Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (which always falls on the 4th Thursday of November) has been the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year going back decades. That is changing. Every year more and more of the brick and mortar stores are starting their big Christmas sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. Walmart started their Christmas sale on November 22nd this year. That sales date flexibility reduces the sales concentration for the traditional Black Friday sales.
Additionally, retail Christmas sales have been relatively flat in the big chains. Consumers are increasing shopping online for their Christmas gifts. Amazon has even begun offering Sunday deliveries via USPA (the Post Office) in the New York and Los Angeles markets this month to handle the online orders better. The big day for online Christmas shopping is known as Cyber Monday, and it starts on the first Monday after Thanksgiving. (That is Monday, December 2, in 2013). Who knows how long that will last though. Walmart just announced that its Cyber Monday starts on Saturday (November 30) this year.