Thanksgiving used to be a time for rest, relaxation, and spending some much-needed time with your loved ones.
Traditionally, you eat until you can’t move, then kick your feet up in a recliner and pass out for an afternoon of napping. That was the old Thanksgiving. Today’s Thanksgiving can be much more hectic, thanks to Black Friday.
Black Friday is a term used for the day after Thanksgiving, when every retailer in the country releases what are supposedly their best deals for the year.
Shoppers line up at store fronts in droves, hoping to snag a TV for half price or the season’s hottest toy for 30 percent off. The idea is to stock up for Christmas, saving tons of money by shopping the best sales before the Christmas shopping chaos really starts.
But is Black Friday worth all the hassle? Maybe. Maybe not. Here are pros and cons to consider as you pore over sale papers this Thanksgiving.
Pro: You’ll Get Great Deals
The number one reason to shop on Black Friday is to score great deals. This is really not up for debate: there are great deals available on Black Friday, and they are often better than any other prices you’ll see throughout the year.
Con: You Have to Do Your Research
The problem with the “great deal” mentality is that you actually need to research to decide which deals are “great” and which ones are just “meh.”
In general, you’ll find the best deals on electronics, household items, and toys. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. For one, smartphones usually aren’t any cheaper on Black Friday than at other times of the year.
Pro: You’ll Get Your Shopping Done Early
A major pro of Black Friday is the fact that, if you shop correctly, you can get most or all of your holiday shopping done before December 1.
That leaves the whole month open for other activities, like spending time with family, traveling, and decorating.
Con: You Have to Get Up Early
Of course, you also have to get up early to grab these deals – much earlier than you probably do for work. Most Black Friday deals start between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
It’s also becoming more and more common for stores to start their sales the night of Thanksgiving, which means you’ll have to head out without your after-Turkey nap.
Pro: Free Giveaways
If you show up early for a Black Friday sale, you may score a doorbuster deal. Many retail stores offer free stuff just for walking in the door on Black Friday. Some of the prizes aren’t that great, but sometimes you can score a great one!
Con: You’ll Fight Crowds All Day
To get these freebies and find your other bargains, though, you’ll have to push through crowds of people all day. For the most part, people are polite on Black Friday, so this won’t be too terrible.
Every now and then, though, you’ll meet a crazed shopper who doesn’t mind using a little force to get the last TV or gaming system. That’s when you’ll wish you were back home with your family.
So, should you go Black Friday shopping? Well, it’s really up to you. Based on these pros and cons, it seems that the best course of action would be to scout out a few of the best deals, shop for those few things, and then head home before you’re overtired.
You can always go online for Cyber Monday to get the rest of your holiday shopping done early. Sometimes, Cyber Monday deals are even better than Black Friday, and you never have to leave your house!