What Sears Meant to Christmas

What Sears Meant to Christmas

The news has been decades in the making: iconic retailer Sears is closing its doors for good this year. The effect of their loss, like that of Toys R Us, will not matter one bit to consumers. But the loss of Sears to Christmas history is worthy of note. Once upon a time Sears was the yearly watch-word for Christmas shoppers and Santa dreamers coast to coast. Kids everywhere marked the day when the Sears Christmas Wishbook would show up in the mail. Generations took their children to Sears to have their pictures taken with Santa. It was the placeRead more

Great Christmas Gifts in the 1970s

Great Christmas Gifts in the 1970s

Christmas gifts in the 1970s were very different than the decades before. It was an age before computers yet an age when technology affected nearly everything in gift giving. You could give Dad a tie for Christmas. But why would you when you could give him a hot lather shave kit instead? The shaving industry in the early 1970s was rocked by two elements: the long hair and long sideburn trends of the late 1960s and the ever present Norelco electric shaver commercials on television. What could the traditional shave industry do to prop up sagging sales? First they triedRead more

The One Secret to a More Organized Christmas

The One Secret to a More Organized Christmas

If there is a common wish for Christmas that goes unanswered every year it would have to be celebrating an organized Christmas. From the food to the decorations to managing all the parties and events it seems that no matter what efforts are made there seems to be not enough time, too much to do and no way to fit it all in. On the Internet entire forums and websites are dedicated to the making the organized Christmas. There are planners and calendars galore. People share pictures, menus, recipes, patterns, and resources for everything Christmas. But for many the organizedRead more

Five Things the Christmas Shopper Should Know About Prime Day

Five Things the Christmas Shopper Should Know About Prime Day

The Internet has changed so many things when it comes to how we spend money. Amazon hopes that is true as it touts Prime Day, the third year in a row of what they are hoping is an annual shopping event that rivals Black Friday. That is their hope, but it will never be their reality. But for the savvy Christmas shopper – even a very forward thinking Christmas shopper – Prime Day can indeed become part of great Christmas in July celebrations. It begins by understanding what Prime Day really is and what it is not: 1. It’s aRead more

Facebook Knows What You Want for Christmas

Facebook Knows What You Want for Christmas

Facebook knows better than Santa what everyone in your house wants for Christmas – and they are going to make sure you will know what’s on their wish list. It’s a whole new world of creepy advertising. And you made it all possible. When you signed up for Facebook you granted the world’s most prolific website entry into nearly every corner of your life. They know who you are, where you work, when you were born, where you went to high school and even who your favorite sports teams are. They know every one of your friends. They can connectRead more

Christmas Shipping Charges to Cost More

Christmas Shipping Charges to Cost More

Attention Christmas shoppers – your Black Friday and December shipping expenses are going up. UPS has declared that a peak-season surcharge will be added to all shipped items during traditional Christmas shopping events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and last minute week-of-Christmas rush orders. The company’s official release said, “”At various times throughout the year UPS must flex its delivery network to meet increased demand, including nearly doubling its normal volume during the November and December holiday season. To help enable UPS to continue to provide best-in-class value to customers while offsetting some of the additional expenses incurred duringRead more

10 Ways to Make Your Christmas Card Unique This Year

10 Ways to Make Your Christmas Card Unique This Year

We all tend to see the same Christmas cards year after year — a Christmas greeting in traditional red and green, perhaps with a festive family photo. But what if you tried something new and different this year? From cheap Christmas cards with funny wording to more elaborate cards that shimmer and shine, we’ve got some fresh ideas for putting a new spin on your annual Christmas cards. Let’s take a look! 1. Include Your Family Pet Let’s face it — our furry friends are 10 times more photogenic than we are. Why not let them hog the limelight thisRead more

The Economy and Etiquette of Gift Cards for Christmas

The Economy and Etiquette of Gift Cards for Christmas

There seems to be a love/hate relationship many have with gift cards. Some call such items impersonal while others embrace gift cards as quite the thoughtful gift. Like them or not, gift cards have become one of the most popularly exchanged items of Christmas. According to giftcards.com more than $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually and 93% of U.S. consumers claim purchasing or receiving a gift card each year. As the e-commerce economy grows so too have the rules of gift card etiquette shifted. For example, it used to be thought that a store gift card was moreRead more

Five Things to Buy for Christmas in the Summer

Five Things to Buy for Christmas in the Summer

It’s blazing hot outside – not a snowball in sight – and it’s time to buy for Christmas. No, we’re not talking big screen TVs or a hot video game system. We’re talking the nuts and bolts of Christmas you can and should shop for right now. July is traditionally the deadest period of the year for nearly all retailers. It is a month for mark-it-down-and-ship-it-out and stack-it-deep-and-sell-it-cheap. After all, most folks are vacationing or otherwise occupied with hot-weather pursuits. Absolutely nobody is in the stores. That’s why the season of sidewalk sales and Christmas-in-July dominates this time of year.Read more

Why I Boycotted All Stores This Christmas

Why I Boycotted All Stores This Christmas

I cut my teeth in retailing back in the 1970s. I literally grew up in a retail environment. I have memories of spending nights in the store on an office floor in a sleeping bag while my parents worked the sales floor to get it ready for the next day. These were years when product was stacked deep, prices were cheap and crowds were big. It was long before the Internet or shopping on phones. I went on to a long career that I continue in retail. It’s in my blood. But I did not shop in stores this ChristmasRead more