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2015 Holiday

GIFT GUIDE

GIFT IDEAS • HOLIDAY TIPS SHOPPING ADVICE

Keeping It Local This Holiday Season By Craig W. Armstrong

‘T

is the season for holiday shopping and for some people it can get tedious. Some folks put their heart and soul into holiday shopping, getting gifts for everyone from their family to their mail carrier. But what if you could do your shopping and help your community all at the same time? One way to do this is to shop local. Shopping local is a concept that has been around for years, but tying it to the holidays really got a push with Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the Saturday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It began in 2010 as a marketing campaign by American Express. While Black Friday benefits the big box retailers and Cyber Monday benefits online shopping, Small Business Saturday carves out a day for the “Mom and Pop” stores. So how does shopping local benefit you the consumer? First, you have much more control and probably get much better customer service. Let’s say you’re buying a tool for Dad. Do you think you will get better service at an enormous big box home improvement store or from the local hardware store that has been in business for 30 years? Have you ever tried to find help at one of these warehouse type stores? Good luck finding someone over 18 to answer your question. It is also more likely that local business owners will stand by their products, as they have their reputation to protect. Shopping local keeps your community strong. Spending money locally keeps that money in the community which helps the community grow. A growing community will then have a better opportunity to support other local organizations like youth sports, nonprofits and charitable organizations. Shopping local also creates jobs. The more successful a local business, the more people they will need to hire and the more people who are employed,

the healthier a community becomes. Also consider how local businesses can make your community more unique. Big box chain stores are everywhere and their products are all the same. But let’s say your community has a bakery for dogs. Now that’s unique and people will come from far away to check it out. The more people that shop your community, the stronger its economy becomes

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and this can benefit everyone. From a tax standpoint small businesses make better use of your tax dollars. These businesses require much less infrastructure investment than national chains. Small local businesses are also more efficient with the use of public services. Both of these factors allow your tax dollars to go father. Shopping local this holiday season is a great idea for many reasons. So before you start checking things off of your list, check out your TITLE LOAN libertytitleloans@bellsouth.net locals business. It’s a win for them, for you and 770-898-4511 770-761-6010 for your community. Henry, Butts, Rockdale, Newton, Clayton, Fayette

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‘Tis The Season!

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The True Meaning of Giving By Craig W. Armstrong

T

he holidays are made up of many things. They provide a time for family and friends to gather, a time to reflect on the good fortune of the year and of course time to eat some really good food. But for ELECTRONICS, CELL PHONES, some folks, especially kids, it’s a time for gifts, both VIDEO GAMES NEW AND OLD giving and receiving them. This time of year provides JORDAN’S, LAWN EQUIPMENT, the perfect opportunity to teach children about giving and what it really means. A time to teach them it’s not Title Pawns on your Car Title about the cost of a gift, but the meaning behind it. Here are a few ideas to help kids understand the true meaning of giving. Children’s lives are relatively simple. They consist 5345 FLOYD RD, SUITE 108C of family, school, toys, games and protesting bed MABLETON, GA 30126 time. Most kids don’t see the struggles that some In The FOOD DEPOT Shopping Center people face on a daily basis. The holidays are a good o T New •Used •Reconditioned p U time to show them that life e v a S % can be difficult, but more Scratch & Dent OFF importantly, how they can ! L I help. A T RE One way for your kids STOVES SIDE BY SIDE $ to help other children is to 200 & Up REFRIGERATOR share their good fortune. WASHER/DRYER 1 yr. warranty FRENCH DOOR $ This could mean cleaning SETS 300 & Up MICROWAVE REFRIGERATOR $ out their clothes and toys. 1 yr $ $ 250 75 & Up warranty 700 & Up Show your children the 6 mo warranty 1 yr warranty things they no longer want LIKE NEW! gas or $ 300 & Up electric (NEW $2400) or need may benefit others. 1 yr warranty Help them go through the % clothing that no longer fits OFF TOP MOUNT PURCHASE OF or the toys they no longer STACK FRONT LOAD W/D SET DISHWASHERS PURCHASE OF REFRIGERATOR $400 OR MORE $ $ withORadMORE $300 WASHER play with and donate them. & Up & Up 175 $ 600 with ad 1 yr warranty 225 & Up & DRYER Of course the clothes should 6 mo. warrany SETS 6 mo. be in good shape and the $ warranty 400 & Up toys should be intact. Some 6 mo. programs like Toys for Tots warranty ask for new and unwrapped toys, but there are plenty of organizations that would 785 South Marietta Pkwy gladly take toys that have Marietta, GA 30060 (Across from CCT Bus Terminal) WE DELIVER HOURS: been “pre-loved.” WE ACCEPT Monday-Friday 9-7 Have your kids be ALL MAJOR VISIT OUR NEW Saturday 9-6 creative and make cards and LOCATION!!! www.abbey-appliance.com CREDIT CARDS artwork. There are plenty of Sunday 12-6

