Monday, November 22, 2010

It Starts

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, which means we're heading into the hectic go-go pace of the holiday season.  It seems like the rush to buy starts earlier every year.  Here in the Seattle area, not one but TWO radio stations switched over to all-Christmas music right after Halloween.  Geesh!  It's a bit much!

This week I am going to be a busy girl, but I'm focusing my attention on Thanksgiving.  Many of you (especially those of you who don't have to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner) might be using the abbreviated work week to get a jump on your holiday gift shopping.  Thanksgiving is now more the eve of Black Friday than a day of celebration.  And that's ok.

I'm too focused on cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family to get up super early (or not going to bed at all!) to get in the Black Friday crowds.  I've done Black Friday shopping a few times in my life--years ago before it became such a big damn deal.  If any of you are planning an early-AM shopping spree on Friday, here are a few tips for surviving in one piece.  I've offered these tips before, so if you have anything new to add to the mix, you know what to do:  Leave a comment!
Black Friday Shoppers look a lot like zombies.
Get plenty of rest. All that tryptophan and alcohol you consume on Thanksgiving may make you sleepy. If you're planning on getting up super early to shop, adjust your bedtime so you get as many hours of good, solid rest as possible. You might also want to lighten up on how much you're eating today. No one wants to shop with a food hangover!
  • Dress comfortably. I always find malls and shops a bit over heated, so I often leave my coat in my car and dress in layers. Comfortable shoes are a must! If you need to try anything on (not that you'd be buying a gift for yourself tomorrow!) try to limit the amount of makeup you have on--no one wants to buy clothes marked up with other people's lipstick or foundation!
  • Leave your purse at home. Yikes! I know how hard this one is, but when you're buying tons of stuff and you have to carry a lot of bags, the last thing you need is to lug around a purse full of junk as well. Try to limit yourself to the essentials: your credit card(s), ID, cash, keys, and maybe a lip gloss. If you're smart, you can fit all this in your pockets, making the purse unnecessary. Remember: Black Friday is about deal hunting, not looking beautiful.
  • Plan your attack. Make a list before you leave with all the gifts you need to buy, how much you want to spend, and what stores you want to go to. Check for online deals prior to your shopping trip, especially if you are in the market for a particular item.  Knowing who has the best prices will save you time and money.  Planning will keep you focused, keep you from overspending, and will make sure you don't forget someone. Plus, you can skip stores you don't need to go to to avoid mindless buying.
  • Be careful. Make sure you know where all your stuff is and be sure to keep receipts. Also, stash your purchases in the trunk of your car so they are not visible to any annoying car prowlers. Don't leave stuff scattered all over your car--you'll just be inviting someone to rip you off, and there's nothing fun about that. One more thing: keep your receipts with you at all times. If someone breaks into your car and steals your stuff, you might need those receipts to deal with insurance, the police, and your creditors.
  • Be nice and have a little patience. Before you start screaming about a line or start to vent on a salesperson, stop and breath. A little kindness goes a long way--think of it as good karma. Besides, Santa is watching after all and you don't want to be on the Naughty List.
To all my readers in the US (or ex-pat Americans elsewhere): Happy Thanksgiving.  Before you get into the Christmas hype, take some time this week to enjoy the ones you're with, to give thanks for what you have (and what you don't have!), and to stuff yourself silly on Thanksgiving dinner!

I'll be back next week with beauty news, but for now, I'm taking a little (much needed) break.

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