday!

  45. I love the anticipation of Black Friday! We have a tradition at my in-laws that after we eat & dishes are done we bring out all the sale flyers to find what bargains we are in search for. Also you couldn’t pay me enough to leave my warm bed in the middle of the night to stand in the freezing cold. No sale is worth that! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Lisa K from PA!

  46. Well Melanie, I wish you would tell us how you really feel about this topic. ;o)

    In all seriousness though, I agree with you. Shopping isn’t one of my favorite pastimes so I always wait until the afternoon of Black Friday before I even step foot in a door. (Growing up, my dad would always venture out if we wanted something.)

    Tshanina P

  47. Melanie, all I can say is Amen to this post. I’ve never even been a big Black Friday shopper because I don’t like all the pushy, rude people I seem to have noticed the few times I’ve waited in those lines. I am definitely not leaving my family on Thanksgiving because of ANY deal. The best “deal” of this day is being able to share the time with my husband, children, and other family members, which is so much more precious to me than any deal out there, anywhere. And yes, those poor people made to work on Thanksgiving…no wonder we have people protesting…just tonight I asked my husband, “What is this world coming to?” Really?! It’s getting too crazy, even for me, an avid couponer/deal-go-getter. Let’s get back to the real basics in life and stop the “I need more stuff” way of thinking. We really don’t need more stuff. We need more love, compassion, understanding, and all those types of things in this world…not a 56″ TV. Thanks again for these posts…it allows a place for me to say my piece. Nancy R. (PA)

  48. I think opening the stores in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving is plenty. Each year it seems to get earlier and earlier! I love to get excited about grabbing a good deal, but I agree that I am not leaving my Thanksgiving celebration with my family for a deal.

    Christina A.

  49. I really feel bad for the employees who have to work those insane hours. The mere notion that it’s for their benefit so they can get extra holiday pay is complete and utter B.S.

    I worked first line retail management about 15 years ago for a now defunct west coast department store. What pure and utter hell it was working the day after Thanksgiving. We opened our doors at 5AM but the operational model was to have employees in store three hours prior to opening doing prep. And I lived a half hour away, and of course there is showering and dressing. I remember sadly passing up family activities those years because I had to try to catch at least some sleep because once the door opened it was full throttle and since I was management I didn’t get two tidy breaks, a lunch, or to clock out after 8 hours.

    It takes an act of God to get me to hit the stores on the day after Thanksgiving. No way would I patronize the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas sales.

    Carol W

  50. I’m strongly against getting involved in shopping of any kind on Thanksgiving day. There are so few days our family gets to spend the entire dy together that I cannot imagine breaking up that harmony and unity for a good deal. To me, it isn’t worth taking the focus away from giving thanks to save money.

    I applaud retailers, like Nordstrom, who refuse to rush into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. Christmas has become fast too commercial.

    Kirsty S.

  51. I am all for saving a few dollarinos, but isn’t family time on a HOLIDAY raally more important? We have plenty of time to shop! What do we really NEED that bad?

    Dawn T

  52. I have never done the black friday thing, and I definitely think the holidays should be about family instead of shopping. Our budget is so tight that the things I would get up early to stand in line for aren’t even on the radar, actually, so I guess it’s moot! LOL.
    Leslie B

  53. I enjoy black Friday shopping, but I can’t see going on Thanksgiving.

  54. I was appalled to see Christmas stuff on display before halloween. I’m going to be so tired of Christmas by the time it gets here. And then as soon as Thanksgiving is over, we have to put up with the incessant bell-ringers outside every single grocery store! I sound like a real Grinch, but I’m not. I donate plenty at Christmas time, but I’m picky about who gets my $$. This year it’s the Vasa Previa foundation.

  55. There;s not a deal around that I would wait in the cold for hours on end. I also hate that the holiday’s seems to get earlier and earlier. Christmas is way too commercial and each year the retailers are greedier and greedier.

    Mel J. from Pa.

