With Thanksgiving occurring on the earliest possible day this year, the official holiday shopping season is as long as it can be.
For years, the Friday following Thanksgiving — Black Friday — was the unquestioned king of that season. But the furious growth of the Internet has spawned Cyber Monday, an online shopping frenzy that grew 22 percent from 2010 to $1.25 billion in sales in the United States.
It still pales in comparison to Black Friday, which last year generated $52.4 billion in sales, up from $45 billion in 2010.
Many shoppers enjoy the early rising, elbow-to-elbow aisles and energy of in-person shopping on Black Friday, and the game-planning that goes with it. Others would prefer to sit in their home or office and cross off gift lists with clicks of a mouse.
Which is your favorite? Vote in our unscientific poll, then jump into the comment stream to tell us about your holiday shopping habits and secrets.
And while you’re at it, check out holiday shopping hours for major area shopping malls and stores here.