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people in plenty of places who would love a special card or drawing. These works of art can be given to hospitals, nursing homes, veterans’ homes, shelters and many other places where they would bring a smile. Don’t forget about our brave men and women serving in our military. These folks are far from home defending our freedom and could use a warm greeting. Teach your kids that their time is also a gift. Volunteer with them to gather food for the needy, make care packages for our troops or visit hospitals and nursing homes. They can also help our four legged friends. Kids love animals and many animal shelters have volunteer opportunities. Helping others is clearly something we should do all year round, but the holidays are a great time to introduce kids to the concept. While the folks in need benefit from our help, your kids will as well. Volunteering and seeing the positive impact it has will do great things for their self esteem. They will learn that they can make a difference and that their actions are important. Giving should come from the heart and giving of yourself is its truest form.

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‘Tis The Season!

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770-971-8333

Atlanta Thrifty Nickel 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Ease Holiday Shopping Stress

SAFETY TIPS H

oliday shopping is stressful enough without becoming the victim of crime. With the hustle and bustle, there is always the potential for becoming a target. Here are some tips to keep your holiday shopping experiences safe. Shop with a buddy. There’s safety in numbers, so when possible, shop with others. If you must go alone, try to shop during daylight hours at busy, reputable places. If you must go alone at night, take extra precautions. Park as close to the store as possible, walk quickly to the entrance and don’t be afraid to ask for a staff member to escort you back to your car, especially if you are loaded down with bags. Leave valuables at home. Carry only the cash and credit cards you’ll need—the more money you have, the more likely someone is to notice and target you. Consider using credit cards only. That way, should your credit cards get stolen, you may report them lost and limit your liability. Whatever means you choose to pay for your purchases, stash it in a fanny pack as purses and wallets are much easier to snatch. Be alert. Walk like you have a purpose, with your fanny pack and bags close to your side. Look like you know where you are going and forget making phone calls and texts. They can pose too much of a distraction. Keep an eye out for strangers and scams and report any suspicious activity. Be car smart. Park in a well-lit lot and drop off your bags periodically to keep your load light. Store your packages out of sight, preferably in the trunk, and keep your car doors locked. Should you return to your car and suspect someone is watching you, move your car and report your suspicions. Before getting into your car, always check the back seat to ensure no one has broken in and is waiting for you. Holiday shopping can be a blast. But don’t let the excitement of the season and the thrill of the find supersede safety. Never let down your guard for a moment when shopping and always play it safe!

By Tresa Erickson

W

hether you start on Black Friday or wait until Christmas Eve, holiday shopping can be maddening. There is a lot to buy, a lot of places to go and a lot of items to choose from. Here are some tips to keep the stress down this year as you shop for holiday gifts. SET A BUDGET. How much can you afford to spend on holiday gifts? This will dictate the types of gifts you can buy. If you have a very small budget, you may have to make more gifts than you buy or steer your efforts toward smaller, less expensive gifts. Determine what you can comfortably afford to spend and stick to it! MAKE A LIST. Jot down the names you need to buy for and what you would like to get them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. You do not need to go all out for every person on your list. One gift per person or family outside of your immediate family should suffice. COMPARE DEALS. Shop around for the best deals, and don’t choose on price alone. Price and quality do not always go hand in hand. A $50 digital camera that breaks down the first day is not a deal. Research the quality of the bargains you uncover and use all of the tools at your disposal to ensure you get a good deal— circulars, websites, smart phone apps, etc. CHOOSE A GOOD TIME. When you are ready to hit the shops, do so early in the morning, if at all possible. Merchandise will be in order and salespeople will be more apt to help you. Lines will also be significantly shorter. SHOP ONLINE. If you are too busy during the day to do any real shopping, shop online at night. You won’t have to deal with pushy people or stand in long lines. You might also uncover some hard-to-find items. Whatever you purchase online, make sure you account for the shipping fees in your budget.

