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John Kunza: Trending: Eating beats out sales on holiday

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Posted at 3:00 AM, Nov 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-26 04:45:36-05

At 6 p.m. Thursday I plan on stuffing myself with turkey, or at least being pretty darn close to a tryptophan-induced coma.

I will join my family in a house tucked away in the mountains, far away from the concrete jungle.

Others, however, will be doing the exact opposite, trading in turkey legs for a cold, dark, dreary spot in line outside of the mall or the various other stores opening Thursday evening for Black Friday.

We live in a day and age when you can reserve your Thanksgiving turkey online, and yet we still wait in line for a store to open. And yes, I did order my turkey from my desk at work just this past week in between meetings. After a couple of clicks it will be waiting for me at the grocery store Monday ready to cook on Thursday. So I ask: With even the turkey order process digitized, why do we find it necessary to skip one of the most traditional dinners of the year and head out to brick-and mortar-stores?

Forgive me, but that sounds so analog in this digital world. Aren’t we supposed to be embracing technology, not partaking in an act that belongs back in the 20th century?

It just doesn’t add up, especially with expert after expert going on record saying Black Friday really isn’t the best shopping day of the year.

We ran this tidbit of information on our website just this past week:

“The savings site NerdWallet.com analyzed 27 Black Friday ads, and came out with some surprising findings. The site reports many Black Friday deals are the same price you could have bought them last year or last week, without the crowds.”

Adobe Systems has collected data on holiday shopping since 2008 and agrees. Number crunching by the company shows retailers last year slashed prices by the most the Monday before Thanksgiving, concluding Black Friday just doesn’t live up to the hype.

Then there’s this whole Cyber Monday thing. Unlike Black Friday, which is door-buster heavy, Cyber Monday deals tend to be broader, with most retailers wanting in on the action.

Cyber Monday has become such a part of our shopping culture 44 percent of us this year will log on and shop, according to the National Retail Federation. Don’t have time to log on? No worries. Apparently, this year mobile shopping is the “it” thing to do. Adobe says purchases made on a mobile device Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to hit $1.6 billion.

And if you truly are a slacker (I am guilty of this myself), some experts say the actual best shopping days of the holiday season fall between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24, especially when it comes to larger purchases.

So on Thursday I think I’ll reach for another slice of pie instead of waiting in line for an out-of-stock item. I’ll be saner, and it looks like my wallet will be better off as well.

John Kunza is the digital managing editor. He may be reached at 865-342-6822 or john.kunza@knoxnews.com.