  56. Diane M – North California

    Black Friday shopping has always been fun for my daughter and me, but she moved to Hawaii and I won’t have a partner this year. I’ll probably only go get the deals at the drugstores. I work on Thanksgiving anyway (hospital) so I could get to the midnight openings as they open (off at 11 p.m.) but there’s nothing I need bad enough to do that. ha

  57. Patty S. NY
    I agree with you Melanie. The stores promoting this are taking advantage of the recession. They`re trying to boost their end of year sales percentages on many of those(not all) financially hurting this Christmas.When we lose a loved one,do we say I wish they had bought me better gifts or do we pray for 1 more holiday to spend with them ?

  58. Holly S Illinois

    I VIVIDLY remember the good old days (1979) when NOTHING was open on Thanksgiving & the sales started on Friday at 6 am.

    I did not mind 6 am starts. I have always been an early riser and nothing was SOOO important I had to get in line at midnight. Maybe because I HATE lines and it is WAAAY too cold to stand out for 6 hours in Chicago.

    There was always plent I could get my kids (then 4 & 1). Now it is grands. I am buying magazine subscriptions over the internet this year. The gift that keeps on giving.

  59. I also think it is unnecessary for the stores to open on Thanksgiving. I won’t be shopping either day.
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving Melanie we are thankful you are doing better.

    Darry S , Florida

  60. Jessica A Massachusetts
    I work in retail and would love the stores to stop opening at midnight sales ( or even being open all day). Thanksgiving should be about family and giving thanks not shopping.

  61. I’m against shopping on Thanksgiving day. My husband has a job that requires him to work for part of that day every year. And since he doesn’t get home until late in the afternoon, there is no way I would be out shopping. I would much rather be home with him, regardless of any sale. I feel sorry for anyone who has to work that day while the company big-wigs are stitting at home enjoying time with their families. To me, the tradtion of the holiday is to try and spend as much time with my family as I can. It has nothing to do with my wallet or standing in a long line all evening with strangers.

    Steph A.

  62. I swear stores did this last year too. I don’t agree with it. People should have the Holidays off and by opening at midnight that means employees have to work. And honestly it just makes it more of a rat race for shoppers. I don’t shop black Friday but if I did there’s no way I’d be lining up on Thanksgiving to do it. And it’s awful that stores in malls don’t have a say on weather or not they open. I get my hair done at the mall and last year my hair dresser told me they have to be open when the mall is open. A hair salon?! Crazy.


  63. I never was one to go out at midnight and wait anyway. I was more of a 3am type girl. That being said, I am actually looking forward to going out at around 9:30. We eat Thanksgiving Dinner at 4pm. The family is usually gone by 8 or so and my son is in bed by 8:45ish. It would be so nice to be done with Black Friday and in bed by 4-5 am this year. Am I going to miss the doorbusters? Yes, probably. But I do enjoy shopping with friends on that day.

    Leanne P.

  64. Amen to this post! Lets go back to holiday’s and Sunday’s being family time! My 16 year old started at our local McNightmare chain this spring. He had to work Easter at 8 am so he missed our sunrise service. He’s pretty sure he will be working Thanksgiving too. 🙁
    Kara S (Ohio)

  65. I personally will not be heading out regardless of what time the stores open. For the past three years I have shopped online at midnight from the comfort of my own computer chair in my jammies and done just fine, thank you very much. But I can certainly understanding the allure of opening at midnight. I am certainly much more alert at 12 am than 4 am and might be prone to spending more.

    Melanie S

  66. I will be alone on Thanksgiving, my son will be with his father. Most of my bros. and sisters will be with their in-laws and family. I still will not shop on Thanksgiving…why..because we all need a break..a break from shopping, stress of saving every penny and just plain old stress.
    I am tierd this year I will eat junk food, watch tv and take a day off from the world.
    Melody K.

