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Marine Corps Exchange employees Luis Pena, at left, and Henry B. Rodgers decorate the inside the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni store.
Marine Corps Exchange employees Luis Pena, at left, and Henry B. Rodgers decorate the inside the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni store. (Cindy G. Alejandrez / USMC)

You’ve gone and burned the turkey. It’s Thanksgiving, 15 people are sitting down to eat and you need a fast substitute. The options are slim.

No commissaries will be open on Thanksgiving across the Pacific. But many shoppettes and minimarts will be open for reduced hours.

If the meal is finished and you feel like shopping, many base exchanges also are open on Thursday and many are having big sales to lure you from the holiday feast. The sales continue Friday and through the weekend.

Friday in the Pacific, as in the States, starts the launch of the Great Holiday Shopping Season.

“We call it Black Friday because, traditionally, even retailers who are in the red around this time of year make it into the black,” said Rusti Rausch, operations/merchandise manager for the Navy Exchange at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. “Actually, the weekend before Christmas is now the biggest shopping weekend, but we’re sticking with tradition.”

The NEX is planning a live Christmas tree sale starting at 9 a.m. Friday, and the store will host a NEX Auto Sales Giveaway Event at 10 a.m. outside the main store.

Many exchanges will open early and stay open late. At Camp Zama, Japan, the first few days after Thanksgiving will feature early-bird specials of 20 percent off regularly priced items from opening until noon. After noon the discount drops to 10 percent.

Some locations, including Misawa Air Base, Japan, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will give the first 100 families in the store a $20 gift certificate.

Yokota Air Base’s exchange will be open until midnight Friday and Saturday, and will feature special discount coupons in the store. On Saturday, they’ll start the holiday cheer with two free television giveaways, at 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Stars and Stripes reporter Allison Batdorff contributed to this story.

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