1208 shopping line
Black Friday sales helped bolster the retail numbers, which went up for the sixth month in a row. - 

Holiday shopping means great bargains on everything from big screen TVs to the hottest pair of sneakers. It means malls and stores filled with all kinds of festive decorations. But for many, many people, it also means lines.

Well, a lot of retailers this season are taking steps to streamline the dreaded checkout process.

Ray Smith wrote a piece in today's Wall Street Journal about how stores are trying to make holiday shopping less of a pain, and we talked to him in today's Mid-day Extra.

He gave us a few examples of the kinds of steps stores are taking to make the experience more enjoyable, and keep shoppers in the stores and not just checking out online. He also has some strategies for what you, the shopper, can do to speed up your checkout.

A hint? Be a little judgmental.

Follow Stacey Vanek Smith at @svaneksmith