  67. I have never been a Black Friday shopper, I dont see the point, why spend many hours in the cold waiting to buy something that is at a cheap price, in very limited quanities.
    Starting the sales eary on Thanksgiving day proves the point that money rules and the heck with Families gathering to give Thanks and celebrate, and sadly Christmas has become a commercialized Holiday, where the big profits is the only thing that counts.
    Funny I am begining to see what the Occupy Wall Street is all about now

  68. Char L., MI
    I am so with you Mel. They say that the family that eats dinner together give kids a since of stability and security. It is hard enough to fit in dinners as a family today. What with all the activities kids are in after school. There are only a couple of days we can guarantee family time. So some corporate types want to take it away for a couple of bucks at the bottom line.

  69. Laurie–MA.
    It is so sad that the economy “is what it is” that people need to work those hours and family members feel that the “bargains” are worth standing in line and missing family time and sleep. I agree with Melanie–we are being manipulated and parents who go out for all the Black Friday madness are sending the message to their children that “it’s worth it.” And I’m as guilty as the next one–I scour everyone’s Amazon Wish Lists and have Amazon Prime. Oh, how I wish I could REALLY follow through and have Christmas be more like Thanksgiving. But I assuage my guilt with the idea that our grown children could use a little “extra.” But, it’s postings like Melanie’s that give me more of a backbone to maybe put a whole end to the craziness.

  70. Marianne Y.

    Of course I don’t like being manipulated. I’d rather shop when I feel like it even if it means I pay a little more. I am also willing to spend a little extra for an item that I really want and I don’t want to stand in a line in the cold.

    It seems like the sooner everything is advertised the less time there is for each holiday. I don’t like to be rushed through each season just so someone can make extra money.

  71. I’m going to have to disagree with a majority of the posters here and say that I will undoubtly be doing both Thanksgiving day and Black Friday shopping. It’s something my mom, sister, and I do together. I’m in my early 20’s, so maybe that has something to do with it, but I don’t see a problem with Black Friday.

    Hayley J

  72. Melissa M from PA says:

    The outlets where my husband works have decided that 12am on Black Friday isn’t early enough, NOPE, they’re opening 10pm Thanksgiving night!!! It’s outrageous and if people wouldn’t show up in throngs then they’d realize it isn’t what the consumer wants. I disagree with how these huge corporations push the holidays on us but we’re eating it up and participating in the madness. I applaude your stand Melanie against waiting in line for 6 hours in the cold and missing out on precious time with your family. I’ll be home on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, sadly my husband will be working.

  73. Shannon M. – South Carolina

    I agree that the holidays have become so horribly commercialized. A few years ago in my local newspaper someone was quoted about the Black Friday says madness as saying, “This is what the holidays are all about.” Really?? REALLY?!?! I’m still offended by that comment years later.

    I have shopped on Thanksgiving day though. I remember probably 15-ish years ago when KMart started opening up on Thanksgiving day. We used to go to my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving and one year it was just me, my Gran and my parents, so after lunch Mom and I went to KMart for a quick trip to grab a few things on sale. That was before the madness of shopping there – or anywhere – on the holiday began since it was something new they were doing. It wasn’t a bad experience at all that day. But we also were not shopping for gifts for others (or we might have been – it’s hard to remember).

    Anyway, all that to say, you could not blast me out of my house to do that nowadays. The crowds are insane and there are no children in my family to buy for, so no real reason to get up super early or camp out, etc to buy things. Actually, we really do not exchange gifts in our family anymore as we decided it was just really exchanging money. So we get together and just enjoy our time as a family, without gifts.

  74. I completely agree with the vast majority of the comments above Melanie. This is a great post that has generated some very good comments. Giving thanks with our families’ is what this holiday is all about. Our society is always being manipulated; those executives get paid bonuses to come up with that ‘new strategy’ that makes a few more percentage points of profit. Employee relations improvements usually don’t earn them any points. The fact that the employees don’t get holiday pay on Black Friday since it is not a holiday floored me too. I had not made that connection before. So they get all the extra stress, maddening crowds less sleep and less time with family without any financial benefit except the ‘normal’ pay check and higher taxes! Time for change!!

