Find the Right Fit For Everyone On Your List The Daily Herald
(MS) -- With the holidays upon us,shoppers across the country are once again agonizing over what to get their family and friends. While holiday shopping once consisted of a necktie for Dad,a comfy robe for Mom and some toys for the kids,today's holiday shopping list is much more complicated than that.
Women simply use one high-quality core bag,then mix,match and play by adding, removing or combining attractive accessories to create an unlimited number of different looks.
Each and every family or circle of friends has its own unique identity,and each member within those groups is his or her own individual.For those with a holiday shopping list on which no two people are the same, consider the following gift ideas to ensure everyone on your list enjoys a happy holiday season.
Few hobbies taste as good as developing an affinity and knowledge of the wines of the world.With their masses growing,wine connoisseurs have now infiltrated families across the country.This holiday season, shoppers can give the wine lover on their list the latest innovative solution to wine storage.Vynebar (www.vynebar.com) is ideal for anyone who loves great wine and appreciates sleek,modern design.
The Techie What do you get your gadget-obsessed friend or relative this year? Oftentimes,when it comes to gifting a techsavvy relative,it helps to go with something new.This holiday season,SANYO's Full HD Pocket-size Dual Camera, VPC-PD2, complete with embedded software for easy use and sharing on social networks,figures to be the talk of the town among techies.The only camera of its kind to offer full HD video,10 MP photos and 3x optical zoom,the new Pocket Dual Camera (www.us.sanyo.com/Dual-Cameras) makes it a snap to shoot,connect,view,and share both videos and photos on popular social networking sites,including YouTube, Facebook and Picassa.The camera's dual microphones record stereo sound with the same technology found in SANYO's professional sound recorders. The Busy Woman On-the-Go Today's woman is busier and more on-thego than ever before.LJE Designs' Lauren Joy Handbags (www.laurenjoyhandbags.com) help fashion forward women save time with an interchangeable handbag system that enables them to transform one bag into many looks to match any outfit. "Every woman has left the house with a bag that didn't match her outfit because she didn't have the extra 10 minutes -- or has swapped bags only to realize she left her wallet or something else she needed in the other purse," says Didem Ellermeyer, founder and creative director of LJE Designs,LLC. "With Lauren Joy Handbags, you never have to sacrifice time for fashion,or fashion for time. It's the best of both worlds." With Lauren Joy Handbags,women can transform a bag's entire look in a matter of seconds,without ever having to transfer purse contents from one bag to another.
The Wine Lover
Crafted from a solid sheet of anodized aluminum, the Vynebar vertical wine storage system can be engraved with images,monograms or company logos and provides a great opportunity for wine enthusiasts to turn their wine collection into a stunning work of art,all without taking up much space. "I wanted to show off my favorite wines in a fairly limited space," says creator Jason Bevis. "It also turned out to be a great conversation piece." The Environmentalist Speaking of popular trends,arguably nothing is growing as fast as the go green movement.This year,shoppers can put a smile on their favorite environmentalist's face with Xoopii's eco-fashionable,reusable totes and bags, available in two unique styles and roomy and durable enough to carry groceries and stylish enough to take along to the beach. Xoopii's Yorkii bags are extra-large reusable tote bags that fold up so small they fit inside pockets,purses,glove compartments,and,of course, Christmas stockings.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Customers and Clients Of course,no holiday shopping list is complete without customers and clients.The holiday season is a time for businesses to show just how much they appreciate their customers and clients, and how much they look forward to working with them in the year ahead. Branded gifts from The Brandmarket (www.thebrandmarket.com) are bought in bulk and allow businesses to carry goodwill with their clients,customers and colleagues into the New Year.Messages expressing holiday goodwill and appreciation can be laser-engraved on a host of products ranging from versatile kitchenware to relaxing spa products tailor-made to relieve the stress of the holiday season -- and everything in between.What's more,no gift idea is too intricate or creative,including a toaster that can emblazon a corporate logo on toast, waffles and pancakes, epitomizing The Brandmarket's "You Name it,We Brand It" mantra. When it comes to holiday shopping, finding the right fit is never as easy as it should be.But when steered in the right direction, holiday shoppers can ensure the important people in their lives remember this holiday season for years to come.
