About 151 million people shopped during the Black Friday weekend and, according to the National Retail Federation, 61.7 percent of those people shopped online.
I was one of those online shoppers.
Black Friday has long been a holiday ritual in my household. It started when I was a kid. My mom and I would spend Thanksgiving morning delving into the sale ads stuffed in the newspaper. As weíd watch the Macyís Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, weíd thumb through the ads for our favorite stores, making a list and planning out which stores to go to first on Black Friday.
It seems to be a ritual even my kids have picked up on. On Thanksgiving Day this year, my 6-year-old daughter got out a pencil and paper and started to make her own wish list from the sale ads. She wrote down what seemed to be every item she saw in the Toys R Us ad, but I was glad she was working on her spelling and handwriting.
But since the stores have pushed up their sales earlier to Thanksgiving evening, I feel torn. With three young kids, going out to the stores has become more difficult. And while Iím lucky to have the help of relatives who can babysit while I run to the stores, itís not something I really want to do on a holiday thatís supposed to be about family.
Still, I thought Iíd make one quick trip Thanksgiving night. As I stood in line with about 300 people to get in the doors of a big-box electronics store, I decided to scope out the prices online. While I waited, I was able to purchase the exact same computer tablets for my kids online at the Black Friday price and have them shipped to my house for free, rather than waiting to get in the store. After five minutes of shopping on my iPhone, I went back to my car and went home.
Apparently, a lot of people are turning to their mobile devices to do their Christmas shopping. Shoppers spent $1.73 billion shopping online just on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe, which tracked more than 180 million visits to 4,500 retail websites. The majority of shopping was done on mobile devices, Adobe found.
Iím at the point in my life where itís more hassle than itís worth to fight the Black Friday crowds, dig through bargain bins and commiserate with other shoppers standing in line. Iím all about shopping local when I can. But if I can buy with a click of a button and do most of my Christmas shopping done without ever leaving my family in the comfort of home, Iím game. The fact that many stores offer the same deals online, with free shipping, is music to my ears.
If youíve got kids or grandkids, you probably know that shopping with kids in tow isnít easy. I have friends who buy everything from diapers and wipes to non-perishable household goods like laundry detergent online because itís easier and frees up precious time.
Iím not quite to that extreme yet. But I think I became a Black Friday online convert this year.
Sounds likes many other Americans did, too.

Lydia Seabol Avant writes a column for the Tuscaloosa News in Alabama.