  75. I’ve really only stood in line on Black Friday once. It was at Toys R Us and I had to be at work at 7a. I didn’t get in line til 530a and once they opened the doors the line moved quickly and smoothly. I got in,got what I needed and was out within 30 minutes. I work for a police department and answer the 911 calls from people in the lines outside stores on Black Friday….so there’s NO WAY I wanna be IN the lines. But I do have an opinion…just like everyone else on opening retail stores on a holiday. Certain chain stores already make a bucket load of money and don’t pay the employees enough to deal with the crap they deal with…why can’t they just let them have the day off? I mean,I have to work holidays,but it’s a different type of job. I understand why I have to…and I knew I would when I took this job 16 years ago. But these greedy executives need to check themselves a bit. AGAIN…just my opinion…and we all know about those…

  76. Nancy V, Florida

    My daughter has been quietly buying gifts online for Christmas since April. She has her boys finished and a nephew. I have 2 gifts to date and it’s only . early November. I see no reason to leave my holiday get together with family, in order to stand out in the cutting wind, coffee or not! The hubs and I did this a few years ago and scored a Gorilla brand ladder. It is metal and should last for years. Anything else, I can get online from the warmth of my comfy chair. Happy Thanksgiving!

  77. Margaret P. from NC

    Now that I have a baby (it’s his FIRST Thanksgiving), holidays have new meaning! I find it sad that enough people go out shopping on Thanksgiving Day that the stores can justify opening…just stay home people!!!

  78. I’m with Hayley. While I don’t think it’s right that Walmart is opening at 10 pm (I think midnight is plenty early), I used to work in retail, and I don’t think it’s that big a deal. I worked at a dollar store that was open on Thanksgiving (you’d be amazed how busy we were with people buying last minute supplies), and a retail store that was closed Thanksgiving but open BF. I just spent the opposite time of day with my family. You know in retail that “the man” is always going to screw you over in one way or another, unfortunately. 🙁

    I would rather stay up all night and start at midnight than sleep a couple of hours and get up. I can finish up, nap, and spend BF evening with my family again.

    I do think that if they’re opening that early that they should close early, though. Maybe close at 5 pm, or follow their normal Sunday closing time (though those seem to be getting later and later).

    I finally get some time off work so plan to finish all my shopping BF so I can spend the next few days after that with my family. I did my time in retail, so I know it sucks, but it’s just one (and a half?) days.

  79. I’ve worked retail and totally sympathize with them! And no I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving! Ridiculous and I think they will lose a lot of sales because of this!

    As a side note thanks for keeping your giveaways the same and not using rafflecopter! I am soooo tired of seeing rafflecopter on other blogs and they want you to follow them on twitter, facebook, myspace google plus, etc lol

    Nicole B

  80. I have never stood in line at any stores on Black Friday. I have friends who do it, but have all said that they are not happy with the earlier openings, feels that it cuts too much into their family time and probably won’t be going early. I will be checking the Black Friday sales on line and then maybe venture out in the cold light of day on Friday. To all the workers who have to give up their holiday to be at these sales, god bless you. Maybe sometime in the near future, holidays will actually be holidays again.

  81. I do agree it is a little much – every year, Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier… We shop our local outlet mall that opens at midnight (in line at Gap around 11:30pm after all of our family has headed home for the night) and are back to our house by 2am. Since Target does the 2-day sale, we just hit them up later in the day on Friday. Nothing is worth standing in line all night.

    I do plan on going to CVS in the morning – those are some serious deals there! But I will be in and out before my family is even thinking about getting together to celebrate!

    Hoping that everyone has a wonderful holiday!

