It’s November and we are still shaking off the cobwebs and candy from Halloween. But, remember the goal for a stress free Thanksgiving? Well, that would mean we also need to address Christmas shopping, and even more specifically, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Every year the pressure is on companies to deliver even bigger sales figures, which means consumers get a chance to score major deals during those two power shopping days. This year promises even more excitement. So, grab your coffee and a notebook because here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It will kick off even earlier

By now perhaps you’ve heard about Dell and the ALREADY LIVE deals. Yes, there are already dirt cheap prices being pumped out weeks ahead of Black Friday. And just in case you thought it was only Dell, both Sam’s Club and JC Penny are expected to release sales and discounts early too. Plus, eBay kicked off its new First Minute Deals shopping, timed to get people shopping ahead of Thanksgiving. Another sign of moving up the timeline? Kohl’s released their Black Friday ad a full 10 days earlier than last year and it promises to be pretty spectacular.

Amazon will remain strong

Amazon has been sitting pretty during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and pretty much every other day in between. This year, expect more of the same. In fact, Amazon just launched a Countdown to Black Friday with 10 killer deals you don’t want to miss. Early discounts and bargains are emphasizing technology, electronics and kitchen gadgets. So, if anyone on your list needs a gift from those departments, now is the time to shop. Of course, these Amazon coupons are updated every day too so you can save even more!

Plenty of stores are open

It’s true that REI is staying closed on Thanksgiving and so are a few more stores (see full list here), but plenty of retail shops will be open. Multiple stores will even open doors around 5pm Thanksgiving Day, as has become a tradition in the past few years. Most of the usual suspects like Walmart, Best Buy and Macy’s will absolutely be open and expect to still woo large crowds. This is handy site for staying current on who’s staying and open and available shopping hours.

Bottom line for 2017: Though consumers are torn between wanting stores to close and spending time to get the best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most of us will appreciate the changes to early bird specials and online offers. And here are a few more handy thoughts on how to handle things:

Have more to add or news about other stores? Let us know on Facebook what we may have missed!