Xoopii's (www.xoopii.com) freestanding RPET bags are made from used plastic bottles and sure to please the environmentalist who no longer has to sacrifice style and function for the sake of the environment. Both styles come adorned with limited-edition art crafted by today's hottest street, pop,anime,and urban artists. Once a design is sold out,it's gone -soon to be replaced by another musthave design trendsters will love to tote
Make the Most of Shopping Online While many people still find holiday shopping no walk in the park,those same people would likely admit that shopping for loved ones around the holidays has become much easier over the last decade.Much of that newfound convenience is a result of the ever-evolving Internet. Once used primarily for email and information gathering,the Internet has grown in leaps and bounds during the 21st century.It's now just as easy,if not much easier,to shop for loved ones online,where shoppers can visit their favorite stores and make purchases without the hassle of haggling for parking spaces or dealing with heavy holiday traffic. But just because online shopping is convenient doesn't mean there aren't a few tricks of the trade shoppers should know to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely. * Only use secure Web sites.The easiest way to determine if a Web site is secure is to look at the URL. Instead of the "http://" of standard Web sites,a secure site will read "https://".That "s" signifies that the site is secure.However,many times the "s" won't appear until it's time to check out. This shouldn't concern shoppers,as sites won't ask for personal information until checkout anyway. Another,and even easier, way to determine if a Web site is secure is to look for the closed padlock icon at
THE DAILY HERALD
When You’re Pressed For
Online shopping might be more convenient during the holidays, but shoppers should always be sure they're shopping in the safest and most secure way. the bottom of the screen. Such a padlock is there when checking e-mail on a secure e-mail server like Gmail or Yahoo! mail,and it should also appear on the Web sites of online retailers. If there is no "s" or no padlock (some Web sites use a broken key instead), the site should be avoided. * Learn how to determine which retailers are trustworthy.Many shoppers are skeptical of spending lots of money with retailers they haven't previously done business with,even when they have met the retailer or visited the store in
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
2 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
person.Not surprisingly, trust remains an issue and might even be a bigger issue when shopping online,where retailers are faceless and can be more difficult to contact. When looking for a trustworthy online retailer, look for certain indicators that can put any concerns at ease.Reliable online retailers will advertise their physical business address and a telephone number where they can be contacted (preferably a 24hour number). Another indicator is the company's return policy. Online shopping isn't as cut and dry as shopping instore,where clothing can be tried on and products examined prior to purchase. A trustworthy online retailer will recognize this disparity and offer a lenient return policy wherein shoppers can return items that are not what they appeared to be on a shopper's computer. A trustworthy online
retailer will also have an easily accessible privacy and security policy.This should indicate if the retailer intends to share its users' information (and which information is shared) with a third party and if the retailer mandates that any third party cannot market to users.This is a great way to reduce the receipt of unsolicited emails,also known as "spam." * Shop with credit cards and only credit cards.While it's easy to go overboard with credit cards when shopping for the holidays, online shopping should always be done with credit cards instead of debit cards or personal checks.Users are always protected from fraud when using a credit card thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act.Charges can always be disputed and payments withheld while the investigation is ongoing.
The Christmas countdown has begun, and the days will no doubt fly off the calendar like they do every year. Before you know, it's only a few days until the holiday is here. Those who haven't yet started shopping may feel pressed for time and worry that they will not be able to find gifts for everyone on their lists -- at least gifts that don't look like they were afterthoughts. But good gifts can be found in the eleventh hour. Adults n Visit the local liquor store for a bottle of wine in the price range desired. Wrap it in a wine bag or leave it as is with a nice bow. n Pick up passes to a local attraction, such as an amusement park or a museum. Put together tickets for a play paired with a soundtrack of the production. n Food is often appreciated. A box of fine chocolates or one of those edible fruit arrangements will be a tasteful, and tasty, gift. n Fill a large bowl with a sprinkles, scooper, cherries, and other toppings for making ice cream sundaes. n Pick a gift that embraces the holiday spirit. Holiday music, ornaments or table decorations can be used this year or next.
