Planning Ahead for Christmas!

Let the Countdown Begin…

It’s just one month away from that holly, jolly Christmas celebration and if you’re wondering how you’ll get everything done, just check out the suggestions below. With
a little planning ahead for christmas, organization and a few tips you could easily get ahead of the game. Here we go…

  • Update your email list and address book so you’ll be ready to send your ecards and Christmas cards a bit earlier this year. Of course you can find a wonderful assortment of Christmas ecards at and if you prefer sending cards the traditional way, you can choose and personalize your favorites from
    the Print at Home section!
  • A good rule of thumb for making sure gifts get to their destinations in time is to send 12–15 days in advance. So shop early and take advantage of some of the great deals you can find today!
  • Of course Black Friday has come and gone but you can always take advantage of the incredible price reductions and bargains online on Cyber Monday (11.26.12)! You can shop in your pajamas, avoid the long lines and sip coffee as you browse! Check out the following link– to see some
    of your favorite stores like Best Buy, Macy’s,
    and Target and what they’re offering Christmas shoppers.
  • If you wrap your gifts as you buy them, the job will go a lot smoother as the seasonal crunch begins. Add a sticky note to the wrapped box to remind yourself of what’s inside and who the gift is for. Then just add bows and tags right before Christmas or before shipping so your gifts are fresh and beautiful on delivery.
  • Last year’s Christmas wraps and cards are perfect for recycling…they make great tags, bookmarks, decorations for gift boxes and more. Click here for some more great ideas!
  • Consider an early gathering with friends to swap some of your Christmas decorations so you each have new items to work with as you decorate your homes.
  • Do a Christmas cookie swap get-together, so you can have a variety of cookies without having to bake several different kinds yourself.

Whatever you do to make Christmas fun and festive, make sure you take a little time for yourself. A little hot chocolate or eggnog sipping to go along with those cookies is always a good thing! Can you pass the nutmeg please?



Black Friday is almost upon us!

On your mark…Get set…Shop!

Black Friday, the mother of all discount days, will soon be here.  Shoppers prime their strategies, store managers psyche up their employees, and cashiers stand ready at the registers to ring up carts filled with Christmas wish lists.

The day after Thanksgiving has a long tradition in the world of retail.  However, the expression “Black Friday” has its origin in the 19th century world of investing.  On September 24, 1864, gold prices plummeted, panic ensued, and the term took root.  It resurfaced a century later byPhiladelphia newspapers using it to describe intense store crowds.  Eventually, it described what we know it as today: the time of year when retailers start making profit, or go “in the black.”

As you head into the malls and surf online this holiday season, here are a few tips and strategies to help make your gift-buying productive:

First of all, regardless of where you shop, have a game plan ready.  This may be a given to some, but those shopping on the fly may get disappointed very quickly if they aren’t prepared.  Those with an agenda grab what casual shoppers might have loved, had they prepped themselves.


  • Top off the tanks before shopping begins: traffic can be a bear, plus every second counts when shopping, and taking a moment for gas can cost you that precious gift.
  •  Park further away from the store: it’ll be a hike to the store’s entrance, but consider that once you’re done, a car parked closer would be dealing with shoppers walking to and from their car behind you as you try to pull out, other cars perched on the side with their blinkers on are anxious to take your spot, and you’ll have that much more parking lot to traverse as you leave.
  •  Pack a kit if you “camp out” the morning before stores open: bring a goodies bag: a magazine or book to read, the store’s sales circular, a book of Sudoku, maybe even a small juice or water to hydrate you for all the running around you’ve got ahead of you.
  •  If you have a mobile device, keep aware of in-store ads posted online.
  •  Find out a company’s holiday return policy and hold on to your receipt.  Keep a folder of holiday gift purchase receipts so they’re not lost.


  • Most websites will have an option to order over the phone or some alternative to using your credit card over the internet.  Caution is king when shopping online.
  •  Find out shipping costs, times. and any promotions on free or discounted shipping (i.e., buy and save on shipping)
  •  Find out of free gift wrapping is available: it conceals the gift and saves you time and labor later.

Just a few simple steps toward getting the most out of your holiday shopping season can ease the holiday burden and make you feel like one of Santa’s little helpers. Happy Shopping!