Since the economic crash, retailers have been doing their best to capture our money before we can run to other stores. Instead of opening at 5 am on Black Friday, they have pushed back times to midnight, and even Thursday evening. I understand their thinking. They know you only have a certain amount of money to spend each year, and if they don't get it, someone else will. Their employees are cheaply paid, and completely expendable. If some refuse to work, they are quickly replaced by others.
What's amazing is that consumers are complaining very loudly about the new holiday hours. There are posts upon posts on Facebook and Twitter about how terrible it is that customers can't enjoy their Thanksgiving because of Wal-Mart.
Think about that for a second. It's Wal-Mart's fault for opening early? There is no comprehension that, as a consumer, you don't have to shop there. Seriously, you don't have to interrupt your holiday to go stand in line and fight off people for cheap toys.
Number one, there's always online shopping. You can get everything on your list while you finish off a piece of pie and watch the parade. Secondly, you can always go a different day. You know they're gonna run out of the advertised specials by the fourth person, anyway.
The best idea of all, I believe, is this. Don't go shopping at all. If you don't have little kids in the family, then why bother with it at all? Adults can buy whatever they want, so just have a family get together without the hassles of presents. (If you have small kids, pop into a dollar store and grab them a couple of things. They'll be just as happy.)
Instead of fighting lines to buy stuff that your family doesn't need, donate the money to charities helping in the Philippines. It will mean WAY more to them right now, than to Uncle Bob or Grandma.
If you aren't willing to let go of the holiday madness, then don't complain about it. Wal-Mart will only do what you allow them to do. If you don't show up on Thanksgiving evening, they won't open at that time next year.
The only thing you really need, anyway, is family, friends, and food.