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Children n Pop into a toy store or a department store and pick up a cuddly stuffed animal. n Buy an art set for older children, full of paints and markers. If a complete set can't be found, make an art package with a bunch of supplies packed into a gift bag. n Choose an educational gift that is still fun, like alphabet flash cards or puzzles. A subscription to a children's magazine would also work, seeing as children love getting mail. n Few kids will turn down a DVD of their favorite television characters. The DVDs should feature an ageappropriateness rating to make choosing one even easier. Teenagers n Teenagers can be finicky, so a monetary gift will be one-size-fits-all. n Teenage girls may appreciate a gift basket of delicious scented lotions. n Passes for movies can make date night less expensive. n Consider a gift card or e-gift coupon for digital music downloads. n Give a subscription to a teen magazine so that everyone can keep abreast of their favorite celebrities
Avoid Crowds by Shopping Smart Christmas shopping.Some love it and some hate it. Regardless,it's expected that crowds will be part of the equation at some point during the holiday season.Avoiding the biggest crowds is often the goal of many holiday shoppers. Today most shoppers are looking to save time or money ...or both.They often wonder what are the best times to shop to realize the best deals and avoid the crowds.While Black Friday may offer low-low prices,crowds are definitely in abundance,with thousands of people anxious to score savings.However,if smaller crowds are desired,many retailers offer similar prices to Black Friday the week following Thanksgiving. Shoppers who want to avoid crowds as a main priority will want to shop weekday mornings.If it is possible to take off a day in December to set aside for shopping,one should consider it.Just avoid the hours of 11 to 2.People who are at work may spend their lunch hours catching up on shopping.While weekday shopping may not offer the sales that take place on the weekends,the stores will certainly be less crowded. Shoppers who know they will be giving gifts after the Christmas holiday,be it to distant relatives or faraway friends,can take advantage of shopping after December 25. This can be a great opportunity to save a lot of money on purchases,as many items are deeply discounted after Christmas.Keep in mind, though,that crowds still may be large because of people making returns or cashing in on gift cards.
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
The Gift of Volunteerism for the Holidays THE DAILY HERALD
Donating is a popular way to show appreciation during the holiday season,but not every household has the funds to donate this year.In lieu of making a financial donation,a gift of time and service is just as valuable. Research indicates that 50 percent of charitable donations are made between Thanksgiving and Christmas.During the season of hospitality and togetherness,making charitable donations is ever-present in many people's minds.However, financial insecurity due to the sluggish job market and economy will likely result in more people hoping to volunteer their time instead of their finances this holiday season. Volunteering one's time is a way to give back
without expending funds. Just as charities and other organizations are in need of money to operate their causes,they also need manpower to put plans in action. Busy people may think they don't have the time to volunteer,but this is not the case.According to Charity Guide,a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting flexible volunteerism by inspiring and facilitating acts of kindness,volunteer work can take as little as 15 minutes per week and be based on a flexible schedule. When considering volunteerism,individuals can pick a cause that is dear to their hearts. Organizations that raise awareness about medical conditions to animal rights groups are all charities that can use
assistance.Here are some ways the average person can volunteer service * Business owners who provide a particular product or service can donate such items to the charity.For example,a printing company can offer to print letterhead or envelopes for an organization.A baker can offer food for luncheons or fundraisers.Donation of time doesn't necessarily have to mean manning the phones. * Schools are often understaffed and can use the help of parents and other community members.Volunteering beyond the typical call of duty can help school programs flourish. Volunteering time as a coach or as a librarian can ensure children have the resources and programs for a well-rounded
petroleum.What's more,after the season Christmas trees can be turned into mulch. * Send recycled cards or ecards.The amount of cards sold in the United States during the holiday season would fill a football field 10 stories high and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees.Don't send so many cards and choose materials around the house that can be turned into Christmas cards for those that you do send.Also,recycle last year's cards into tags for gifts. * Recycle leftover materials. Chances are large gifts will have enough wrapping paper remaining to wrap other gifts next year.Avoid metallic paper, which is more difficult to recycle.Be sure to break down all cardboard and paper so that it can be put out for recycling.
