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2013 An annual supplement to

Tri-County Shopper


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Christmas Gift Guide 2013

The Daily Dispatch

November 2013

outdoor gifts

enthusiasts can’t resist

rrevvv R

A GPS system might make the ideal gift for auto enthusiasts this holiday season.

A

auto lovers’ engines

uto lovers tend to consider their cars their most prized possessions. While it may not be possible to buy the auto lover on your holiday shopping list a new car, there are many gifts that are sure to please those people who can’t get enough time behind the wheel or in the garage. • Global positioning system: Often referred to as a GPS, a global positioning system is a satellite-based navigation system providing location information no matter where drivers find themselves on their next road trips. If a GPS is within range of a GPS satellite, drivers will never again find themselves pulling over on the sides of roadways in an effort to find out just where they are. Though many new vehicles come with GPS, vehicle manufacturers tend to offer them as accessories and not standard features. So if your favorite driver is driving an older vehicle or did not splurge on a GPS when purchasing his latest ride, this gift is sure to please. • Car wash kit: Auto lovers not only love to get behind the wheel, but they also love to get behind the wheel of a good-looking automobile. A car wash kit, complete with a wash and wax that repels water and protects a good polish, is an ideal gift for auto enthusiasts who like their vehicles to look as good as they drive. • Customized floor mats: Many auto enthusiasts consider their cars an extension of themselves, and a

customized accessor y, like a new set of floor mats, can add a personal touch to drivers’ rides. If your loved one has a special nickname for his or her vehicle, consider inscribing that nickname on a set of customized floor mats. Auto enthusiasts who have an equal passion for a certain sport may appreciate floor mats with the logo of their favorite team. • Hands-free headset: Car lovers spend lots of time in their cars. Though such time might once have afforded auto enthusiasts an escape from the daily grind, nowadays the prevalence of smartphones has made it easier than ever for the outside world to find its way into vehicles. As a result, auto enthusiasts may appreciate a hands-free headset that allows them to take calls while driving without compromising their concentration on the road. Some hands-free devices even allow drivers to stream music from their smartphones directly to their car stereos, allowing drivers to hit the open road while enjoying their favorite tunes. • Auto show tickets: Many auto-lovers keep an open eye for their next vehicle purchase. Auto shows are often the best places to learn about new vehicles and what motorists can expect in the future, so why not give your favorite car guy or gal tickets to an upcoming auto show? He or she may find his or her next vehicle or simply enjoy walking around and seeing all the latest automotive industr y upgrades and gadgets.

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he great outdoors is even greater when you’re prepared for all of the things Mother Nature can throw your way. Holiday shoppers with a person who enjoys the outdoors on their shopping list can turn this holiday season into a truly joyous occasion with the following gifts tailor-made for tackling the great outdoors. • Folding kayak: Kayaking is a great way to take in the great outdoors, but not everyone has the room al home to store kayaks when they aren’t being used to traverse nearby waterways. Those who live in apartments, condominiums or smaller homes with limited storage may appreciate a folding kayak, which can be stored in a closet or beneath a bed and put together in a matter of minutes. Folding kayaks that can be stored in vehicle trunks and quickly assembled once you arrive at your kayaking destination also can save kayakers money on roof racks for their vehicles. • Waterproof backpack: A good outdoor person knows never to leave home without a waterproof parka, but what about his or her backpack? A waterproof backpack protects valuables, including cell phones, cameras and tools, from the elements. Look for backpacks with waterproof zipper systems to ensure your loved

Grissom Fertilizer Hwy. 39 S 1/2 Mile Below Gillburg Open M-F 8-5, Sat. 8-noon

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one’s valuables are fully protected on rainy treks through the forest. • Water filter: Drinking straight from natural water sources may seem like a genuinely adventurous thing to do, but it’s genuinely dangerous as well. A hiker’s water filter greatly reduces his or her risk of suffering illness after drinking water tainted with bacteria such as E.coli. Even the most serene streams or isolated rivers can contain harmful bacteria, so a portable water filter is a necessity. • Compass: Many of us have grown to rely on our smartphone apps to get us from point A to point B. While such apps may do the job when we are near cell phone towers, phone Signals are often less reliable in more remote locations, such as forests and national parks. A reliable compass is all one may need to make his or her way through the wilderness. • Hot dog roasters: No trip to the great outdoors is complete without roasting some hot dogs over an open flame. But far too many hot dogs have been lost to the fire thanks to traditional campfire forks that don’t provide adequate hold as hot dogs cook over an open flame. Curly hot dog roasters wrap around the hot dogs, snuggly holding them in place as the franks cook.