  82. I don’t know about everybody else but i am sleeping by ten o’clock on Thanksgiving because i am still stuffed from eating. I do not do the early sales on black friday, don’t like crowds, but i will stop in my local store later in the day to see what is available, but i live in a small town, so not too crowded like a bigger city. Took the girls to the mall last weekend, all christmas decorations up and christmas music playing, just does not feel right this early. It would also be nice for families to have time to enjoy the holiday.
    Tammy P. Il

  83. I have no desire whatsoever to be in a store on the Friday after Thanksgiving and ESPECIALLY not on Thanksgiving Day itself. My most enjoyable holidays have been when all the Christmas shopping was done b4 Thanksgiving. We are scaling back this year…we passed around the flu last year and ended up stuck at home over the entire holiday season…and it was the best one we’ve had in a long time. Hopefully this year we’ll be home without the flu…but NO THANKSGIVING SHOPPING!

    Patti S. Mississippi

  84. I believe that the holidays are becoming much too materialistic and society is losing sight of what is important in life…spending time with family and appreciating the little things. It is after all called THANKSgiving and we are supposed to be thankful for what we do have. I think opening on Thanksgiving is pushing it- one minute you’re at the dinner table being grateful for how fortunate you are and the next minute you are stampeading into a store to fight fellow shoppers over the latest hot toy craze that will quickly fade and be forgotten.

    Amanda S. from MA

  85. Jennifer B. says:

    Ideally I think she stores should open no earlier than 6am on black friday. People get to enjoy thanksgiving with their families and not have to get up at 3am.

    However, I will say that I do VERY little black friday shopping but if I had the money to spend I would rather shop from 10pm-2am after eating than have to get up that early. I am not a morning person!

    My hubby worked at Walmart for over 5 yrs and worked every black friday and thanksgiving. Last year he had to be to work at 11pm which meant sleeping the day away to stay up all night.

  86. I too believe that Christmas is getting out of control. It’s a shame that they expect people to go out even earlier just to get a deal. Those same people who suggest this are surely not at the store at that hour, they are with their families!

  87. I enjoyed your post and reading all the comments. I do NOT shop Black Friday deals, to me they aren’t worth the hassle. I also don’t shop SUNDAYS as I think we can set aside one day a week to focus on what’s important and to me that’s family, faith and friends.

    Unfortunately too many shoppers will be out at midnight and retailers interpret this as endorsement of their selling strategies. If enough shoppers decline to participate the retailers will change.

    And let’s not overlook that retailers are very worried in this economy, they made purchasing decisions back in the Spring hoping everything would improve. But Obama and the Dems have done everything in their power to destroy the economy by insuring high gas prices (high gas prices drive the cost of everything higher) unemployment is at an all-time historic high and taxes have increased.

    Oh, I see that a number of readers have said they will shop drugstores on Thanksgiving… I just think that is so sad, again, you are just encouraging retailers with your dollars… I say no. The clerks in those stores deserve some time off too. I refuse to shop any store on holidays when I think they should be closed.

  88. I am so glad you wrote about this. I know it’s not totally original to be irked by the early holiday shopping frenzy. I have tons of friends who are very proud of finishing their shopping early. My husband also likes to plan ahead and be sure to buy exactly what he has in mind at the lowest price. Not me. Obviously I like good deals, but I like everything to happen at the time that it’s supposed to. I like it to feel like Christmas when I go shopping. Granted, here in Texas I might have to wait for the last few weeks of December. Still. Christmas shopping in early November doesn’t do it for me. Thanks for the discussion!

    Emily H.

  89. Though I love to save money too, my family time and sanity are worth more to me than standing in line for 6 hours to get pushed and shoved by others to save a few dollars. You won’t find me out there!

  90. Jen G. from Maine

    Just say NO!! I did black Friday shopping once. I am not interested in doing it again. I do most of my shopping online or on any day other than a holiday or black Friday. Not to mention I think the workers should enjoy their holiday too!