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Reducing the use of gift wrapping or recycling previously used paper are green ways to celebrate the holiday. knit or crochet can handcraft scarves or hats.Make a photo album with scrapbooking supplies.Individuals who are handy in the kitchen may want to give baked goods. * Choose battery-free gifts. Discarded batteries are a plague on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency,about 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season.If batteries can't be avoided,choose ones that can be recharged. * Use LED holiday lights. Keeping lights on for hours on
end certainly uses a lot of electricity.Limit the drain on energy by selecting lights that have the least impact.LEDs use less power and last longer than traditional bulbs.When possible,consider the use of solar-powered holiday lights. Plus,don't leave the lights on when no one is home or the household has gone to sleep. * Decorate a live tree. Christmas tree farms are in the business of regularly planting and harvesting evergreen trees.That makes live trees a renewable resource instead of plastic trees made from
Photo Card Tips for Seasonal Greetings The trend toward using photo greeing cards for the holidays is one that continues to grow in popularity.Many people want to share pictures of their family or children with friends and relatives and holiday cards make that possible. Photo greeting cards come in two main categories:One is a standard stock card with a window cut out to allow a photo to show through.The other is a design and photograph printed as one on glossy photo paper.The card stock varieties can often be purchased where other greeting cards are sold' then slip in your picture.The glossy photostyle cards are either ordered and printed from an online service,or can be created using the digital photo kiosks at many pharmacies and retail stores. Regardless of the type of card you use,you want to ensure your photograph is the best possible to convey
education. * Consider spending time with the elderly at a nearby assisted-living facility or as part of a home-visitor program. Individuals who don't have family nearby may appreciate a visit from someone,even if it's just to sit and chat.This is something the entire family can do,even children. * Something as simple as carpooling or offering to shop for busy people is another form of volunteer work that doesn't require being part of a particular organization.Why not babysit for a person who has to catch up on some holiday shopping? There are plenty of ways to contribute without writing a check.The holiday season is the perfect time of year to think in a giving way.
Dreaming of a White Christmas? Consider a 'Green' One Instead Christmas is a holiday full of joy and celebration.It can also be a time of consumption and stress on the environment. However,holiday shoppers and celebrants can easily reduce their carbon footprint this holiday season. During a season in which more is often more,it can be a challenge to cut back in an effort to protect the planet.But scaling back gifts,food consumption and travel can be effective ways to go green this holiday season. * Buy fewer gifts.Christmas gifts show others how much they are cared about.Some gifts are given out of necessity. Others are more of a sentimental statement.It's easy to express how much you care without overdoing it.Set a limit on the number of gifts each recipient gets. * Organize a "Secret Santa." An easy way to cut down on gifts purchased is to organize a Secret Santa or holiday grab bag.This means that each participating person only has to purchase one gift. * Be smart about wrapping. Chances are there are plenty of items around the house that can be recycled into gift wrapping for presents.Foil, newspaper,comics,magazines, and even brown mailing paper are all good ideas.For those interested in really going green,skip the wrapping all together. * It's okay to make gifts. Handmade gifts are thoughtful and can be cherished for years. Individuals who know how to
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your message of season's greetings.It pays to brush up on some photography techniques and follow a few tips to work toward a good image. * Get a new perspective on a shot rather than simply standing and shooting the camera.Try kneeling down or lying on the floor and shooting upward at your subject.Or stand on a ladder and shoot downward. * Pay attention to the background as well as the foreground in your pictures. You don't want to mar a picture by having an unsightly background item steal the thunder of your main subject. * Don't limit yourself to a Christmas or winter theme. As long as it's a great image, feel free to use a vacation shot or another picture.This will allow card recipients to keep and display the image all year long instead of feeling limited to the holiday season. * If you're posing the entire family for a shot,
consider having everyone wear the same color or type of outfit so it lends a cohesive look to the picture. * While you can visit a photo studio and have a professional photo taken with their backdrop and props,you can create a similar effect at home.For Christmas,pose subjects on wrapping paper,tissue paper,or amid a pile of gifts and snap away.Use a solid colored tablecloth to serve as a backdrop for the image. * If you plan on having multiple family members in the photo but through scheduling or geography makes it hard for all to be together,consider using photo editing software. Take a picture of everyone individually and put them together in the single image with the software. Remember,photo greeting cards should not be limited to Christmas. They can also be used yearround for special events, such as birthdays, invitations and thank-you notes.