DANIEL’S ARMY SURPLUS

400 Central Avenue, Butner, NC

(919) 575-9108

• HUNTING & FISHING LICENSES • LAW ENFORCEMENT • SECURITY SUPPLIES • GUN HOLSTERS • TARGETS • HI TEC & PROLINE BOOTS • PROPER TACTICAL PANT • AMMO • AMMO BOXES • ARCHERY • MUZZLE LOADERS SUPPLIES • DEER LURES & GAME CALLS • CAMOFLAGE CLOTHING (ALL SIZES) • WALL’S CLOTHING

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HUNTING SEASON: Sept-December M-F 9-5:30, Sat 9-3:00, NO SUNDAY January - August T-F 9-5:30 , Sat 9-3:00, NO SUN/MON


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Christmas Gift Guide 2013

he DDaily ailyDD ispatch The ispatch

Thursday , November 28, 2013 November 2013

3

Gift ideas for the

T

athlete

he quest for the perfect gift is a familiar journey for many holiday shoppers, As any veteran shopper knows, some people are easy to shop for, while others baffle even the savviest of shoppers. But recognizing loved ones’ passions and finding gifts that suit those interests can make shoppers’ quests for the perfect gifts that much easier. Every person is unique, and the things that drive one person may be foreign to another. But nearly every family or group of friends has an athlete in their midst, and gifting the family athlete can be both fun and easy. The following are a few gift ideas, broken down by sport, for shoppers looking to please their favorite athletes this holiday season.

The Weightlifter Weightlifting is now embraced by people of all shapes and sizes. This activity is often recommended as an integral part of a successful exercise regimen, so

shoppers can help their favorite fitness fanatics make the most of their weightlifting routines with a few gifts designed to do just that. Weightlifting belts can help prevent injury by supporting lifters’ backs as they workout. For lifters who don’t tip the scales, a dip belt makes an ideal gift. Such belts allow men and women to add weight to their body when performing exercises like dips, pull-ups and chin-ups. That extra weight helps athletes challenge themselves and build strength and muscle. Workout gloves also make great gifts for weightlifters, her ping to protect their hands from developing potentially painful and unsightly calluses that often result from weightlifting. A new gym bag is another potential gift for the family weightlifter. Such bags make it more convenient for athletes to carry their accessories, such as belts, gloves, athletic shoes, or even tablets to use while on the treadmill or elliptical machines.

The Ballplayer Whether shoppers’ favorite ballplayers are still taking cuts at fastballs or have moved on to slow-pitch softball, these players will appreciate gifts they can put to good use on the diamond. Softball bats can be quite expensive, but the right bat can make a big difference in the batters’ box. Additional equipment shoppers can consider is a new mitt, a sleek pair of sunglasses to make watching for flyballs that much easier or batting gloves to lessen the bit of chilly air many hitters are aware of come early spring when the last of the winter weather just won’t go away. The Martial Artist Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Thanks in large part to its increasingly strong presence on television, mixed martial arts has inspired athletes across the globe to embrace various forms of martial arts training, and gift

wrapping

Create an area for

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early as much energy goes into wrapping gifts as purchasing them. Some people excel at wrapping gifts, while others do not enjoy the task at all. Part of the trouble with gift-wrapping is the

room and tools needed to wrap all of those holiday treasures. But a gift-wrap station in a corner of the home that is seldom used can make wrapping presents any time of the year easier and more enjoyable.

Many athletes feel yoga is a great way to improve their flexibility and strength. Holiday shoppers looking for the right gift for the athletes on their lists may want to consider giving a new yoga mat or a few sessions at their loved ones’ nearby yoga studio. options abound for such athletes. Belts, mats and striking pads can help athletes hone their skills both in the gym and at home, white instructional DVDs can help novice martial arts enthusiasts practice before finding martial arts facilities in their neighborhoods. The Yogi Though its status as a sport is open to debate, yoga can be

just as strenuous and physically demanding as more traditional physical activities. Yoga serves many purposes, and more and more athletes have begun to embrace yoga to improve their flexibility, balance and strength. While yoga does not require much in the way of supplies, yoga enthusiasts do need yoga mats and clothing that allows them to perform the various poses a typical yoga

• Find a place to store gift wrap and the tools needed to wrap gifts. Many people find the back of a closet door works perfectly. • Install wire hanger racks so the gift wrap tubes can be stored vertically along the surface of the door. • Install a folding shelf on a hinge, and use that shelf to do your wrapping. Fold the shelf up when it is not needed

session demands. Holiday shoppers may even want to buy the athletes on their lists a few sessions at their nearby yoga studios in an effort to supplement their existing workouts. Many who try yoga often find it has a positive effect on their normal workout routines, so even if your favorite athlete has never tried yoga, he or she might find it’s just the thing to take his or her workout to the next level.

and secure it with a latch at the top. • Hang hooks to store tape and scissors. Attach the scissors to the hook with a string so they won’t go missing. • A basket tucked nearby can house bows and ribbons so that they are easily stored until needed. Having the wrapping station so accessible also allows you to take inventory of supplies and restock when necessary.

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The Daily Dispatch

Christmas Gift Guide 2013

Finding ways to save time on holiday shopping can make the season more enjoyable and less hectic.

Maximize holiday

November 2013

Musical instruments are great gifts for the music lover. But many instruments, such as guitars, are designed to be left or right-handed. Shoppers should be aware of which hand their loved ones favor.

