Black Friday 2012: How to Avoid the Shopping Chaos This Year

While there are great deals to be had on Black Friday, is it really worth dragging yourself out of a turkey coma and out bed at the crack of dawn to shop on the day after Thanksgiving? 

No. It’s not. If you do Thanksgiving properly, you’ll probably wake up on Black Friday with a hangover, and definitely stuffed and bloated with potatoes and pie. This is not an ideal condition in which to immerse yourself in the sea of mania that is a department store on the biggest sales day of the year. And since nowadays most stores offer their Black Friday deals online as well as in the store, I don’t understand why anyone would subject themselves to the stampedes, the pushing and shoving, and perspiring and hyperventilating that is Black Friday shopping.

In 2011, 26% of Black Friday sales were done online. That number seems startlingly low, considering what a nightmare it can be to fight your way to the register in person when everyone’s got shopping rabies, foaming at the mouth and pushing each other out of the way.

So if you must do it at all, do your Black Friday shopping online. And if you don’t like to buy things without seeing them in person (I’m a tactile shopper, and a picture can’t tell you how soft and/or squishy a sweater is), go to the stores you plan to shop earlier in the week, before Thanksgiving, make a list, and then buy everything online once the sale starts.

Then you’ll have time to do what you really should do the day after Thanksgiving: spend all day in your pajamas, moaning about how ill you feel from all of the food and wine, while simultaneously gorging on leftovers and getting along with your family now that the stress of preparing the giant meal has passed and everyone’s fat and happy.