For a lot of people, Black Friday is a day to bond with family members on a harrowing-but-sweet shopping trip, snatching deals on incredible items for Christmas. For others, it's simply the best way to save money on expensive toys or luxury items, and no amount of standing in line will dissuade them from getting what they're after.
For a third group, however, Black Friday is the day they have to work their retail job while being away from their families, standing on their feet for several backbreaking hours at a time and listening to customers fight over the last Apple product in the store. As someone who worked in retail hell for many years, I can tell you I am ecstatic to work at a job where I am guaranteed holidays off, and I don't plan to be anywhere near a mall on the day after Thanksgiving.
*Did You Know?* "Black Friday" doesn't get its name because it's such a dreaded, harrowing day; it comes from retailers, who gave it the nickname after going into the black in their account books for the first time all year.
I've seen sheer chaos while working on holidays; kids crying while trailing behind their parents in a too-hot puffy coat, adults crying because of a sold-out game console, a food court so full that patrons have to sit on the floor to enjoy their Subway sandwiches, stores with sweaters and leggings strewn about everywhere because customers yank them off the shelves and don't bother to put them back, even two old ladies who almost got into a fistfight over the last brown turtleneck. It's pandemonium on a dog leash, and it just doesn't seem fun to me, no matter how much money I might save.
There are millions of you who will brave those malls and chain stores in a couple of weeks, however, and more power to you. Just remember to be kind to your cashier, because she's probably a lost 15-minute break away from losing it.
Here's a handy site which shows all the Black Friday ads for this year which have already been released. Some stores are opting for an early sale; Wal-Mart has announced they'll be starting some deals on Thanksgiving night. Be prepared with these ads so you'll know exactly what you want when you get there.