Perfect gifts for

shopping time music fans T

he holiday season encompasses several weeks of frenetic activity, as men and women look to juggle abnormally busy social schedules with holiday shopping. While you might not be able to add hours to the day, there are certain measures anyone can take to make the hustle and bustle of the holiday season more efficient. Shopping swallows up a significant amount of time come the holiday season. According to the latest Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, the average person will spend 15 hours shopping for presents. Women tend to spend twice as long as men in stores and online, with women logging 20 hours of holiday shopping compared to the 10 hours the average male spends shopping for holiday gifts. Making the most of holiday shopping trips can free up moments and reduce overall stress during the holidays.

or smartphone so it can be easily modified year-to-year.

Create a shopping strategy

Millions of shoppers flock to stores on Black Friday to take advantage of doorbuster deals, and some even get all of their holiday shopping finished on this one afternoon. Others prefer to divide and conquer over a few weeks. Decide how you would like to economize your shopping so you won’t be traveling from store to store wasting precious time. Organize your shopping list into certain categories. Then match up those categories according to the stores that cater to these items. For example, if your list mentions bedding for a new college student’s dorm room, curtains for an aunt and a set of beach towels for a friend who will be doing some post-holiday travel, group these purchases together and head to a Condense your gift list bed-and-bath store. Such How much time a plan in place can greatly you spend on holiday cut down on your time shopping depends spent shopping. largely on the number of people on your gift list. Shortening that list can Shop off-hours save time and money. This Consumer Reports may be the year for adults says shoppers expect to to collectively decide wait in store check-out to forego exchanging lines for an average of 3.5 gifts in lieu of devoting to 4 hours this holiday more funds toward gifts season. Avoiding such for youngsters. Distant situations can save you a friends may no longer significant amount of time, need to feel obligated so shop during off-peak to buy presents for hours when you won’t be one another. Opting to elbow-to-elbow with fellow do a “Secret Santa” or shoppers. another grab-bag style gift Take advantage of exchange can reduce the stores’ extended hours number of gifts you need and shop later in the to buy, saving time along evening, when parents the way. and their children will Keep a spreadsheet likely be preparing for bed of your shopping list and not waiting in line at stored on your computer the mall. Some retailers

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entice shoppers with early bird specials and open their doors very early, so shoppers looking to save time can make an effort to be the first person at the door when the store opens. If you must shop during a lunch hour, shop online where crowds are never a concern.

Split up the shopping

Spouses, family members and even friends can pool their shopping time and help others by tackling some of their purchases. Dividing the work shortens the time spent in stores, and a third party may have a keen eye to a deal or a unique gift when he or she is emotionally removed from the purchase. The average person finds time is of the essence come the holiday season. Prioritizing and economizing shopping is one way to make the season less hectic.

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usic remains an art form that evokes strong emotions and holds a special place in many a listener’s heart. The nearly universal appeal of music makes it a great gift come the holiday season, when shoppers may not always know what to buy a loved one. The following are a few gift ideas that are sure to have your favorite music fan singing your praises this holiday season. • Concert tickets: Perhaps no gift makes music fans’ hearts race more than tickets to see their favorite musicians perform. Your loved one probably has a favorite artist or someone he or she has long desired to see live. Look into that performer’s tour dates to see if they are playing your area anytime soon. If they’re playing just before the holiday season, don’t hesitate to give this gift a little early. The same approach should be taken if an artist will be in town within a day or two of Christmas or Chanukah. Giving the tickets early enables your loved one the chance to clear his or her schedule. • Musical instrument: It’s never too early or too late to learn how to play a new instrument. Shoppers whose loved ones love a

good rock-and-roll riff might find guitars make a great holiday gift, while those who can’t stop playing air drums should enjoy finding a real drum set come the holidays. When buying guitars, shoppers should learn which hand their loved ones favor. • Music lessons: Lessons are the next logical step once a music fan has the instruments to work with. But even those without an instrument of their own can benefit from music lessons. For example, music lovers who want to learn piano can make use of lessons even if they don’t have their own pianos at home. Lessons can be a great way for music lovers to gauge their skill levels before buying an expensive instrument. In addition, lessons can turn music lovers on to new instruments or new types of music they may never have considered previously. • Sound system: Advancements in technology have proven to be music to music lovers’ ears. Music fans can now take advantage of crisp sound systems that make

music that much more enjoyable. Sound systems come in many shapes and sizes, and they can vary significantly in regard to price. When purchasing a sound system as a holiday gift, look for one that’s compatible with your loved one’s existing components, such as a television or music player. • Streaming service membership: Unlike the days when music fans had to wait for local deejays to play their favorite songs on the radio, today’s music fans can essentially create their own radio stations on their computers and even on their phones. Shoppers can buy their favorite music fans subscriptions to streaming services, such as Pandora or Spotify, and listeners can then tailor their own stations to include their favorite genres, artists or individual songs.

