Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day-After-Christmas Shopping Ritual

Every December 26th, my mom and I organize our day which revolves around scoring holiday cards for 50% off. It's like this obsession. Sure we could just get cheap $3 cards from Walmart next December, but that's not how we roll. We have a thing for high-quality holiday cards featuring artistic photos or drawings on them which always seem to have a $15.99 price tag.. I'm afraid to hear what my budget bloggin' buddy, Rainy Day Saver would have to say about this, as well as my many green friends who don't believe in sending cards. Eek! To combat my card-sending compulsion, I'm planning on submitting my used holiday cards for re-purposing/recycling at nonprofits such as St. Jude's.

When it comes to our day-after-Christmas bargain hunting; rain, sleet or snow will never stop us. We are two gals on a mission -- dressed and hungry for a deal. By 10 am we're on the roads searching for a steal. Our mental list includes wrapping paper, gift bags and tags but most importantly our overpriced cards at deeply discounted prices.

Ironically, we seem to find the best deals at the stores that may not be top-of-mind. For example, for the past ten years now, I've gotten the cutest cards at Barnes & Noble. Book stores always have lots of artistic gift wrap in addition to an interesting selection of cool holiday cards. I once found a bundle of 60 gift bags varying in sizes and graphics on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond for just $5. I now have enough gift tags and bags, thanks to last year's sale, to last a life time of Christmases.

Years ago, we always did well at Hallmark stores on Long Island, however recently this hasn't been the case. It's nearly impossible for me to find Hallmark half-off after the holidays.  I'm not sure what the deal is, but every year I attempt to snag some fancy Hallmark cards half-off and am greeted with the same disappointment. The shelves are deserted and signs hang on shop doors stating they do not offer Hallmark cards at discounted prices. This year, I emailed their corporate offices to find out if this is a standard practice devised from corporate, or if it's simply a case of cheap store owners.

Yesterday we were turned away from a Hallmark store (as expected), looked at picked-over empty shelves at Home Goods and Marshall's, but as always lucked out at Barnes & Noble in Parsippany. Deep down, all I really cared about was getting my cute cards. I don't wrap many gifts thanks to the popularity of gift bags (which we always reuse and hope others do too!) so I'm not in the market for wrapping paper. In fact, I still have like ten rolls of Hello Kitty paper that I found at A&P one January at the amazing price of $1 per roll.

This year's bargain hunt consisted of simply holiday cards and that's it. I'm hoping to get to Bath & Body Works later today to see if they have some gingerbread or candy apple type hand soap half-off, but other than that, nothing major. My lack of enthusiasm makes me wonder if I'm losing my spirit or if my energy level is depleting with age. 

Do you have a day-after-Christmas shopping ritual? If so, what is it?


TS Hendrik said...

I remember back a couple decades, when my eldest sister worked at Mervin's. After one Christmas, in combination with her employee discount, she got this industrial size blue and white striped roll of wrapping paper. That oddly became a tradition since because of the size it lasted for about 10 years before finally getting wet in a move.

It's not really a ritual, but it was one of the best after Christmas scores ever.

RainyDaySaver said...

I like high-quality Christmas cards, too -- so if you can score them at 50%, there's nothing wrong with that!. I'll admit I blew $15 for 40 cards this year. Would probably be better off checking out the day-after sales, but I'm too full to do anything on December 26. Plus, I had to work, so I couldn't have gone anywhere even if I wanted to!


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