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The Best Laid Plans

Black Friday’s no fun anymore.

The whole tradition has changed from just a few scant years ago, when early on Thanksgiving morning millions of shoppers would descend on newsstands and convenience stores to snatch up the day’s heavy, insert-laden newspapers.

Later, following the holiday repast, family members would spread out the circulars and study the sales promotions with the intensity of an NSA research team, formulating their plan of attack.

Then, depending on their motivation and tryptophan levels, they would head out to the shopping mall for a Black Friday Eve bivouac, or have some more pie and fall asleep.

All that began to change with the advent of leaked ads and mobile shopping. Beating the bloggers at their own game, national and regional chains demystified Black Friday by pre-releasing their sales circulars and setting aside a healthy dollop of online doorbusters for the stay-at-home crowd.

And instead of 4 a.m. sales, stores began opening on Thanksgiving Day, depriving customers and sales associates of a national family tradition, and that giddy, sleep-deprived rush when the doors would finally swing open before dawn.

Granted, the latter has resulted in some ugly incidents, including at least nine deaths and 90 injuries, according to (I kid you not).

Jeez, perhaps on second thought, staggered, weekend-long sales and guaranteed in-stocks aren’t such a bad thing (thank you Walmart). And depending on your in-laws, that Thanksgiving Day event at Best Buy may be just the excuse to get you out of the house.