Gift Certificates Great Gifts, Stocking Stuffers, Layaway & Free Gift Wrapping Browning Items • • • • • • • • • •

Knife Gift Sets Wallets Money Clips Dog Tags Jewelry Camo Clothing & T-Shirts Flashlights Ladies & Gents Hats Pink Range Bags Decals

Some Of Our Instock Items • • • • • • • • • •

Buck Knives Mace Targets Children’s Bow Sets White’s Metal Detectors Game Calls Holsters Scopes Variety of Guns Ammo Free Calendars Free Cap with Gun Purchase

A Sporty Little Christmas List 1. New Era Fitted Caps 2. Timberland Boots 3. Puma Romas 4 Nike Basketball Apparel 5. Air Jordan Apparel 6. Nike Elite Socks 7. Nike KD Footwear and Apparel 8. New Era Kids Caps 9. Puma Apparel 10. New Balance Walking Shoes 11. New Era Snapback Caps 12. Nike LeBron Footwear & Apparel 13. Boots by The North Face 14. Air Jordan Shoes 15. Nike Shox All of this and more available at:

Gupton’s Sporting Goods

324 S. Garnett St. Down Henderson • 492-2311 Monday - Friday 9 - 6 • Saturday 9 - 5 Open Christmas Eve until 3pm

Henderson Square • 492-0870


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Christmas Gift Guide 2013

he DDaily ailyDD ispatch The ispatch

5

Thursday , November 28, 2013 November 2013

tablet?

Is your child ready for a

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ablets are poised to grow more popular in the years to come, and many children are anxious to get their ver y own tablet. But many parents wonder if their kids are ready for a tablet and if such devices would make good gifts for their youngsters this holiday season. According to a 2012 report from Pew Research. 22 percent of American adults now own some type of tablet, while In-Slat research estimates 65 percent of Americans, or more than 200 million people, will have a smartphone and/ or tablet by 2015. According to a Fall 2012 report by the Media Technology Monitor, an estimated 26 percent of the Canadian population has a tablet, more than twice the amount of tablet owners just a year earlier. As tablets become the device of choice, many different manufacturers have entered the tablet market, and children have begun to ask for tablets for holiday gifts, leaving parents wondering if their children are responsible enough to own a tablet that may cost several hundreds of dollars. Price-wary parents should realize that tablet prices vary greatly depending on the device. But a growing number of child-friendly tablets have entered the market, and such devices are designed to be more durable for children who have a tendency to drop and destroy things. Those on the fence about whether or not to purchase a tablet for a child can consider these options. • The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids

is a tablet that comes with a selection of educational functions, games and ebooks. The device allows parents to decide which apps can be accessed on the device and restrict use to certain periods of time. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids boasts a seven-inch screen and will run Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. The front and rear facing cameras are considerably lower in quality than Samsung’s previous products, down to 3-megapixels and 1.3- megapixels, respectively. • The VTech InnoTab tailors apps to children in a compact device. The screen is just five inches in size, and the tablet comes packed with interactive ebooks, learning games and other creative tools. It also has a modest price tag for a child’s first foray into the world of tablets. • The LeapFrog Leappad Ultra is a kid’s learning tablet designed for children between the ages of four and nine. It comes with a seven-inch screen, Wi-Fi with kid-safe Web access and the ability to connect to a library of more than 800 educator-approved apps, books and more. • The nabi is an Android tablet that is geared entirely toward kids. The nabi comes in several different incarnations (nabi Jr., nabi 2 and nabi XD) depending on the age of the child and the desired features. In July of 2013, Fushu Inc., creator of the nabi tablet, received the ~Best Tablet 2013: For Kjds~ award from Laptop magazine for its nabi 2 device. • The Amazon Kindle Fire is quickly

Buying a tablet for your child can be a big step. Luckily, there are many tablets on the market that are specifically designed for kids. becoming a go-to option for parents interested in acclimating their children to a tablet. Less than half of the price of its biggest competitor, the Kindle Fire still allows kids to access a bevy of features. Music, movies and Amazon’s evergrowing trove of ebooks are just some of the features that make the Kindle Fire a popular choice. • Though small, the iPad mini has all of the features of a larger iPad but in a more kid-friendly size. Many parents prefer the iPad mini for their children because they have Apple products and

appreciate being able to share with their kids apps and information among all of the devices. Determining if a child is ready for a tablet is a difficult decision for parents, who must assess how well the child handles responsibility, toys and electronics in the home. Adults may opt for a more durable, less expensive tablet as an introduction to tablets for children and then gravitate toward more “adult- options as their children prove they can be responsible with the device.

HENDERSON FRUIT & PRODUCE

Wholesale Food, Paper & Chemical Warehouse

FISH

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5 GAL. COOKING OIL 100 CT. JESSE JONES HOT DOGS 100 CT. SMITHFIELD ALL BEEF HOT DOGS 5# CHILI 5# MURPHY HOUSE SLAW 5# POTATOE SALAD 96 CT. FROZEN CORN ON THE COB 160 CT. SLICED AMERICAN CHEESE 12 CT. HOT DOG BUNS 12 CT. HAMBURGER BUNS

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HF&P, Inc. Sells Wholesale Items For Pickup Or Delivery. We Sell Something For Everyone, Business Or Individuals. Below Are Some Examples Of Over 2,500 Items We Sell. • • • •

Fresh, Frozen, and Canned Fruits & Vegetables Fresh & Frosen Meats of All Kinds Commercial & Household Cleaning Supplies Automotive Cleaners

BEEF

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PORK

4 SLAB PACK BABY BACK RIBS 10# PHILLY SMOKED SAUSAGES (HOT & MILD) BONELESS PORK LOINS $2.69 10# PORK SPARE RIBS 10# CENTER CUT PORK CHOPS 5# CHOPPED BBQ

