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2012 Calendar: The Most Days Possible in a Holiday Shopping Season

Shoppers can hit the streets for a full 31 days before Christmas.

Refuse to take part in Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which has become the accepted if unofficial start time of the Christmas rush? You still have plenty of time to shop this season.

It's a huge day for retailers but only the first of a roughly month-long extravaganza.

And thanks to Abe Lincoln, who decreed Thanksgiving a national holiday, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed into law that it should fall on the fourth Thursday in November, and Pope Gregory XIII, who blessed the calendar we use, 2012 has the longest possible shopping season.

To explain: With Nov. 1 falling on Thursday, the fourth Thursday and Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, couldn't fall any sooner. And that means there is more time – the most time any year can provide – for shoppers to shop and businesses to reap bounty.

Where do you prefer to do your holiday shopping? The mall? Specialty stores? Discount stores? Online? Tell us in the comment section below.

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