50 Shopping Days Left Until Christmas

Holiday Presents

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Holiday Gift Giving


Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Eid or Christmas more than likely you will be shopping for gifts. With gasoline prices so high I thought perhaps you might want to make your purchases online this year. It is quick, less painful and there are no lines. But you must shop now in order to receive the gifts on time for the holidays so you will have to make your purchases soon for your family.

Given the current economic climate if you have a job I would give out something as simple as personalized pens to business associates. Everyone can use a personalized pen. They are inexpensive and useful. Beyond that I wouldn't make the effort unless you are making over $250k per year as you will not have it for your family. As for gifts to friends that is also very optional. This is a very tight year so I am certain your friends will understand. The same goes for Holiday cards. Cards are thoughtful but expensive when factoring in the stamps. This year I have decided to send out no more than twenty Christmas cards. When in DC took the Metro to Virginia and subsequently the Pentagon Mall. I highly recommend this journey. One of my dearest friends was with me and she purchased "The Black Madonna" Christmas cards. I asked her about her tradition and she also limits the card she sends out to about twenty when under-employed. Here are some suggestions for people you have to give gifts to without breaking the bank.

By the way, my DC trip put me behind so you have less than fifty days before the Holidays depending on which one you celebrate. So you had better hit the internet high way soon.

Gathering With Friends During the Holidays

Close Fiends

It is always a conundrum buying for close friends. I avoid buying for friends unless we have a long standing tradition. This has worked for me for years since I basically have the same friends I have grown up with but recently I have acquired several new good friends. So I am in a bind this year for purchases. If you have to buy for a close friend this holiday season buy something you know they will be able to use. Many people are hiding the fact they are living in poverty. Be sensitive to that and send them something they will use and love. I always love to send time saving things.

There is also no shame in giving someone a grocery store card. We have Publix cards down here so I hand them out. It works for me because they are a bit impersonal so they are my emergency stand by gift when I am presented with an unexpected gift. If they ask why, I tell them it is for a bottle of wine or lobster so they don't feel embarrassed. You can not go wrong with a gift card to the grocery store.

Boss and Colleague

You have to buy something for your boss and colleague as work environments can become quite hostile if you don't. We normally did secret Santa and under $5 at the University I use to work at. We could either get or make quite elaborate gifts for $5 and we stuck to the $5 rule but that is a University setting and it may not be feasible for the work environment. So I suggest personalized Pens. If pens aren't your bosses or colleagues idea gift then I give candy. Chocolate is always the perfect gift for the holidays.

It also increases the level of serotonin in the brain subsequently improving everyone's mood in your work environment. Chocolate is known as poor man’s Prozac so be generous during the holiday season.

Christmas in Love

Significant Other

Your significant other is quite another story but practical wins out every single year. So while I will list several items which should be considered as top end items I will also list things that are everyday necessities. I believe in both practical and useful for the Holidays for our loved ones. One extravagant item is always nice but it is the things they will use everyday that will remind them how much we love and care for them.

The Extravagance

So while useful is very practical there should always be one extravagant item but elegant, useful and extravagant are not mutually exclusive. For instance, if your loved one desperately needs a new laptop then that is the extravagant ticket item or the Ipad mentioned above. Even if for one day everyone should have one extravagant item. Only you will know what that item will be but I will make a few suggestions.

Family and Children

There is only one thing I can say here and that is a new TV and game system. While your children will be inclined to like the IPAD and it maybe highly educational for them, televisions have come down significantly in price. You can get pretty good flat screens at a really decent price and the gaming never ends with kids. I will have a younger section for children but for adolescents it is all about the television and the game systems. As a matter of fact a lot of movies can be downloaded witht he new gaming systems. I think the XBOX is the new system of the year. It would be quite a change for us we are a PS family.

Children

For your youngest family member the answer is always toys. Children love toys and these can be purchased readily over the Internet. I suggest you get the ones pre-assembled to spare yourself the Christmas Eve Elf peril.. Or if your holiday is Hanukkah or Eid then spare yourself that hassle as well.

We always watch "It Is a Wonderful Life" with Jimmey Stewart on Christmas Eve. When my Mother was alive she would break the bank on my son's Christmas. I can remember one holiday in which I was pumping up the ball pit and several other blow up toys. I thought I would die that Christmas Eve. I suggest an air compressor if you purchase many blow up things like large ball pits.

The one thing I can guarantee you your child hates for the holidays is the saving bond. I have ruined many of my son's holidays with the old fashioned savings bond in the stocking trick and it was not well received at all. My son has torn a few up. I buy the bond and put it in my stocking.

Creative Gift Wrapping Tips

Online Holiday Shopping Tips

In Closing

With the modern advent of the Internet you no longer need to hassle with the mall and Black Fridays but can simply order things over the Internet and have them shipped directly to your home. You must be vigilant so your presents remain a surprise but they are easier now to access then ever before.

Moderation is the key to all Holiday shopping and with the economy in its current state it is important that you spend where you will get the greatest gain. It is not necessary to spend a great deal of money on your friends and co-workers anymore. That is a tradition that is dying but it is more important you spend on your family. And you only have 50 days left to do it. This article is a brief introduction to offer you ideas for your holiday shopping. I hope to offer you a few more ideas before Black Friday so you will be able to get all of your orders in and you can miss the madness at the local Mall. Remember slow and steady wins the race. Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings!

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