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Christmas Gifts of Yesteryear
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(MS) -- Today's kids have scores of technological games and gadgets from which to choose for their holiday wish list.How much do they differ from the toys children requested just 10 to 20 years ago? Here's a look at some of the popular toys of the 1980s and 1990s. 1980s If you were a kid growing up during the age of excess you were a part of the mass hysteria explosion for new toys. Most memorable during the '80s was the shortage of Cabbage Patch Dolls that coincided with Christmas shopping season.This led to fights at area stores and bidding wars over the dolls. Boys in the '80s were enthralled by the action figure craze sparked by favorite cartoon characters.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,HeMan and Transformers were just some of the action figures played with primarily by boys. However,girls enjoyed spin-off series,such as She-Ra and the co-ed Thundercats and subsequent action figures. In terms of dolls,apart from Cabbage Patch Dolls,kids could choose among Rainbow Brite and her cohorts,Popples, Care Bears and many others.
For those looking for video game action,the introduction of Nintendo in the late '80s created mass appeal and totally eclipsed earlier efforts by Atari. 1990s Advancing technology in the '90s and improved marketing campaigns turned every toy into that "must-have toy." There are a few toys that stand out from this decade that kids were eager to own. Rollerblades were one of the big trends of the era.It was no longer cool to roller skate on four wheels.Rollerblades took over,enticing children and adults alike.Today inline skating continues in popularity. Younger children had to have Tickle Me Elmo, which sold out in stores almost as fast as Cabbage Patch Dolls from a decade earlier. Children today still enjoy other animated Elmo reincarnations. Another toy craze that hit the 1990s were Beanie Babies.These bean-filled collector's items soon became very expensive and their appeal died off. In terms of outdoor action,summertime fun was forever changed by the Super Soaker,which was more powerful than any water gun before it.
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
THE DAILY HERALD
Hot Holiday Toys for 2010 As usual,certain gifts are bound to be kid favorites this year.
Every child wants the popular toys for Christmas.Each year parents,grandparents, aunts and uncles head to the stores in search of those sold-out items and must-have gifts. So what gifts are bound to be snatched from toy store shelves this season? Here are a few that kids are bound to be requesting. * Moon Dough:Moon Sand is a popular molding product that doesn't dry out.The trouble is,it tends to be messy.Moon Dough is a less sticky version that's easier on clean-up. * Tickle Me Elmo:That loveable Elmo is back in an 'extreme' version.He laughs,tells jokes and rolls to the ground in fits of laughter.Elmo can even get back up to a standing position. * "Twilight" Action Figures:Based on the popular "Twilight" saga, these action figures are bound to be the next collectibles for kids who love "Bella," "Jacob" and "Edward." Girls and boys can continue to play out the popular tale of vampires and werewolves at home. * Furby:Furby is back, probably as a result of the popularity of last year's Zhu Zhu pets.This incarnation of Furby can react with true emotions thanks to new technology. * Furry Frenzies:Also banking on the popularity of Zhu Zhu pets is Hasbro's version of electronic pets.These creatures can interact with one another and scurry around playsets,
which are sold separately. * Dance Star Mickey:In Elmo-like fashion,this doll dances,talks and moves.Kids who are enamored with all things Disney
certainly will be requesting their favorite mouse. * Extreme Micro RC Helicopter:This infrared helicopter is the smallest on the market and can dart and fly around inside or outdoors. * Rock Band:The Beatles:Those who love
previous incarnations of Rock Band and playing along to favorite songs will enjoy The Beatles version.It's bound to be "Beatlemania" all over again!