  91. I agree with u that stores shd open at 4 or 6AM on friday and not on thanksgiving day midnight.
    Even the employees deserve to spend the holiday with their families.
    Spending time with ur loved ones on thanksgiving is more impt than getting a $250 laptop..
    Alex H

  92. I don’t really feel too strongly about shopping the Black Friday deals, but don’t mind the time the stores open. DH has worked at Walmart for the past 12 years overnight, so we are used to having an early Thanksgiving. He can take a nap in the afternoon. They’ve always been open all day Thanksgiving anyways, it’s just the BF sales are starting sooner.

    Andrea A.

  93. Tracy H, NV
    Here in So NV we have Walmarts, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc that are open 24/7 so not so impacted by this – but have never liked shopping black Friday.

  94. I’ve gone every year for over a decade. I even went with a 1 year old and about to have another baby any day (two days later). But I draw the line this year. I’m not going to go on Thanksgiving day. That’s a day to be with my family and I will not leave them for a deal. I will go on black friday but I won’t be getting up at o’dark-thirty either. All in all it’s not a surprise that the corporate soul suckers are getting worse but they are taking the fun out of it.

    Jennifer H.

  95. I’ve been buying gifts online and on clearance and there’s really nothing I need to get on Black Friday. Unless I find a really awesome deal… I might go later in the day to see what’s left but there’s no way I’m going out after dinner when my belly is full of turkey and some wine.

    Johanna H. MA

  96. I won’t be going the night of Thanksgiving NOR on Black Friday.

    We are minimalists when it comes to Christmas gifts – especially for the kids. I agree that people are too wrapped up in stuff. I would rather find ways to spend time together than buy them yet another toy.

  97. It’s all bs created by corporate america. Workers need days off to spend time with family and friends. More time for greed on the part of companies. Holidays should not be based on shopping and we need to get back to what they really mean.
    Seana M. NY

  98. I think it is apalling that they do this, it shoulb be about family Lisa P butler -pa

  99. Amen Mel, Amen. I will not be shopping on either day and we go minimal at Christmas. It’s more about sharing and family time for me.

  100. I love black friday shopping but I am not going into any store that opens at midnight. That’s so silly. I doubt whether the deals there would be worth standing in line for.
    Andrea C.

  101. I usually dont shop on Black Friday…I try to have everything bought by then! I think its not a good idea.

    Pat A

  102. I live in PA and there are many stores that are opening at 10:00 on Thanksgiving night. Our outlets in Hershey have been opening at midnight for about 3 years and now many of the stores will be opening at 9 or 10. I was thinking that if every year it just keeps getting earlier and earlier, how will it ever stop??

    Jen in PA

  103. Amy S in NC. I used to love the black friday shopping, but now…not so much. I do more online shopping than in-person shopping these days. I think 6 am on Fri is early enough. Let those poor retail workers have time off with their families too. Where will it stop? It gets earlier every year!!! (And as much as I love Bing – hearing him piped in at Michael’s last weekend gave me pause.)

  104. In response to LFWH..if the stores were to shut down at 5 pm all week, when would working people get time to shop and do what they have to do. ? That would mean i would have to spend my whole weekend running to do everything i could have gotten done during the week.

  105. Krystle W. TX 🙂
    I have never participated in Black Friday shopping, growing up my mom had no interest in dealing with the crazy mobs of people. When I was grown & married I shared my mom’s sentiment, until last year. My brother & sis in law convinced Hubby & I to go to a store with some great deals. We went, we shopped, we got in line & were told at checkout that the sale ended 10 minutes ago & they didn’t bother letting their shoppers know. That was my first & last time to go shopping for Black Friday deals.

  106. Monica C from PA says:

    I think that if some store was selling I-Pads, for $ 200.00…I would be planning out my strategy on what time to be at that said store!!
    But so far (and I strongly doubt that), I have yet to see this.

    So…… I will be at my house, with my husband and children -celebrating and being very thankful for what I have. And I am very blessed to have both of my parents in their 80’s stll healthy and of sound mind.

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