managed to put the snowflake designs on its paper cups long before most of the
country got any snow.
…The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book - a catalog so lavish they call it
a book - this year includes a $15,000 edible gingerbread playhouse.
…Kids in North Attleboro, Mass., were spared the agony of waiting for
Santa much beyond Halloween, as the Sun Chronicle reported, "The jolly old
elf pulled up on a North Attleboro fire truck" on Nov. 5.
…Major retailers have the good sense to stagger their hours the day
after Thanksgiving so we're not all lined up outside the same store at the same
time. Macy's opens in most states at 4 a.m., Kohl's at 3 a.m., and Wal-Mart at
midnight. In the finest examples of seasonal spirit, Toys R Us will open at 10
p.m. Thursday night, while many Sears will open at 7 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.
And, who among us isn’t thankful that:
…CBS reporter Susan Koeppen was able to offer advice on how to "avoid
the holiday mall madness." Among her tips: "Avoid crowds by shopping
during stores' early and late extended hours."
…The New York Times dug up a helpful quote about holiday shopping from
Melissa Geick, the manager of a Victoria's Secret store: "Just be prepared
to face the music, and know that you're going to wait in line."
…Just in time for holiday buying, a new Wal-Mart opened in Salinas,
Calif., less than a mile from the city’s other Wal-Mart.
…PC Magazine asked and answered this pressing holiday question: "While
you're standing in line with your cart, don't you get the nagging feeling you
could do better somewhere else?" The solution, according to PC, is to use
one of six “shopping apps” that allow you to check how much you're
about to overpay while you're waiting to pay.
…Home Shopping Network demonstrated how delightful a Christmas tree
looks with brightly wrapped gift bags of Huggable Hangers piled underneath. The
pitch: "Spread some holiday tidiness! Wrap up and give a dozen hangers in
the fun tote-style bag for the perfect instant gift. Add a Forever Fragrant holiday
snowflake as a special touch. What better way to reign in the clutter and ring
in the New Year?"
Plus, I’m especially thankful that:
…We now have websites such as Black-Friday.net, with investigative
reporters uncovering stories like the one headlined, “Target 4-Day Pre-Black
Friday Ad Leaked.” And a website known as BlackFriday2010.com, which notified
its readers, “Black Friday is not an official government holiday.”
…The wildly successful online retailer known as Groupon.com had the
bright idea to borrow unabashedly from the “Seinfeld” episode about “Festivus,” and
has renamed this year’s holiday season “Grouponicous.”
…When it comes to holidays the general public is apparently no wiser
than Congress. A Harris poll indicates that 69% of U.S. shoppers won’t
bother keeping to a budget when Christmas shopping this year.
Most of all, I’m thankful that for one day we manage to dodge the creeping
commercialism and celebrate what is perhaps the best American holiday, when gifts
are replaced by the simpler joys of gathering with family and friends to remember
how fortunate and grateful we really are.
(c) Peter Funt. This column was originally distributed by the Cagle Syndicate.