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• All Paper Supplies (Fold & Roll Towels, All Sizes Toilet Paper, Plastic & Styro Cups & Plates, All Types Stew & Barbeque Containers, Chicken Boxes, To Go Containers, Etc. • Every Item Needed For Fundraisers, Including Food & Paper Items • Discounts Given For Businesses

PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

1215 Old Norlina Road Henderson, NC 27536 • 252-492-1185 We Accept Cash, Local Checks, Major Credit Cards and Food Stamps Mon & Tues 8AM-5PM • Wed 8AM-3PM • Thurs & Fri 8AM-5PM • Sat 9AM-1PM


Henderson

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Lighting of the large Christmas tree in front of 1st Methodist Church

Holiday Parade Sunday, December 1st at 2:30pm RECLINER BLOWOUT!

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SARA COFFEY OWNER, AGENT, INVESTIGATOR

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Davis-Royster Funeral Service

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Henderson Florist & Gift Shoppe 141 W. Andrews Ave. Henderson, NC

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215 N. Garnett Street, Henderson, NC 27536 Phone: 252-492-6553

Happyys! Holidafrom

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7

Christmas Gift Guide 2013

he DDaily ailyDD ispatch The ispatch

ca$h Tacky or tasteful? W

hen faced with a gift list a mile long and no idea what to get certain individuals on that list, many holiday shoppers opt to give cash as a present. Cash gifts are easy, one-size-fits all and no one will request a receipt to return a cash gift. Still, some people are not quite sure if it is socially acceptable to give a gift of cash. There are many pros and cons to giving cash as a gift. Once a person weighs the advantages and the disadvantages to giving cold hard cash as a gift, then he or she can decide if cash is an ideal present or one that’s best avoided. Advantages One of the advantages to giving cash is it eliminates waste. Unlike gifts that will never be used and simply lake up space, cash will be used sooner or later. How often have you received a sweater you won’t wear or a trinket you won’t use? Sometimes people return these gifts, but ver y often they get relegated to a pile of belongings that will end up in the garbage or stashed in the back of a closet. Cash eliminates

7

Thursday , November 28, 2013 November 2013

this waste by giving a person the opportunity to buy exactly what he or she wants. Cash gifts may be ideal for older people to give because they have limited mobility and cannot get out to the store to shop for presents. And grandparents unaware of the latest trends can give cash in a card and instruct grandchildren to purchase something they like. Some people overextend themselves during the holiday season, and a cash gift can soften the blow of holiday spending. Cash is ver y portable, which can make it easier for those who travel for the holidays to avoid shipping costs or extra baggage fees to take gifts on airlines. People are inundated with a lot of stuff already, and a cash gift might be just what the doctor ordered. Disadvantages Cash gifts may be considered impersonal and lacking in creativity. It does not take much effort to stash a dollar amount inside of an envelope and present it, so gift recipients may question their relationships with gift givers who give cash. For many people, the excitement of the holidays has a lot to do with seeing a giant pile of gifts waiting to be unwrapped. Gifting cash removes that excitement of presents under the tree. Although items can be purchased later on, the immediate gratification of tearing through boxes and bags simply is not there. Some people find it awkward to receive cash because the value

of the gift is right there in black and white. It puts both people on the spot and may create some uncomfortable moments if the value of a cash gift does not match up to what the cash recipient spent on the cash giver. When gifting standard gifts, many people are unaware of what the other spent and if the item was purchased on a discount. If you gift with cash, there is no hiding the value. Another disadvantage is if a person gives cash and receives cash in return. Do the two gifts cancel each other out? What if the amounts are different? Dealing in cash alone can be awkward. There are ways to make giving cash a little more acceptable. If you get creative when handing over the money, this may take away from the fact that cash does not make a ver y dramatic gift. • Tr y pairing the cash with a wallet or purse to make the presentation a little more interesting. • Send the recipient on a scavenger hunt for the money, writing clues and hiding them around the house. • Create a money tree or wreath that displays the cash in an interesting way. • Fold bills into bows or tape together to make wrapping paper for a small token gift. • For children, roll up bills and put it into a crayon box or pencil case. o Fill up a large box with a lot of filler and hide the cash inside of a smaller box tucked inside.

Great gift ideas for

teachers

F

ew opportunities to thank teachers for all of the hard work they do present themselves during the course of a typical school year. But a thoughtful holiday gift is one way that students and parents can show their appreciation for a teacher’s efforts. It’s customary for students to offer teachers small tokens of their affection, whether it’s during the holiday season, at the end of the school year or both. Choosing a gift for a teacher can be challenging, as the relationship between student and teacher and/or parent and teacher is not personal, and it’s very possible students and parents have little knowledge of a teacher’s interests outside the classroom. But the following gift ideas are essentially universal in their appeal, making them great gifts for the special educator in your life. • Handwritten notes from students: Rather than trinkets that proclaim “World’s Best Teacher,” students can write their own sentiments about their teachers and present it with a gift card or another gift that doesn’t take up much space. A heartfelt note of appreciation and gratitude can be all it takes to put a smile on a teacher’s face this holiday season.

