You can have a nice comfortable Thanksgiving dinner with your family. Or you can go wait in a lonely, frantic line full of rabid deal seekers at your local Walmart. The enormous retailer on Thursday announced it plans on opening its doors for Black Friday early this year — 8 p.m. to be exact.

Walmart bets huge on Black Friday, and said that in preparation, it bought “very deep” on items “that matter” to customers. It didn’t share what it predicts will be the biggest sellers, but one can imagine that stuff such as TVs and cameras will be hugely popular. It will also provide a $75 gift card with every iPad 2 and has guaranteed stock for at least an hour.

Sales overall are expected to be lackluster compared to 2011, which is one reason why Walmart plans on opening its doors two hours earlier than last year. That and so nobody spends quality time with their families inside of a nice cozy home. As any Black Friday vet knows, you can’t just show up minutes ahead in order to get a good spot in line; you have to show up hours ahead. So I guess plan on a Thanksgiving breakfast?

Black Friday is more like a wrestling match at Walmart, and there’s never a guarantee you’ll get what you want. You can understand why the retailer would want to invite people in earlier — customers may get home at a reasonable hour, which I guess is a plus — but that may also cause some unneeded family discord, or wind up in the emergency rooms.

I’ve never braved the sale lines. A lot of people do. Black Friday has basically brushed Thanksgiving aside. I’d suggest keeping your eye on Internet deals, if anything. If you insist on participating in the Black Friday madness, Walmart can be your first stop on Thanksgiving day at 8 p.m.

[via Reuters]