Across most of the United States, the holiday shopping season no longer waits for turkey comas to subside. Big-box retailers in recent years have opened their doors Thanksgiving evening, with national advertisements urging shoppers their way as early as 5 or 6 p.m.

You can ignore the noise in Massachusetts. The state’s so-called Blue Laws prevent Black Friday beneficiaries like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart from opening on the holiday.

Massachusetts is one of three states to bar retailers from opening before the clock strikes midnight. The three hold-outs are all in New England; Maine and Rhode Island are the others.


All three states offer some exemptions from the rule. In Massachusetts, restaurants, pharmacies, gas stations, and small food stores can open for Thanksgiving — as can video rental stores, just in case your Netflix is down.

But in all three states, big box stores are out of the question. (Although Maine’s 24-hour L.L. Bean flagship store has long stayed open without a challenge.)

The Blue Law restrictions have created more of a late-night extravaganza in the three states. For those so inclined, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target stores will all open their local doors at 1 a.m. on Friday. Most of the state’s Simon Malls, meanwhile, will open at 12:01 a.m.

If you really want to get started early, New Hampshire is always an option. So is shopping online, where many companies have already started to let their deals fly.

Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.