The 15 worst things about Black Friday

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Black Friday, the no-holds-barred, duke-it-out-for-doorbusters shopping extravaganza that takes place on the day after Thanksgiving, has grown into a true American tradition. Some even turn it into a family affair, with generations of shoppers barely letting their turkey and stuffing digest before cramming into the car and motoring over to whichever mall offers the best holiday deals.

But this shop-till-you-drop holiday comes with its issues. Here are the 15 worst things about this November nuisance.

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It's crept into Thanksgiving Day

Black Friday used to live up to its name, happening only on Friday. But now, many Black Friday sales begin before the Thanksgiving turkey is even cool. 

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It takes away from family time

Family time is precious, whether you're traveling over the river and through the woods or just around the block. If you're lucky enough to have the day after Thanksgiving off, enjoy it with loved ones by paging through photo albums, challenging them to a new board game or hanging out with your pets.

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It starts too early

Let's assume you're limiting Black Friday to Friday, not Thanksgiving Day. If you want the best deals, you have to set your alarm for a freakishly early hour. Many stores open at 5 a.m. or earlier, necessitating a 3 or 4 a.m. wakeup time. Luckily there are tips and tricks for becoming a morning person. 

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People have to work the madness

Here's a good thing about having to work Black Friday: You're so busy, the hours fly by. Here's a bad thing: Demanding shoppers who just don't understand that the much-hyped doorbuster deal sold out within three minutes, and that no, you aren't hiding more "in the back."

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Retail rage is real

Trying to score the perfect toy for your kid or your first new TV in years can cause major stress on Black Friday. Emotions are heightened in Black Friday crowds, and public meltdowns can happen. 

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People literally camp outside

Camping can be a wonderful experience, with s'mores, snuggly sleeping bags, and scary stories while gathered around ... a Best Buy? Black Friday has given a whole new meaning to camping out.

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November is cold

In many states, mercurial November often makes getting to and from the stores a nasty experience. Temps could be low, and there could be snow or rough roads in some states.

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Sometimes the good stuff isn't included

Don't expect to find that elegant designer handbag touting a slashed price on Black Friday. Those doorbuster TVs are likely to be off-brand, and good luck locating a deal on the most coveted smartphones. Brands that are the popular kids of the retail class don't need Black Friday, and while they may tease some sort of deal to get you in the door, it's usually small.

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Doorbuster deals are limited

Save hundreds of dollars on a high-end TV? Only if you're there early. Doorbuster deals may make Black Friday even more enticing, but stores have a very limited number of deals, and if you're just a few minutes behind you could miss out. 

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Cyber Monday is easier

Online shopping has its flaws, but stacked up against the madness of Black Friday, the flaws may not look so bad. The ability to research and compare products online and to read buyer reviews are all perks of shopping online. You also could do it in your pajamas from your couch while eating doughnuts.

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Parking is insane

While some people commute by public transit, it's still rough bringing home that 75-inch flatscreen TV on the subway. For the drivers, there are overstuffed parking lots, honking and a lack of spaces that can cause major stress before you even get into the store.

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Other shoppers can get aggressive

You don't want to be caught in a situation where there is only one Xbox left, but two people barreling down the aisle. Competition is high inside the stores on Black Friday, and you don't want to be reminded of the battle you endured every time a grandkid breaks out their new toy.

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The checkout lines get long

You've been in long checkout lines before. But Black Friday lines are not for amateurs. You may walk up and think you're at the end of the line, but it could be swirling around several aisles for insane wait times.

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It disrupts a normal shopping day

To some, Black Friday is just a, well, Friday. Someone may need to run into a store to pick up a new suitcase for a weekend trip or that hard-to-find shampoo a visiting family member insists on. Long lines and stifling crowds make an average in-and-out job pretty difficult.

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It's changed the meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving itself is a holiday with a thoughtful sentiment: Give thanks for what you have and for the people who love you. The theme of the day could then take a quick turn, so try to remember those things for which you're already thankful, and tamp down the buy, buy, buy impulse. Here are 30 ways you can show gratitude every day. 

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