Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

How To Finish Christmas Gift Shopping On Time [Organizing Christmas]

Recognize this? This year you’re going to do it different and get the right gifts for the right person at the right time. You’re going to shop early! In November, maybe, already!

As you plow your way through a slow moving shopping mob, you suddenly realize Christmas is two weeks from now – and you still need to do most of your Christmas shopping!


What’s worse, almost, is that everything is hugely expensive; even those items you saw on sale "just now".

Why Christmas Shopping Doesn’t Finish on Time

The reason why no matter how well intentioned we may be our Christmas gift shopping always ends too later or at the very least has some stress involved is our mind’s bad sense of time.

Be honest, when you thought about shopping in time and on time you thought "three months before Christmas – heck, even two months before Christmas is good: two whole months!"

But you know what two whole months translates to? To about four or five  chances to go Christmas shopping.

Look, if you’re anything like me you don’t have all the time in the world. This needs to be done, that needs to be done. Usually both need to be done at the same time!

Those 60 days ("two whole months!") of shopping? That’s fake. Most of those days you wake up from the alarm clock and by the time the day is finished enough that there is time for what you want to do in life, you certainly don’t want to go out and so some considerate Christmas shopping!

Which leaves the weekends. In two months that’s just 8 weekends. Can you take time every weekend for 8 weeks straight to say "ta-da, I’m out shopping!"

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Realistically speaking we can’t (see: there’s always something to do).

So those two whole months you have? That’s just a handful of trips to the mall, countable on indeed one hand and each trip closer to Christmas with everything getting more expensive while at the same time more common: there are no special Christmas gifts around Christmas time.

Buying Christmas Gifts Year Round

The trick is to buy your Christmas gifts year round, starting the day(s) after Christmas with the expensive stuff that’s suddenly at half price.

Because following the logic of real time as available to us, one whole year of Christmas shopping isn’t that at all! Right? It’s what? It’s about 52 weekends – so no more than 50-52 chances to pick something up for someone. And yeah, we might not be able to go every time we want to. And we don’t find something every single time we go to a shop.

So according to our real Christmas shopping time calculation, that’s 20-30 Christmas shopping trips.


As you develop the habit of thinking about buying Christmas gifts no matter if it’s the season or not (and of course you’ll be applying this to other gifts and seasons as well!), you’ll get a hang for it. You’ll develop a special sixth sense that will home you in to "on sale" items that are really on sale (versus just being cheaper than the day before). You’ll start to find items that are really special. And as you’re buying gifts because you want to and not because you need to right now or else… you’ll start to match up the very best gifts to the right person.

Better yet; as that gift you gave was bought in May the person receiving it won’t have seen it in all the shops for all the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s really unique!

Store & Track Your Christmas Gifts

Once you come home with a Christmas gift, store it in your dedicated Christmas Gifts Box.

You should also note the item on your Christmas Gifts List. If you know for whom it is, make a note of that. If not, leave it in the anyone section.

Wrap It Up

  • Count the number of weeks you have before Christmas and divide that number in two or three: that’s the real amount of times you’ll be able to shop for Christmas gifts
  • Start Christmas gift shopping the day(s) after Christmas, buying the luxury items that are now on 50% and better
  • Buy Christmas gifts year round
  • Store the bought gifts in your Christmas Gifts Box
  • Note down what you bough (and for whom) on your Christmas Gifts List

Holiday Planner

Image credit: Huahe, bensonkua

Macy’s Christmas Displays: a PT Barnum Invention

You know Barnum, from Barnum and Bailey? The PT Barnum?

Well, it’s thanks to him that we get to enjoyed Macy’s extraordinary Christmas window displays.

PT Barnum and Rh Macy were friends in the 1860s and it was Barnum who suggested that Macy for this incredible collection of mechanical toys in the windows of his shop around Christmastime.

And so started tradition that continues all the way up to two days Christmas displays filled with amazing high-tech elements

This year’s theme is the making of Christmas magic.

The six large windows which face Broadway will show all the tender loving care that goes into making the magic of Christmas. The Christmas lights, the ornaments, the snow in tinsel…

No sales products will be shown in these displays; those are reserved for the smaller windows at the other sides of the building.

Planning for the Christmas windows starts shortly after Christmas and goes on all through the year.

The display started to be more exuberant when the tradition of this Thanksgiving day parade started in 1924. The over-the-top window displays were a great way to draw in the enormous amount of people that were coming by.

White Christmas Windows Increase Sales

Although it’s been at least 19 years since there was a White Christmas in Charleston, South Carolina, retailer still go with the “White Christmas” theme.

Storeowners say that it’s symbolic: Winter speaks of the Christmas tradition most people think they remember.

But behind the emotion there is business strategy as well.

Winterized window displays set the tone for shoppers in warmer places.

In a place like Los Angeles it’s only the window displays that will trigger the Christmas spirit. The leaves don’t change, there is no big change in the weather. The only visual clues are the ones provided by retailers.

So, although places will produce and use fake snow.

The stores in the hotter places have to carefully balance their act. These places tend to get visits from snowbirds; people who are there for the warm weather and don’t want to be reminded about winter at all.

4 Christmas Shopping Saving Tips from the Consumer Expert

No need to explain that this Christmas season a shopping environment is different from ever before. The economy is down and so is yours.

Some Christmas buying shopping rules that use to apply don’t this year.

We ask consumer expert Clark Howard to share some of his insight.

“The black Friday deals are extraordinary, they are probably better than January clearance sales, retailers are doing the black Friday sales just to get you in the stores and they actually lose money on those sales.

Lay away is so good at helping people number one -control expense, number two – not pay interest, number three, being able to buy something while it’s on sale – but not pay for it until you have the money.

Gift cards are very dangerous. I’ve never liked gift cards, but this year they will tear your wallet apart. So many restaurants and retailers are going to close and a gift card is only as good as that retailer is.
— Clark Howard, consumer expert

He does warn against the sales just off the Christmas; according to Clark prices won’t go down until mid-January. That is because retailers will try to get the full price for as long as possible. Only when the influx of buyers stops ,which is usually around mid-January, will they start to drop prices.

Study Show Christmas Shopping Health Risk

A British health study decided to crack the limelight by hooking into the Christmas season. Yes, Christmas shopping may be bad for your health!

Bad for my health, you ask.

Yes, bad for your health.

The crowded malls. Crowded malls means long lineups. If there are a lot of people at the mall they had to get there somewhere so; a lot of traffic, difficulty finding parking.

And it gets “worse”! There is a continuous Christmas music playing in the background.

Altogether a cold tribute to rising blood pressure, pounding hearts. And those mounting stress levels in turn can lead to headaches, panic attacks and even stroke and heart disease!

The “study” found that no less than 50% of shoppers are overwhelmed and stressed out during the Christmas season.

Frugal German Shoppers Get More Frugal

The survey in Germany, performed by the magazine Stern, shows that one in three Germans will spend less money this year on Christmas gifts than in previous years.

The numbers are an indicator that the financial crisis is hitting hard in Europe: Germans are considered frugal shoppers already.

On the other hand, a little bit over half of the Germans set it there will spend about the same amount of money or more than in 2007.

Taking the average of the poll most people will spend around 300 euro (around US$375).

Still, a good quarter of those surveyed said that they will spend hundred Euro or less.

Germany is considered the world’s third-biggest economy while numbers released last week show that Germany has slipped into a recession for the first time in five years.