Toys

from years past

M

any parents have spent time during the holiday season on endless quests for the perfect gift for their children. Many gifts have earned “must-have” status over the years, and although many of these gifts are forgotten by the time the next holiday season comes around, certain products have remained timeless. Some of these more memorable

• Food: Food can be enjoyed in and around the season. Avoid making items yourself, as some people are particular about eating foods that were cooked in someone else’s kitchen. Stick to pre-packaged food baskets, or even treat the teacher to a meal with a gift card to a restaurant. • Something scholarly: A gift that provides a teacher with some intellectual stimulation might just do the trick this holiday season. For example, a set of safety goggles or a kit for doing in-class experiments might work well for a science teacher, while a biography or a best-selling novel may fit the bill for English teachers. • Gift cards: Very often all of the students in a class donate a small amount toward a gift card. Consider a card that is redeemable at a nearby store or a generic cash card the teacher can use anywhere credit and debit cards are accepted. • Classroom supplies: Budget constraints have forced many teachers to supplement classroom materials out of their own pockets. So a gift of school supplies or a gift certificate to an office-supply store or teacher-supply center may be greatly appreciated.

products have even been resurrected into newer, modern-day versions of their previous selves. Here’s a look at some of the toys that have made their mark over the last several decades. • Rubik’s Cube: The Rubik’s Cube reached the height of its popularity during the 1980s, when the colorful game puzzle was mass-marketed to the public. • Cabbage Patch Kids:

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Giving the gift of classroom supplies helps teachers avoid paying for materials out-ofpocket. • Catered lunch: Consult with the school principal to set aside a day when teachers can enjoy a catered lunch provided by the students. Each class parent can collect funds, which can then be pooled to host a lunch for the teachers. When gifting teachers, there are some gifts to avoid. • Trinkets and mugs: Through the years a seasoned teacher has likely collected a fair share of trinkets and coffee mugs. Chances are he or she does

Adults stormed stores in the mid 1980s for Cabbage Patch Kids, which became one of the most popular toys of the decade. Designed by art student Xavier Roberts, Cabbage Patch Kids began as dolls called “Little People.” • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started as a comic designed to parody established popular comics of the early 1980s. • Beanie Babies: Ty Inc. introduced a series of plush toys

filled with tiny plastic pellets instead of traditional polyester stuffing in 1993. These pellets made the dolls flexible and cuddly, which played a role in their popularity. Throughout the 1990s, children collected as many of the Beanie Babies as they could, though some of the dolls were more coveted than others. • Tickle Me Elmo: The hottest toy of the 1996 giving season was Tickle Me Elmo, a plush doll based on the beloved Sesame Street monster. When prompted, Elmo would laugh, giggle and gyrate to the delight of kids and adults alike. • Nintendo DS: The Nintendo DS, first offered in 2004, was the first Nintendo

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not need another one. • Perfume and lotion: avoid scented lotions, perfumes and other cosmetic products, as such items are more personal. • Overly expensive gifts: Do not give a gift that is beyond the standard range of others in the classroom, which usually falls between $10 and $20. It could appear as if you’re buying affections for the student, and it could make the teacher uncomfortable.

95

console released in North America before it was released in Japan. • Zhu Zhu Pets: Interactive, robotic hamsters, Zhu Zhu Pets first appeared on the scene in 2009. Their name was derived from Mandarin Chinese and translates to “little pig.” • Nintendo Wii: In addition to the Sony Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii became the latest in a history of must-have video game consoles in the early 21st century. Games on the Wii were interactive through the use of motion-sensing hand controllers and other gaming interfaces. It remains to be seen which toy will become this season’s “must-have” item.

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8

Christmas Gift Guide 2013

The Daily Dispatch

November 2013

Identity wrapping H theft prevention Festive and frugal

oliday shoppers spend billions of dollars each year on gifts for friends, family and coworkers. But holiday shoppers also spend substantial amounts of money dressing up those gifts with bows and wrapping paper. Shoppers may not want to spend much more on wrapping paper, bags and other ways to dress-up their gifts, and by employing a few tricks of the gift wrapping trade, they may not have to. The following are some frugal, yet flashy, ways to wrap presents this holiday season. • Children’s artwork: Over the course of a school year parents can accumulate dozens of original pieces of art from their children ‘s time in the classroom. Instead of relegating those pictures to a memory box or temporary glory on the refrigerator, turn them into unique gift wrap. Pair these pieces of art with colored ribbon, and everyone who gets a unique masterpiece will feel special. • Newspaper: Recycle newsprint and comics into wrapping paper. Encourage everyone to wrap in newspaper for a cohesive look come Christmas morning. • Cloth: Leftover cloth from Halloween or cloth purchased to create homemade curtains can be turned into giftwrap for awkward-shaped gifts. Use decorative ribbon to seal the bundle shut. • Brown paper: Brown paper tied with twine or ribbon is inexpensive and can easily be recycled after use. Use a marker to put the names of gift recipients on each package to save on gift tags as well. • Glass jars: Use mason jars when wrapping smaller gifts, including gift cards, to give them an arts-and-crafts feel. • Fabric gift bags: If you’re handy with a needle and thread, sew sacks out of leftover fabric to make gift bags of various sizes. • Cookie tins: Find unique cookie tins from yard sales or leftover tins from holidays past and use them as gift boxes. • Recipes: If you will be giving a cookbook or food-themed gifts, print recipes that can be used as gift wrap and then later used to make certain dishes. • Baby linens: From blankets to wash cloths, use baby linens to wrap infant-themed gifts for new parents. • Baskets: Wicker baskets are available in various shapes and sizes. They can be used to make a gift collection and then reused over and over again. There are many creative and inexpensive ways to wrap gifts this year instead of relying on preprinted and often expensive wrapping paper.

