Having said all that, the door of the penalty box swings open this year. A good Black Friday could provide a much needed boost to the economy and get people working. I do know many families who view Christmas shopping as a togetherness sport, and we can all use a little more of that. And during this difficult time, no one can turn down a bargain.
Whatever you do today, do it safely. Think of all the people working in retail. Those are tough jobs-- even more so this year.