Black Friday Sales Are Starting Even Earlier

Anyone who’s ever been shopping (or working retail) on Black Friday knows the stress and anxiety that comes with the opening store hours. Because this is America, many of us know the drill: staying awake long enough into the middle of the night after Thanksgiving dinner, standing in line with hundreds of people in the cold, and trying to find that one item you have your heart set on once the doors open. Even though it’s all in the name of gift-giving, waiting for stores to open on Black Friday is not fun and games.

But now, some retailers have announced they will be opening at dinnertime on Thanksgiving (which puts the whole “Black Friday” name in question, since it’ll really all be happening on a Thursday). On Tuesday, Walmart announced they’ll hold two major sales events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday evening —two hours earlier than last year.

Shoppers might find this experience more convenient, but it means the already put-upon Walmart workers are being taken away from their Thanksgiving holidays even earlier in order to ensure holiday shoppers can buy their extra-discounted video game consoles.

In addition to Walmart, stores like Target, Best Buy and Macy's have also said they’ll be opening their doors earlier to accommodate shoppers. Hopefully, this will mean the mobs of people who usually camp outside in the middle of the night (and sometimes end up shooting each other in the morning) will lessen.

"Almost everybody is moving at least one hour up," Brad Wilson, founder of deal analysis website, told USA Today . "We thought that was the best time to 'win the weekend.' It's going to be a competitive market. With six fewer days to Christmas, Black Friday's going to play an even more important role."

For those who don’t feel like waiting in lines on Black Friday, Cyber Monday is the next best option. The Monday after Thanksgiving, websites all across the Internet host major deals — from technology goods to clothes and jewelry discounts. (Here's Bustle's gift guide for your perusing pleasure.)

FedEx predicts this Cyber Monday on December 2 will be the busiest day in its shipping history, with over 22 million shipments. Throughout the rest of that week, FedEx is anticipating to make more than 85 million shipments, a 13 percent jump from last year’s Cyber Monday. As a result, FedEx will hire tens of thousands of seasonal workers in order to take on all the additional holiday shipments.

Whether you decide to brave the Black Friday sales in-person or check out the deals online from the convenience of your own home, one thing’s for certain: ‘tis the season to go shopping.