Shopping on Thanksgiving: Why not?

Black Friday shoppers crowd the Grand Court at Macy's in the Wanamaker Building in Center City.
Black Friday shoppers crowd the Grand Court at Macy's in the Wanamaker Building in Center City. (GIANNA VADINO / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 21, 2012

GO AHEAD. ROLL your eyes at me if you want to, but Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday.

There's no use fighting it any more. I gave up and you might as well, too. America lost the culture wars a long time ago. Walmart, Sears, Toys R Us, Kmart and the rest won, which is why more retailers than ever will be open on Thursday. Thanksgiving creep, as they're calling this trend of Christmas shopping encroaching on T-day, has become as much a part of the holiday as turkey with gravy.

Yes, it's awful for store employees who'd rather be home with their families.

But it's good for retailers eager to start ringing up sales and for those of us who need a break from too much family-togetherness.

I didn't always feel this way. Growing up, Thanksgiving was sacrosanct. Our family always did things the traditional way, with everyone gathered around the dining-room table with the fancy china and crystal all spread out. I used to wonder about people who'd rather mall-hop than sit through a meal with their relatives. Then, about a year ago, a friend who lives alone told me she had nowhere to spend Thanksgiving but managed to get through the day by pushing a shopping cart through the aisles at Kmart. She made her Turkey Day shopping expedition sound like fun. A holiday salvaged thanks to Kmart.

It makes sense. If you're feeling lonely, then go where people are. And stop feeling guilty. Women need to stop feeling ashamed about indulging themselves with a little post-Thanksgiving retail therapy. Men don't feel guilty about whiling away the entire day watching football. Those of us who'd rather use that time doing something . . . well, productive . . . shouldn't either. That said, some really good Thanksgiving Day deals out there are worth checking out.

So . . . ready, set, shop:

* The first round of holiday doorbusters at Sears begins at 8 p.m. on Turkey Day. (Keep your eyes open for 2-carat total-weight diamond jewelry that regularly sells for $599 and will be on sale for $99.)

* Kmart, which has been open on Thanksgiving for more than 20 years, once again will open at 6 a.m. Between then and 4 p.m., store associates will sell a 42" RCA plasma HDTV that normally goes for $499.99 at $199.99. You can save 50 percent on Craftsman tools between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.

* Select stores at Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick, Montgomery County, will open at 9 p.m. They include: Ann Taylor, BCBG Max Azria, Calvin Klein and Coach. Another group of stores - Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Nine West, and Loft Outlet - open at 10 p.m. Opening at 11 p.m. are Chico's, Florsheim, Restoration Hardware and the Cosmetics Company Store. For a complete listing of stores and the hours they'll be open, log onto premiumoutlets.com.

* Walmart opens at 8 p.m. You can get an iPad 2, 16GB with Wi-Fi, for $399 plus a $75 Walmart gift card.

* Target's doors open at 9 p.m. Deals to look out for include a Sony PS3 250MB game system for $199.99 (includes console, two games and a wireless controller) and Apex 32" LCD TV for $147. Other Thanksgiving bargains include a Nikon L310 digital camera for $99.99; a Nook Simple Touch e-reader, $49; certain classic board games, $7; and Beats headphones, $179.99

* Toys R Us opens at 8 p.m.

" @JeniceAmstrong

Blog: philly.com/HeyJen

Email: armstrj@phillynews.com

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