christmas shopping

  • Manage Your Time During the Holidays

    We live in a crazy busy world, don't we? Holy smokes, it seems the pace of life, if you let it, picks up steam with every turn! Then, add in Christmas and it's a recipe for overload and overwhelm.

    I've got some simple tips today to help. I've been spending time talking with my health coach about time management to always leave room for exercise, and some of the things I'm learning there will definitely help around the holidays also. Here we go.

    smartphone1.  Turn off the notifications on your phone. Technology is pretty amazing in all the ways it can save us time and help us run our lives more efficiently. But, the notifications for your Facebook, your email, and then text messages, well, they can literally keep you from getting anything done! Decide the best times to check your email and facebook that fit into YOUR schedule, and then turn off the notifications in your settings. I promise you, you'll be able to catch up with anything you want to.

    2.  Speaking of smart phones, make sure you ARE utilizing the time management apps. Keep a calendar and set reminders. Check in the morning, and you'll be surprised at how few things fall through the cracks! This is INVALUABLE around the holidays!

    keep-calm-and-shop-on3.  Order gifts online. The world of e-commerce is here to stay, and we will all save not just time but money when shopping online. Ever wonder why you walk in the store to just get a couple things and you walk out with a couple bags? Yeah, me too! Avoid distractions by shopping online. It's quick, safe and smart.

    And since we are already on the topic of shopping online, do yourself a favor and hop on over to our website and check out the top sellers this week. We've got some sweet deals going on.

    Til next time,



    Photo credit:  Smartphone, Online ordering

  • An Old Fashioned Christmas | More With Less

    shoestring-budgetToday we're going to talk about the "B" word. Before our family created and began living by a budget, I had the idea that doing so would be restrictive, boring, that it would steal all my joy and I'd never be able to do anything or go anywhere.

    I couldn't have been more wrong. I like how John Maxwell put it:

    "A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went."

    Well said, Mr. Maxwell, well said.

    It may sound old fashioned, but the idea of boundaries and self-imposed restrictions is one of the best ways to get focused on personal goals and encourage vigilance in seeing them into reality. It is responsible, and instead of chasing all our fun away, it ends up enhancing our lives over and over and over again.

    overspendingApplying this principle to our Christmas spending works the same way. I know lots of people who live by a budget all year long, but when it comes to Christmas, all bets are off. It doesn't have to be that way in order to bless those we love. And, it doesn't have to mean going without as much as planning for what we want.

    So, to complement our household budget (help here if you need it), we consider what we typically spend at Christmas time. We include the gifts we purchase, the decorations, the food, the parties, and add it all up. Divide by 12 and then see if we can find a place for that amount in our monthly budget. Then, when Christmas season rolls around, we can let go of any repressed guilt for "spending so much"! And, that feels good.

    This is one old fashioned idea that deserves to find its place again in every day life.


    Photo courtesy:  Shoestring, Shopper

  • Cyber Monday Happiness

    cyber mondayI remember the first year that I bought all of my Christmas gifts was before the term "Cyber Monday" was coined, but wow, it was so easy and fast! I had my list made, my budget in mind and my credit card out. In a matter of about 90 minutes I was completely done!  So, there's no doubt that this day can really be a life saver, right?

    While some of us may still be recovering a bit from Thanksgiving combined with getting back into our work routines, thoughts of all there is to do in, really, 3 short weeks can be overwhelming. Still, isn't it fun and just part of the season to:

    • Enter into all the shopping madness at least once, the hustle and bustle can really get you in the Christmas spirit if you're struggling.
    • People watch . . . the energy and effort, and then the excitement when just the right gift is found.
    • Sing along with the Christmas music on every radio station and in every store.
    • Witness families cutting down their tree and mounting it precariously on top of the family car.
    • And, the Christmas light displays, driving around and seeing colorful lights that help brighten the cold, dark December nights.

    Of course, all of this is MOST enjoyed when some, if not all, of your shopping is done!!

    So to that end, Merry Stockings wants in on some of that! Shop today at, and you can take 15% off your entire order by using the promo code "CYBER" at checkout. There are all manner of Bucilla Christmas Stockings kits available, ornaments, tree skirts and other decorations waiting to be delivered to your front door.


    Photo courtesy:


  • Christmas before Halloween?

    Recently an article was posted on Fox News affiliated website out of Greensboro, NC that talked about Christmas goods being sold before Halloween! The article maintains that store managers are being asked for the items before Halloween and so to appease demand, they are relenting and stuffing their shelves full of Christmas cheer, BEFORE HALLOWEEN! Although I don't mind because I love Christmas, it does seem a bit early for the average consumer. As retailers, brick and mortar retailers that is, I'm certain they are looking to infuse their businesses with Christmas cash as soon as they can get it. Knowing they've had a tougher time in recent years with consumer spending being down, who can blame them.

    How about you - when do you think it's the best time to start shopping for Christmas?

    When should stores starting putting out Christmas goods?

    Let us know what you think!

    Here is the full article: Christmas before Halloween

    Thanks for stopping by,


  • Why It Makes Sense to Shop for Christmas Gifts Now

    A lot of people make it a habit to shop for Christmas gifts when December nears.  But if you want to have a stress free Christmas, you should start shopping months earlier.  Here are the top 3 reasons why you should start shopping for Christmas gifts now!

    1. Give yourself ample time.  Admit it, choosing the best and the perfect Christmas gift for your family of 5, dozens of relatives, hundreds of co-workers, friends, neighbors and loved ones can be a very daunting experience.  How many times in the past have you picked up horrendous gifts just because it was near closing time on Christmas eve?  Avoid the Christmas rush by shopping way ahead of time, this way you could hoard all the gifts you want and buy for less people when the stores are packed.

    Also, the additional time you have could be perfect when you are ordering personalized Christmas gift items like stockings and Christmas ornaments.  You will not have to worry about whether the gifts would arrive on time for Christmas, or if they are going to be gifts for the Feast of the Three Kings.

    2. Discounts. Most people think that Black Friday is the best time for discounts.  This might be true, but stores do offer a lot of discounts on other days as well.  Much more if you plan on giving personalized Christmas gifts.  Online sites often give a full 25% discounts or more during the months of June and July, or whenever it is off-season.  In effect, you get the best personalized Christmas gift items at the lowest prices.

    3. Avoid the stress.  If you shop close to Christmas, there will always be the long queues at the checkout line.  Either that, or somebody would be rude enough to snatch up the last toy your kid wanted for Christmas out of your hands.  The crowds at malls tend to be thicker during Christmas time.  And the thick crowds often spell more nuisances, higher blood pressure levels and a lot of inconvenience.

    Save yourself the trouble by shopping now.  Not only do you avoid the stress, the higher prices and the inconvenience, you could also make sure that you get the perfect Christmas gifts for your family, friends and loved ones!

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