etiquette

Gift giving

H

oliday gift-giving etiquette can be confusing, especially when it comes to gifting those men and women who aren’t necessarily friends or family members, but still help us out in a variety of ways. Deciding how to thank the people who intersect our lives by delivering mail or cleaning the pool can take a little ingenuity. Gifting preferences often vary from region to region. What might be acceptable in a certain area of the country may be frowned upon elsewhere. For example, in urban areas cash gifts are usually appreciated, whereas rural, close-knit communities tend to give homemade gifts. The rule to remember, above all, is that if a gift is given with

good intentions, it should be happily received. That being said, here are some general guidelines for gifting those men and women who help us throughout the year. • Determine your list. Think about the people with whom you interact regularly. The sanitation workers who pick up the trash twice a week and your mail carrier may take priority over the hairstylist you visit once every month or two. • Establish a budget. The holiday season can be costly, so set a firm limit on what you plan to give, perhaps between $10 and $20 each, and stick to that budget for each recipient. • Recognize that not everyone is allowed to accept gifts. Some service providers are

not allowed to accept cash gifts or presents. Government employees, for example, may be prohibited from accepting cash gifts or gifts that exceed a predetermined amount. With this in mind, gloves or a gift basket may be your best option. • Gift a little more to personal care professionals. Your hairstylists, masseuse or

anyone who performs more personal tasks for you may warrant a larger gift. Etiquette suggests giving a gift equal to the price of one session of service, even if that gift is cash. Therefore if your hair cut costs $35, gift $35. • Health and child care employees warrant special treatment. A private nurse, nanny or nursing home worker should be gifted for the holidays. Avoid cash gifts with health service providers, opting for a more personal gift that is a token of your affection and appreciation. If gifts are not allowed, consider making a charitable donation in the person’s name.

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s the holiday shopping season approaches, consumers are once again preparing to do a significant amount of their holiday shopping online, while many others will rely on debit and credit cards to make their in-store purchases. Though banks and online retailers have made holiday shopping easier in many ways, that convenience has also made shoppers more vulnerable to identity theft. The hectic nature of the holidays season can make it harder for holiday shoppers to recognize if their personal information has been compromised. As a result, many men and women do not realize that they have been victimized by identity thieves until after the season has come and gone. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, identity theft affects 10 million Americans each year, costing individuals and businesses $52 billion. But Americans aren’t the only ones at risk of identity theft, which can victimize holiday shoppers whether they’re shopping at the nearby mall or from the comfor ts of home. When shopping this holiday season, shoppers should consider the following safety measures to reduce their risk of identity theft. • Confirm the legitimacy of online retailers. Many online scammers masquerade as legitimate businesses. Some may even steal logos or information from real businesses to make their scam appear more legitimate. When shopping online, stick to well-known retailers or verify with the Better Business Bureau or another watchdog organization that a Web site is operated by a reputable business. • Check for a secured browser. Reputable online retailers encrypt their customers’ personal information. Look for a “locked” icon on the browser before entering payment information, or check to see if the URL has an “https” prefix, which means the site is secured. • Beware of credit card skimmers. Skimmers are devices that

T hi

read the information on the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card. Some are planted on ATM machines or self-service kiosks at stores. They can be hard to detect. Certain skimmers can even skim the information off a card while it is still in a wallet or purse. Some devices can block the capture of signals from the cards. But even consumers who have such devices should still check their bank and credit card statements to determine if their cards have been skimmed. • Promptly check credit and debit balances for accuracy. Routinely check purchases against the records of credit card companies and banks. Log into online accounts to verify any purchases and report any inaccuracies immediately. Recognizing fraudulent activity early on can help consumers recover their money quickly and prevent any further problems. • Opt for credit over debit. Credit cards come with zero liability policies, which means consumers will not be held responsible for fraudulent purchases. Debit cards do not always offer the same level of protection, and debit cards linked directly to a bank account could put consumers at greater risk. • Keep receipts. Being cautious with receipts doesn’t just facilitate potential returns. Receipts often include a lot of personal information, including the shopper’s name, signature and credit card number. These receipts could be the doorway to identity theft. • Password protect everything. A lost smartphone or tablet could provide a thief with a lot of personal information if it is not locked down with a password. Also, always use a secured wireless signal when shopping online or accessing personal account information. • Don’t carry extraneous information in a wallet. A lost wallet is less problematic when it isn’t filled with scores of credit cards and a social security card. Consumers should limit the amount of personal information stored in their wallets.

