Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 1

Part 1, Happy Shopping!

Shopping BagsBlack Friday.

Black is the only descriptive word needed to keep me away from the stores on one of the busiest shopping days of the year!

Black Friday is the name that the Philadelphia Police Department gave to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the 1960’s. It was NOT a term of endearment! It officially opened the Christmas shopping season in the city center, and massive traffic jams as well as over-crowded sidewalks tended to accompany the day, as the downtown stores were mobbed from opening to closing.

Are you of the Black Friday mindset, where shopping becomes a challenge, a competition, and an event? Have at it and have fun!

Shopping is not my favorite activity, so the less stress the better. I’m of the opposite mindset, which we can call White Tuesday. I try to shop early in the morning and early in the week, avoiding the crowds (as much as they can be avoided at this time of year!).

Whether you are of the Black Friday or the White Tuesday mindset, consider the following tips to simplify your shopping throughout the season:

1. Be sure to shop with an organized list. Jot down EVERYTHING you are looking for, including ideas and price range. Keep this list handy,  and use it consistently to avoid purchasing duplicates, overspending, and to save time. Keep all receipts, with the name of the recipient written on the back. Keep them in a safe place.

2. Don’t clutter up the lives of your friends and family. Consider some of the following gift-giving options:

  • Consumable gifts, including lotions, candles, great wine and foods
  • Cool experiences, evenings out, tickets to a play or event
  • Movie tickets along with popcorn and candy
  • Passes to a museum or zoo for a family
  • Classes for art, dance, golf or gourmet cooking
  • For teenagers, consider gift cards for gas, coffee, fast food or restaurants
  • For teachers, consider gift cards for coffee, gas, fast food, restaurants, office supply stores or educational supply stores
  • Give of yourself; a car wash or lawn mow for an elderly neighbor, an evening of babysitting along with a gift certificate for a dinner out for young parents.
  • Instead of a traditional gift, agree to spend a special evening together with friends
  • Give a cow, a goat or chickens. Dig and stock a fish pond. Send a child to school. Provide life saving medicine, mosquito nets and emergency food. Purchase fruit trees, honey bees or a fishing boat. It’s never been easier to change the lives of those in need. Check out the World Vision Gift Catalog or the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog, and share the true Spirit of Christmas, while changing the lives of children forever. They make it quick and easy to send any of the above, along with many other ideas, in all price ranges. Check it out!

3. If you make homemade gifts, become a specialist. Find one thing that you love, make it well, and make many of them.

4. Keep several generic gifts available for the last minute need. Consider some of the consumable gifts mentioned earlier, such as great lotions, candles, gourmet foods and excellent wine. If you don’t have a need for them, you can treat yourself after the holidays.

Happy Black Friday and Happy Shopping!

Check out Part 2, Take Time to Make Time, Part 3, Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 4, Cleaning, Part 5,  Decorating, Part 6, Meal Planning, and Part 7, It’s a Wrap, of my Get in Order for the Holidays Series.


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