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Christmas (Holiday) Shopping :)/:(

I like to take potshots at people and this column was at wasteful holiday spending. Part of that is because I think that celebrating made up holidays and spending exorbitant amounts of money on people while others starve is wrong. As much as it seems like I hate everything… I really don’t, but why complain about what you do or don’t get for Christmas when #1 the goal is to give anyways, #2 you have more than you could ever need, and #3 people have a lot less. Here’s the column:

November 24, 2008 by Opinions

Column by Wesley Robinson

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away, and that means holiday shopping is right around the corner. Most people will start the frantic search for gifts on Black Friday and the heavy shopping season will continue for a few weeks after the New Year.

Between now and then, more money than most people have will be spent on things that most of us either don’t need, don’t want, can’t afford or won’t use. As much as I want to preach against the mindless consumerism and shallow materialism that has placed so much value in gratification through things, I hope to give a few hints on how to save a few dollars. Also, I would like to help people buy things they want/can use and really focus on what it is you’re trying to convey with a gift.

The condition of the economy will make this one of the better years to purchase more costly gifts … if you have the cash that is. There is a huge recession for a reason, most of which is credit. If you can’t buy it straight up, let it stay at the store. Your loved one will understand if you don’t go all out on gifts this year if you can explain that you avoided bankruptcy. Trust me.

Some families that already could afford the bow-wrapped Lexus or the all-expenses paid trip to Europe can capitalize on the market and buy two Lexuses or a trip to Europe and a safari to that country in Africa. For those of us that live on earth, there will be lots of sales, discounts and promotions to get us into the stores.

First, don’t get sucked in by the Black Friday deals. Half the stuff they are selling is junk. Those cheap computers, 40 percent off sales and buy-one-get-three free deals are not worth it. Having your attention is all that the stores are going for and once in the store you’re in their trap.

Really, you can do without most of those deals, and how useful are the things that they put on sale anyway? Not to mention there are only a few $199.99 computers that even work, the 40 percent price cut extends only to items that no one is buying and you never actually need the additional three pairs of red and green argyle socks. But right next to those items is a brand new laptop, that sweater you want or some new shoes to cover up the socks that no one will ever wear. Seriously consider how useful the gift is going to be and budget how much will be spent in the long run.

Besides, going the extra mile and giving others the things they want feels a lot better than buying a new jacket or a new game that loses its luster 15 minutes after you get it out of the bag. Also, shying away from the personal gift can really help out your wallet. Even though there’s nothing better than drumming up the Christmas spirit like buying yourself the perfect present, you can do without. I know I am not the only one that enjoys getting myself exactly what I want. But at the end of the day, whatever holiday you are celebrating, the holiday season is about giving and focusing on others.

Finally, remember these quick and simple tips for holiday shopping. Before you start, set a budget for all the gifts you plan on buying and stick to a strict price range. Exhaust all shopping options to ensure you have given yourself the chance to stumble across some wonderful gift you may have missed. That perfect gift doesn’t always have to break the bank, and often times you’ll find something very valuable at a good buy if you look hard enough. Use the Internet to find the ultra bargain buys but remember to allow enough time for shipping.

Have a safe Thanksgiving and make smart purchases that reflect good judgment.

Hopefully I can take my own advice when it comes to spending, but more importantly not complaining about gifts… There is a Countdown Pack of Jordans coming out with the XI/XII combination. I want/have wanted the 11’s since I realized how dumb I was for not getting the retros back in ’01, but after making the decision not to buy the shoes, the deadstocked value has increased so much that getting this pack (two pairs at $300) is a value as the Retro 11’s go for $400+ by themselves–I have a beat down pair of the 12’s in low tops, and they are OK, I wouldn’t mind the real ones lol. The only way this pack could be better is if Jordan wore #24 and it was the 11’s and the 13’s. All that said, I’m about to be a brat and complain cause I won’t have money and I don’t know anybody that will buy them for me… oh well.

Oh and after Thanksgiving I should get back in the regular swing of things, business has been compounded by being sick… I dipped below 200 lb for the first time since I was near death last year :(, but I will get it back Thursday!
Salute (and maybe consider a small donation to my shoe buying/sanity fund)

Aren’t they beautiful!

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  1. 11/26/2008 at 9:01 pm

    loved the columnn! are you sure you didn’t steal this straight of good housekeeping magazine? lol. good tips though.. i always get frazzled around this time of the year and i hate to be near nich. rd/the mall bc holiday shoppers are craaaazy. good luck with the shoes!

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