Black Thursday and the Death of Thanksgiving

I have a funny tradition every Black Friday. I sleep in (as much as two small children allow), eat breakfast around 11 something, and go out to the stores mid-afternoon. Yes, I miss all the crazy sales. But I also miss the mayhem.

I've only spent one Black Friday morning waiting in line. I was in college, home for Thanksgiving, and my Dad and I drove out to Circuit City at 4am. They were opening at 5am and we figured there shouldn't be too much of a line. All I really wanted were a couple seasons of 24 on DVD anyway. 

When we arrived, the line stretched around the store. Over 200 people already ahead of us. I know the number because as we entered the hornet's nest at 5am, someone was counting each person at the door.

I witnessed several people foaming at the mouth for TV's. Some clawing and scratching near the video games. I only had to fend off a few opponents at the DVD rack, but the experience was enough to make me realize, this isn't worth it.

Last year was the second time I went shopping on Black Friday, only it wasn't in the morning. Stores began their new fad of opening at midnight, Thanksgiving Day. I figured this was a win-win. There was no way getting up 3am was happening again, and going to the store at midnight didn't interfere with family time at all. Of course getting to the store at 11:15pm still meant waiting in a line of several hundred, but it wasn't traumatic. 

Now, it's 2013. Stores aren't opening at 5am Black Friday morning, nor at midnight after Thanksgiving. No. Best Buy, Walmart and many other retailers are opening at 6pm Thanksgiving Day.

...many retailers are opening at 6pm Thanksgiving Day.

The choice is no longer get up early or stay up late. Now the decision is, do I cut family time short to get a sale? 

And if you want a doorbuster at a store that opens at 6pm, you're going to have to wait in line several hours before. Do I want to be standing in a line at 3pm on Thanksgiving Day?  No, not really.

Do I want to sacrifice time with family and wait in a line for a device that further distracts me from family?

So this Black Friday, or Black Thursday, I believe my family will keep its tradition. Leisurely shop sometime Friday afternoon, maybe I'll buy something on Blu-Ray for $7. There will be no giving up Thanksgiving for a TV.

But if you plan on waiting in line tomorrow afternoon, feel no judgment. I totally get that $500 for a 55" Plasma is a sweet deal. And the geek inside me freaks out as I peruse Black Friday sales. I was even on the radio talking about Black Friday:

My only suggestion is to think about what you are gaining, and what you're giving up if you stand in line, 3pm Thanksgiving Day. Can you get that deal online, or something similar? Is Best Buy offering that sale a day early too? Let's not kill Thanksgiving so quickly.