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9

Christmas Gift Guide 2013

he DDaily ailyDD ispatch The ispatch

9

Thursday , November 28, 2013 November 2013

ave $

Holiday coupons can be found in the mail, newspaper advertisements and even online.

by clipping holiday coupons

C

oupons have long been helping consumers save a few dollars on everything from supermarket staples to toys and more. Scouring for coupons and using them effectively has evolved into an art form, with some savvy coupon users paying next to nothing for carts full of merchandise. The average shopper may have little experience at finding coupons, but he or she can still save some money. As the holiday season approaches, it’s likely that coupon usage will once again be widespread. Here are some ways to put coupons to good use. • Shop at stores that allow coupon stacking. Many store policies only allow shoppers one coupon per purchase. But a select few allow shoppers to stack coupons to save more money. In such situations, shoppers may be able to combine dollar-value-off coupons with percentage-off coupons. In addition, some stores may not limit the number of coupons shoppers

Clever ways to give

cards G

ift cards are a staple of the holiday season. Often a go-to gift when other options just do not seem to suffice, gift cards remove the worr y about whether or not the item will fit or if it’s the right color or model. Gift cards can make ideal gifts because they are chosen with the recipients’ likes and tastes in mind while allowing recipients to shop without spending their own money. Today’s gift cards are better than those of yester year, which typically came with expiration dates and onerous fees. E-gift cards, which can be purchased and redeemed online, are among the most convenient of all gift cards. Although gift cards have many positive attributes, it’s difficult to overlook that gift cards are viewed as a safe gift lacking in originality. But the National Retail Federation notes that in 2011, 57.7 percent of sur vey respondents said they would prefer to get a gift card that year. This ranks gift cards higher than electronics, clothing and accessories as desired gifts. Recipients of holiday cheer seemingly would like to pick out their own presents, which can ease the burden on gift-givers searching high and low for the perfect gifts. Still, giving a gift card can remove some of the excitement of unwrapping a myster y gift. By employing a few creative tips, gift cards can be fun and unique. Scavenger hunt Have the gift recipient work a little in a clever way for the gift. Plant clues around the house that will gradually lead to the hiding spot where the gift card is stashed. Clues can include witty poetic verses or tie into recipients’ personal interests.

can use on a single transaction. Shopping at these stores with more flexible , consumer-friendly coupon policies can add up to significant savings over the course of the holiday shopping season. • Check the restrictions before heading to the store. When planning to use coupons, shoppers should verify the fine print on the coupon before entering the store. Some coupons restrict which items can be purchased in conjunction with the coupon. For example, some stores may prohibit shoppers from using coupons when purchasing brand name or designer products, while others may limit when the coupon can be used. Blackout dates could apply, so shoppers should visit stores when no such restrictions apply. • Do your research before leaving the house. Just because you don’t have a paper coupon from a mailer or newspaper doesn’t mean such coupons are nonexistent. Search popular coupon Web sites for

Nesting boxes Another way to present a gift card is to hide it inside of a box that looks like any other gift. However, once the person unwraps the gift, he or she will discover another wrapped box inside. This prank can be repeated over and over as many times as desired until the gift card is unearthed. Gift basket A gift card can be ensconced with other trinkets and tied into a theme. For example, a gift card for a spa massage may be complemented by lotions, massage oil and a terr y-cloth robe. These items can all be packaged together in a decorative basket to make the entire gift eye-catching and appealing.   Themed wrapping Place the gift card inside of an item that epitomizes the gift. A card for a bookstore can be nestled inside of the pages of a classic book. A gift card to a hair salon can be attached to the end of a hairbrush. For those gifting to a favorite coffee shop, place the gift card inside of an empty coffee mug.   Shopping savvy Offering a gift card as a present is entitling the recipient to a day of shopping. Wrap the card with a reusable shopping tote so that he or she can carr y purchases inside. You can monogram the bag with initials or even decorate it. Other wise, purchase a new wallet and place the gift card inside. Wrap the wallet and encourage the recipient to go on a spree.   Special delivery For a creative spin, work with a retailer that offers home deliver y ser vice. Ask to have the gift card attached inside of a pizza box or nestled in a bouquet of flowers. When the recipient receives the deliver y, he or she will be surprised by the added gift.

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online coupon codes or printable in-store coupons. Merchandise can even be shipped to the store, which is usually free, to save you even more on shipping costs for items purchased online. • Purchase more to save. It may seem counterintuitive, but very often larger purchases qualify shoppers for steep discounts. Consider doing all of your shopping at one retailer and then taking advantage of coupons that deduct a certain percentage of your total purchase. It could be worth it if you spend just a little bit more. • Keep track of your coupons. Coupons are no use to you if you lose them before you begin your holiday shopping. Keep them in a safe location and then remember to bring them with you when shopping for the holidays. Some coupons can be used repeatedly, so do not discard them after use. When used effectively, coupons can save holiday shoppers a substantial amount of money.

Gift cards make convenient gifts, but they may not carr y with them the panache of other holiday gifts. Dressing up gift cards in creative ways can make them even more appreciated.

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From Your Favorite Local Businesses

Christmas Gift Guide: Nov. 26, 2013: The Daily Dispatch  

The traditional Christmas Gift Guide explores gift-giving ideas for the upcoming holidays.

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