Have at it. Tell me what I’m missing because I’m sitting at home this morning typing this instead of running through a shopping mall or strip center looking for holiday shopping extravaganzas. But, really — Pep Boys with Black Friday specials? How many of are us going to give car batteries for the holidays?

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A few observations, based on what I picked up during my reporting for this post:

· Black Friday started yesterday for an increasing number of retailers, including big names like Gap. How desperate must they be to open on Thanksgiving? And Black Friday-style discounting? That has been going on, in some form, for the last week or so, which is also a new development.

· Thanks to the recession, this year’s shopping season will be make or break for many retailers. I was told. It’s not about turning a profit, but about generating enough cash so they can pay the bills and stay in business in 2010.

· One reason why I don’t understand Black Friday, I was told, by experts and parrents, is that I don’t have kids. Since I don’t have anyone to buy a Wii for, I don’t see why I need to get up early to buy one.

· And it’s not about getting up early. It’s about not going to sleep. I talked to a bunch of people who are out at the stores this morning, and most of them told me thy stayed up last night to be in line at 4 a.m. Though one noted that as much as she loved her kids, she didn’t want to run the Walmart gauntlet again. "That was dangerous last year," she said.