WRAP AS YOU GO. There is nothing more stressful than having a pile of gifts to wrap. Wrap your purchases as you go, or consider having them gift wrapped. Many retailers offer gift wrapping for a small fee. Take advantage of the service if your budget allows. You will save time and get beautifully wrapped gifts in return. Holiday shopping can be a real hassle. You are one of thousands of people trying to get their shopping done. Never lose sight of that fact and always be prepared. The more prepared you are for the daunting task before you, the better experience you are likely to have. Happy Holiday Shopping!

PREPARE FOR RETURNS. Know each store’s return policies and ask for gift receipts. That way, should you or the recipient need to return the gift, there will be fewer hassles.

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Atlanta Thrifty Nickel 2015 Holiday Gift Guide 770-971-8333

‘Tis The Season!

FAMILY FEATURES

A

mong the most treasured of holiday delights is, as the carol says, decking the halls. It’s the perfect excuse to pull out the bling and bring an aura of festivity and fun to your home, whether it’s for your personal enjoyment or setting the stage to celebrate the season with loved ones. All you need is a little imagination and some design inspiration to create an inviting holiday home, both indoors and out. Shopping at stores recognized for a wide assortment of quality furnishings, such as Pier 1 Imports, will give you a variety of decor that fits every style at an excellent value. Trim your tree beautifully and learn how to artfully incorporate wreaths and garland into your holiday home decor with Pier 1 Imports’ additional tips for a Christmas as merry and bright as you make it.

A TREE WORTH GATHERING ’ROUND

As the focal point of your holiday trimmings, your Christmas tree should reflect your personal style and make a statement about your holiday spirit. Start by choos­ ing the right theme or look for your tree, from traditional to glamorous to fan­tas­tical. Ultimately, you can carry this theme throughout every element of the tree, from the orna­ments to the gift wrap to other accents sprinkled throughout. To get started, select a pre-lit tree in the shape and style that best matches your vision: noble fir or pine, in slim or full silhouettes, the options go on. Be sure to spend some time fluffing branches for a more natural look, or choose one of Pier 1 Imports’ new memory trees with self-shaping branches that let you start decorating right away with the fastest setup ever. Begin decorating by placing large elements. Weave garland through the tree branches first. Then start tucking larger ornaments and decor into the branches, placing evenly throughout. Fill in open spaces in the branches with smaller

ornaments and floral picks. Keep adding until the branches are filled. Crown your tree with a decorative topper that fits your theme to add height and an extra personal touch. Adorn the base of the tree with a coordinating tree skirt or collar, and remember, you’re not quite finished until the presents are under the tree. Bundle your gifts with high-quality wrapping paper, gift bags, tags and bows that also fit your theme for a cohesive, finished look from top to bottom.

CREATIVE USES FOR TRADITIONAL TRIMMINGS

Don’t let your vision for a festive holiday home stop at the front door. Wreaths and garlands can actually bring a stylish touch to your holiday decor from the outside in. You can create a wintery landscape in your home by deck­ing your halls, tables and more with inspired Christmas wreath placements. One idea is to nestle a hurricane in a berry wreath for a burst of color and texture; the candle­light will lend an air of cozy comfort. Home is where the hearth is, and a well-

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adorned mantel is a must. Make a stunning wreath the star of your fire­place display, and incorporate a sup­porting cast of berry garland and even a woodland creature or two to help make your look complete. Actually, repurposing garland in different loca­ tions throughout your house is another inventive way to infuse Christmas spirit. From staircases to bookshelves to head­ boards, cleverly installed garland sends a message that you have a passion for the season. You can even use a shimmering Christmas tree garland as a table runner for a simple but elegant touch of joy. Add a natural touch with a garland crafted of pinecones, or go for glamour with golden accents. Find more ideas and garland to fit your personal style at pier1.com. Make your holiday merry and bright with a hint of starlight and sparkle. As you explore decorating ideas, remember to add a lighter touch with hanging ornaments, embroidered accents and candleholders. After all, Christmas is the perfect time to let your inner light shine.

Merry Christmas and

Happy New Year from the

Thrifty Nickel


770-971-8333

Atlanta Thrifty Nickel 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Holidays!

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‘Tis The Season!

Atlanta Thrifty Nickel 2015 Holiday Gift Guide 770-971-8333

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