Black Friday Deals: Biggest Bargains in 2012

Black Friday, not to be confused with Good Friday (when Christians celebrate the crucifixion), is a high holy day of the Consumerist religion, when Americans celebrate Christmas shopping.

If you’ve walked into a Starbucks recently and seen the snowman cookies and elf hats, you might think that the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. But the “official” start of the holiday shopping season is the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday. Known as the biggest shopping day of the year, department stores traditionally open early to accommodate the crazed hoards of bargain shoppers, and offer huge markdowns to compete for the gift shopping revenue.

The name, which sounds surprisingly dark and negative for a day that’s supposed to encourage people to get so caught up in holiday spirit that they hand over their wallets, came from police officers in Philadelphia dreading the traffic jams that came with the day – back when automobiles were most commonly black.

This Black Friday, November 23, Macy’s and Target are going to the extreme and opening at midnight, the moment it officially becomes Black Friday.

Some of the biggest deals this year include:

1) Apple is having a sale, the details of which haven’t been announced yet. Since Apple products are rarely marked down, this is worth keeping an eye on.
2) Best Buy is selling Sharp 42” LCD screen TVs, usually $499, for $199.
3) Laser printers that are usually $119 at Staples will be $49.
4) Macy’s $119 cashmere sweaters will be $49.
5) Toys ‘R’ Us is offering 20% off purchases over $100

Meanwhile, Walmart, usually a major player in the Black Friday game, is in the middle of a major labor dispute that could take a big chunk out of their sales. For more info on the protest to take place on Black Friday, see here.