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Are Black Friday Deals Worth It … On Thanksgiving?

By now, every one is used to the slow creep of Christmas, the displays and sales and adorable little bags of cut-rock candies that look like red-and-white striped jewels. There’s no War On Christmas. There’s an all-out War Of Christmas — and it seemingly begins earlier and earlier every year.

So is it really any surprise that the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving Day is the next logical step? I can’t stop wondering what this is doing to the family holiday dynamic across the country, however, and how or whether people are integrating this trend into their traditions.

I hear about people getting ready to shop at midnight on Thursday — or more accurately, the moment Thursday turns into Black Friday — and I think: Shouldn’t you people be knocked out by the turkey? And then: Shouldn’t you be home, just relaxing and giving thanks with your … family?

I can’t help wondering what the trade-offs are for family time. Is it OK to run away from the family on a holiday in order to go buy stuff for the family? The intention is genuinely good, to score a deal for loved ones. Probably many people make a family trip out of it as well, going with their favorite relative or shopping buddy. But how about the clerks and sales people that now have to leave their own families to service yours, I wonder.

I find myself shrugging at this next great American holiday. After all, Hallmark created what? Half of the other holidays we celebrate? So why shouldn’t I look with such a cynical eye on yet another one boosted by corporate America?

But this one seems particularly … I don’t know the word. It’s not something I would do — I’d rather settle in for another slice of pie and a movie on the couch with my wife after the kid goes to bed — but it seems to be the highlight of many people’s day.

How does your family handle Black Friday on Thursday: Is it a new family tradition or something to be ignored?

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