Ah, Thanksgiving – the time to reflect on the life we live, and to give thanks for whatever bounty and other good things have come our way in the previous year.  And, time to pour through the newspaper ads looking for incredible bargains being unleashed on the day after – a day known for years as “Black Friday.”  While the Friday after Thanksgiving has always been ranked as the major shopping day of the year, in recent years it has taken on new significance as the day bargains beyond belief are made available to those few who are willing to spend the night in line at the store of their choice on the chance that they will be able to get the latest gadget for an incredible price.

It is common to see people camping in front of their favorite retailers, dreaming, not of sugarplums, but of being close enough to the front door to get a coupon guaranteeing they will be able to buy a 10″ Android 3 tablet (with a good brand name) for half its normal retail price (at least ten per store.)  The more organized shoppers have been known to use volunteer “sleepers” (usually their kids) to hold their place while the real shoppers sleep off their turkey-induced haze in preparation for the big day.  Newspaper ads have been cut into little pieces and organized by store.  At the appointed moment, Mom heads one place, Dad another, and the kids to yet other stores – all with their own lists of things to buy.  Some even use the opportunity of the family dining together as a strategy planning session (“Two of us will hit Best Buy at midnight.  I’ll run to the back to get a laptop and a tablet, and you run to the cell phone department to pick up the micro-SD cards.  John, I want you to get in the check-out line right away and we will bring things to you as we collect them. This will get us through early enough we can get to at least one more store before they run out of everything”)  Ah, if only the rest of life was so organized.

But planning is essential – casual browsers can get trampled.  This is not a spectator sport.

As for me, I’m looking forward to the big meal on Thursday with family and friends.  My plate will be loaded with cranberry sauce, turkey, ham, dressing, and mashed potatoes.  We will have great conversations, and maybe even a short nap.

After all, I need all those nutrients if I’m going to be fast enough to get one of those $250 Android 3 tablets.