A Thanksgiving conundrum: Family meals or killer deals?

A Thanksgiving conundrum: Family meals or killer deals?

EL PASO, Texas - Black Friday is still two days away, but some shoppers just can't wait -- and retailers are taking full advantage. But there's still hope for family time this Thanksgiving.

The champ is in the red corner: family meals. But there's a dangerous challenger in the green corner: killer deals. So what do you do if you love your family but enjoy a good discount just as much? Some say you can have both.

"Why would I get up at the butt-crack of dawn?" said shopper Emma Ritter.

A fair Black Friday critique, considering stores like Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods are now opening around dinnertime Thursday.

The Fraire and Rueda families set up camp in a tent outside Best Buy on Tuesday. They normally sleep at their home in Juarez, but higher Mexican sales taxes have brought them across the border for Thanksgiving Day deals.

How could seven people in close quarters not bond? Or at least become more thankful for personal space at home.

"I want to get a tablet," said 11-year-old Sebastian Fraire, who sells chocolates to save up for an iPod.

"Thanksgiving's quick," said shopper Ida Cortez, who plans to spend $1,500 this year on toys for her five children. "Eat the turkey and off to the sales for me."

Traditionalists said they'd be at home Thursday enjoying turkey with their families.

"I guess to avoid so much crowd on Black Fridays," said Claudia Silva. "I mean it gets crazy. People get killed on Black Fridays."

Fountains at Farah is beefing up security this weekend, but parking and traffic can still be a nightmare on the upper level. Officials remind shoppers that the 1,100-space parking garage on the lower level is rarely full.

"We're expecting a lot of traffic," said Barnes & Noble store manager Mike Dunworth. "So we've doubled our staff getting ready for the weekend. We're expecting a very busy weekend."

Barnes & Noble won't open until 8 a.m. Friday. The Fraires and Ruedas might be long gone by that point. But wherever they've gone, you can bet they'll be going together.

"We try to be united," said Mario Fraire, 18, who plans to carry on the 3-year tradition when he's a father. "And at the same time, we try to shop all united."

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