10 reasons to go shopping on Black Thursday, formerly known as Thanksgiving

     Shoppers rummage through a pile of sweaters on sale at a J.C. Penney store in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)

    Shoppers rummage through a pile of sweaters on sale at a J.C. Penney store in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)

    Traditionalist consumers are making a fuss about several major retailers’ plans this year to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day in hopes of boosting holiday revenue. Here are the top 10 reasons you should be there.

    1. Family meals are so 20th century

    Bonding over a holiday table and pumpkin pie by the fire? Please. The best way to connect with your loved ones is to pack yourselves into the car and circle the mall parking lot, make a family effort not to trample others when the doors slide open, and try to avoid arguments and fisticuffs in the half-mile line at Wal-Mart.

    2. Give thanks at the food court.

    Who wants to fill up on Mom’s turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce when you could be sitting down to a plastic tray of bourbon chicken with fried rice and egg rolls, followed by a large Frosty, a Cinnabon and maybe an Orange Julius?

    3. 26 shopping days is just not enough time.

    There may be only one secular day of the year when families come together to appreciate life on a national holiday, but after Thanksgiving this year, there are only 26 days left in which to shop for Christmas. Why hold on to Thanksgiving when you could up that shopping time to 27 days?

    4. Save! Save! Save! Now! Now! Now!

    These Thanksgiving deals are definitely going to be the steepest, most exciting discounts of the season. Until maybe next weekend, and the weekend after that, and the weekend after that. But why take a chance?

    5. What’s the big deal? She’s just your mother.

    If you’re not the one getting up at 5 a.m. to start the bird, why worry about hanging around to digest it? Mom can cook all week if she wants to, but if you want to dine and dash, that’s your business. Besides, who wants to get stuck helping with the dishes?

    6. Retail floor staff should have the benefit of working a holiday, too.

    While traditionally minded folks whine about Black Friday intruding on Thanksgiving, many diners and restaurant chains are open for business on the big day without a peep of protest from the public about wait staff who might like to eat Thanksgiving dinner instead of serving it to you for what they hope will be a decent tip. If the restaurant servers can do it, why not K-mart cashiers?

    7. Don’t miss a moment of holiday muzak.

    Since we have to wait all the way until mid-October to begin hearing Christmas tunes in stores, we need every opportunity to soak in the retail holiday spirit. If you don’t hit the mall on Thanksgiving itself, how will you ever hear enough sappy pop-rock covers of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer before the 25th?

    8. Tranquilizers for St. Nick

    If you can gorge your toddlers on turkey and gravy and then hit the mall on the same night, perhaps they’ll be too dozy to wail in terror when you place them on Santa’s lap for the first time.

    9. That candy has already been out for too long.

    I saw chocolate Santas next to the candy corn this year. If you don’t get in there to buy those things on Thanksgiving, you know they’re going to go bad by December.

    10. You can save America’s retail future.

    Now that America’s retail behemoths are finally standing up to Thanksgiving, it would be a shame if lackluster Thanksgiving Day sales this year turned next year’s celebration back into a leisurely holiday of favorite home-cooked foods and family togetherness. Lots of retail traffic on Thanksgiving Day will insure that this year’s shopping opportunity is a permanent holiday tradition, not just the one-time experiment of a bad economy in a December with only three full weekends before Christmas.

    So enjoy your turkey, but make sure you can still fit through the doors of the mall an hour later. What are your reasons for shopping on Thanksgiving?

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