* Star Wars Force Jedi Trainer:This toy uses brain wave technology and measures how kids concentrate.Players follow the directions to make their way toward Jedi master. Other toys and gaming systems are bound to be favorites again this year.
Expect kids to be collecting and trading more Silly Bandz in many different shape themes. Nintendo Wii needs no introduction.With scores of game
offerings, this gaming system is still tops on holiday gift lists.Expect to see different high-tech educational items for children,including digital book readers and coloring sets geared toward helping kids learn writing and reading skills.
Do Pets Make Good Gifts?
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
THE DAILY HERALD
To the millions of pet owners across the globe, pets are more than just furry friends around the house. Pets put many people in a good mood and can also make for a valuable addition to families with children,instilling a sense of responsibility in kids they might otherwise never learn. But pets are also a very personal choice.Such a reality makes giving a pet as a present during the holiday season a difficult proposition -- one that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons before making a final decision. The Pros * Companionship:Pets make fine companions,and many people think giving a pet as a present during the holiday season is a great way to put a smile on a lonely friend or relative's face.However,when giving a pet in the hopes it will provide companionship,be sure to find a pet that's known for liking attention, such as a golden retriever, and not a pet that doesn't require much care or appreciate the attention. * The surprise element: Oftentimes,when a family pet dies it takes awhile before the family is ready to get a new pet.However,if sufficient time has elapsed, the surprise element of a new pet at the holidays can make it one of the more memorable holidays ever. The same can be said when giving a child their first pet.For moms and dads who have decided the kids are ready for their first pet, the holidays make a great time to surprise them with a Fido or Morris of their own. * Cost:Particularly in the current economy,not all families can afford to adopt or buy a new pet.While they might be able to afford to feed and care for a pet,the initial costs (some adoptions can cost several hundred dollars) might be well beyond their budget. For gift givers who can afford the costs of adoption or the purchase price from a breeder,giving a pet can be a gift the family will greatly appreciate. The Cons * Personal choice:Pets don't take long to become a member of the family.And that's often because pets are a deeply personal choice made by the pet owner and his or her family. Giving a pet as a gift might be a nice gesture,but many people would prefer to pick their own pets. * Timing:Not all families are ready for a pet.Even parents who want to add a pet to their home should consider if the timing is right.Are kids ready for the
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Keep Kids' Needs in Mind While Holiday Shopping Donâ€™t let holiday shopping with the kids drive away the smiles.
responsibility of a pet? Is the family ready to add another member? Timing should also be a consideration for those thinking of giving a pet to someone they don't live with.It might be a nice gesture to give newlywed friends a pet,but they might also be trying to have a baby and might not have the time to care for a pet. * Allergies and additional health considerations:Not everyone can have a pet in their home.Many people are allergic to animals.It could prove a disaster to give a kitten to someone who is highly allergic to
cats.Shoppers who are unsure if a friend or loved one has a pet allergy should avoid giving a pet as a present. In addition to pet allergies,another medical concern is some people might not be physically capable of caring for a pet. Dogs,for instance,need to be taken on daily walks or,at the very least,taken outside to relieve themselves. What's more,training a puppy is no small task.If a friend or family member does not appear capable of caring for a pet,consider a different gift.
Holiday shopping can be stressful enough when an adult does it alone.With children factored into the mix,it can turn into an adventure.Unable to dart from store to store and squeeze through milling shoppers,parents must pilot the stroller or shopping cart and battle through.Others must attempt to keep an eye on a youngster flitting through a sea of much-taller people in the mall or store. Without having a breakdown or throwing in the towel and skipping shopping all together,what can parents do when they have to shop with children? Be patient and follow a few ideas to minimize the confusion. One of the key things to remember is that children -especially toddlers -- have short windows of time of
good behavior and patience.While an infant in a stroller may be content to sleep the entire shopping trip away,a boisterous toddler or school-aged child may become anxious when faced with crowds and long hours strapped into a carriage or car seat. Plan for short bursts of shopping so that children will not become overwhelmed or bored by the experience. Rushing out to shop with a tired or hungry child is another way for parents to set themselves up for disaster.Hunger pangs and sleepiness can turn a normally amenable child into one prone to tantrums rather quickly.Parents should time shopping jaunts for after naps and meals to eliminate these factors from the things that might trigger poor behavior
from children. With the many toys, trinkets and other items on display for sale at area stores,children may beg and plead for certain things, making shopping more challenging.Try to avoid the stores that can be big temptations for children to times when shopping can be done sans kids.If a child is allowed to bring a toy, book or other distraction from home,it could help minimize the number of "I want that" requests made. When possible,talk to older children during the shopping experience. Mention how much things cost and how they are being paid for.Kids can learn valuable life lessons about managing finances by mimicking their parents.
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Staple of Holiday Decor Has a Deep History
6 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
Chances are,holiday revelers will find themselves underneath the mistletoe at least once this holiday season. While they might know what to do when that time comes, they might not know the history of that plant above their heads. Especially sacred to Celtic Druids,mistletoe was believed to bestow life and fertility, while also protecting against poison and serving as an aphrodisiac. During the Middle Ages,
THE DAILY HERALD
branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits.Throughout Europe, mistletoe was placed over doorways in the house as well as the stables as a means to preventing the entrance of witches. The tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe likely stems from the belief that mistletoe bestows fertility and is often associated with the Roman festival of Saturnalia,a period of merrymaking that pre-dated Christmas.In 18th
century England,a young lady standing underneath the mistletoe could not refuse to be kissed.Once kissed,the kiss would signify deep romance or eternal friendship. History also suggests that mistletoe was a symbol of peace.In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace.When standing underneath the mistletoe, enemies could declare a truce and spouses could end any marital turmoil with a kiss.
Familiar Friend an Option for Cash-Strapped Shoppers Individuals on a budget can consider layaway to help finance holiday purchases.
Layaway,a shopping tool popularized in years past,is now available again through many retailers. Shoppers who are making every cent count are turning to the pay-overtime method of purchase to avoid mounting debt after the holidays. With layaway,shoppers can pay over time,interestfree and pick up their merchandise when it is paid off.For people looking to avoid a whopping credit card bill or those who simply do not have the cash up-front for holiday purchases,layaway can be the ideal holiday shopping method. Although layaway is not available in every store,bigname retailers like Kmart, Sears and TJ Maxx do offer layaway in some locations. More than 1,000 retailers have teamed up with the Web site eLayaway.com to offer consumers an online layaway option hooked up to customers' bank
accounts.Once the item is paid for,it ships directly to the buyer's home. Layaway is a concept first started during the Great Depression.For decades customers relied on layaway to fund purchases they couldn't make all at once.Although layaway was a standard in many stores for years,lack of interest in the financing option caused many retailers to give it up. However,thanks to the recession and high unemployment rates of recent years,many stores have reinstituted layaway based on customer request. For those unfamiliar with layaway,here's how it works. - A shopper picks out merchandise from store shelves (or online). - The layaway department adds up the total purchase and asks for a deposit on the merchandise and usually a nominal transaction fee. - The store holds the merchandise in a special
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layaway area,marked with the purchaser's information. - The customer can return on his or her timetable to make payments toward the purchase total.Some stores may set a deadline for which the balance must be paid,such as December 23 for Christmas purchases. - Once the merchandise is paid in full,the shopper is able to take it home. - If the layaway order is cancelled or cannot be paid, the store may refund what has already been paid, charging a cancellation fee to restock the items. Because there are no bills to pay after the holidays, layaway enables customers to enjoy Christmas without the stress of looming payments.Also,failure to pay the layaway purchase does not result in damage to one's personal credit rating,another boon in an era of stricter banking regulations.
PAWN SHOP 930 Roanoke Ave. Roanoke Rapids
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