Yes, there are always going to be those people that get some kind of weird thrill out waiting in long lines, navigating through crowds of cranky people and endlessly searching in mall parking lots for any kind of parking spot. Kudos to these brave souls, but I am not one of these type of people. Because of my general disdain for these types of shopping experiences, I have embraced online shopping with a passion. I know my UPS driver on a first name basis. My idea of hands-on shopping is the mild euphoria I get from opening up brown corrugated boxes. It’s a beautiful thing.
Most people are with me these days when it comes to the virtues of shopping online, even if they aren’t willing to admit it. When asked if any of their holiday shopping will be done online while at work, most people say “no” even if the reality is that the opposite is true. Let’s face it, there is very little not to love about online shopping. Cyber Monday, the biggest day of online shopping ever is happening today-- so in its honor, I am here to extol the virtues of being a savvy cyber shopper. Even if you aren’t a shop-o-phobic like me, there are many reasons why taking care of your holiday shopping list online is a piece of cake!
Deals: Today and throughout the entire holiday shopping season, retailers are going to try to lure you into their cyber stores with fantastic deals and deep discounts on merchandise. Free shipping is pretty standard fare at this time of the year as well, so not only can you save on gas money by not going to the store (not to mention a few headaches) but also your merchandise will be sent right to your front door. Sounds good right? It is.
The Internet Never Closes: Yes, it’s likely that most stores are extending their hours to accommodate Christmas shopper’s crazy schedules. That said, do you really want to go anywhere at midnight? Any time of the day or night it’s easy to hit an online store, make a quick purchase and be back to life within minutes.
Searching Made Easy: Shopping sites offer a feature that is almost like having your own personal shopper. Do you know what you want, but in a store you have no idea where to find it? (Just try to find a sales clerk in circumstances like this!) By entering a keyword into the search box on a website, the search feature will search out and bring you up a page full of merchandise that meets your keyword criteria within seconds. Now that’s what I call customer service!
Impulse Buys: You know all those items you don’t need that are piled up right near the checkout stands? You can easily avoid these with shopping online. Impulse buying can be kept to a minimum without all the extra temptations so you end up only buying what you intended to purchase. Simply put, this is cash in your pocket!
Returns: Online retailers are well prepared for returns as they do realize that is part of doing business in cyberspace. Online returns are easier than schlepping merchandise back to a store and waiting in a long line (again) just to return something. If you are worried abut returning something purchased online, don’t be--it usually goes seamlessly, without a hitch!
Hopefully you will put Cyber Monday (and the days that follow!) to good use and get your Christmas shopping done quickly and easily. Most seasoned online shoppers feel that they spend much less overall when they shop online; additionally they enjoy the shopping experience far more, and experience far fewer hassles. Want to really set the perfect mood for your holiday shopping adventure? Settle in to your most comfy chair, whip up some hot chocolate and turn on some holiday music! Those Christmas gifts are just a few mouse clicks away!
Thanksgiving is upon us. With so many fun as well as exciting ways to celebrate this beloved holiday, be ready with your plan of attack to enjoy some (or all) of these exciting Thanksgiving weekend options! Food-a-Palooza! Let’s face it; Thanksgiving is one of those days where it’s fully sanctioned to eat with reckless abandon and to fully enjoy it. You are more than likely to have all your traditional Thanksgiving dishes cooked and ready to dive into; give yourself permission to do just that! Whether you are having turkey and all the trimmings or something more novel and innovative for your feast--just enjoy it guilt free! Sports-a-thon! Thanksgiving weekend has sports aplenty to watch for you sports fans out there. Between the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day triple-header and a whole slew of college teams playing over the weekend, any die-hard football fan will have plenty to cheer about. Check your local listings for college basketball too--early season tournament play has begun in many locations. Get Outta Dodge! You…and everyone else…might want to do some traveling this weekend. If you are brave enough to weather it, just know that this is one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year. If you decide to go somewhere you won’t be alone! The good news is that gas prices have been inching downward a bit, perhaps it may be a good time to take a road trip to Grandma’s house or go check out some beautiful fall scenery. Plan ahead and give yourself extra time no matter where your Thanksgiving traveling takes you. There will be extra people on the road, in the airports, virtually everywhere. Bring a smile and a cheerful attitude to help out any potentially frustrating circumstances. Lights…Camera…Action! It’s a fantastic weekend to see a movie, as many big blockbuster films will be set to hit the theatres this weekend. If you are a movie buff, there will be many fabulous options available to Thanksgiving weekend moviegoers, and it’s a great way to dodge the crowds that are clamoring for bargains over at your local mall. Our favorite picks? Lincoln, Wreck It Ralph, Skyfall, Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians. Get Ready…Get Set…Shop! Black Friday is now rapidly becoming Black Thursday. Many retailers are offering amazing sales and discounts beginning as early as Thanksgiving Day. Not feeling brave enough to put up with the crowds? Many deals are just a mouse click away and you can capture them quite easily from the comfort of your couch while you munch leftovers and watch football. How can you beat that? Don’t miss out on our amazing discounts on everything you will need to make your Christmas incredibly unique and special. Fantastic Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday specials are to be had right here at Halloween Express, you won’t want to miss them! This is your time to score Christmas character costumes, decorations, festive accessories and even a few practical necessities, such as rotating Christmas tree stands. The best part of it is you don’t even have to leave the house to shop! Now that you have your Thanksgiving game plan ready to rock, go out and have the best turkey day ever! Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Halloween Express!
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to mind? Feasting, friends, family, and lots of great shopping deals are all likely a part of the equation. Your kids may also have been learning about the very first Thanksgiving in school, including Pilgrims, Indians as well as an entire Cornucopia of Early American characters that have passed down to a modern generation a wonderful traditional holiday based on gratitude. There is much for our children to glean from Thanksgiving other than what they learn about in school. The lessons of living a life of gratefulness are far-reaching and will bode well in every child’s future. Here are a few ideas to help you pass on to your kids an attitude of gratitude!
- Openly express your own gratitude. Kids may not always listen to what you say, but they are always watching what you do. Adopting basic gratitude skills in your everyday life is an important way to pass these values on to your children. Saying simple thank you’s and showing sincere appreciation for jobs well done is a great place to start.
- Stop The Entitlement Train. Kids often haven’t learned yet that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They often want what they want and sometimes want it NOW! Teaching kids to wait their turn or that other things may need some attention first is a critical life lesson. When kids learn to appreciate what is done in their behalf, everyone wins.
- Count Your Blessings. It may sound cliché, but the act of writing down a list of things that kids are thankful for is a good lesson for them. Recognizing all the things they have going for them and learning to have sincere appreciation for them is important, especially in a world that may be teaching them to always want more.
- Send Thank You Notes. Teaching your kids to express their gratitude this way is almost a lost art in our world of instant email and text messaging. Taking the time to pen a sincere note of appreciation when something is done in their behalf makes the message sink in a bit more.
- Give Something Back. Part of recognizing and appreciating what one is blessed with is found while giving back to others that are less fortunate. When kids have the opportunity to help others through acts of charity, they learn to have more gratitude as well as appreciation for their own lives and may also find surprising levels happiness in these acts of complete selflessness.
Thanksgiving is a great time to reconnect with friends and family as well as to pause and take a moment to really be grateful for life and it’s rich bounty. Taking the time to show gratitude and teach kids the value of appreciation is what Thanksgiving is all about. That, and of course, turkey and all the trimmings--but you can be grateful for that, too.
Need one more thing to be thankful for? How about some Black Friday deals that will really make your head spin! Make sure and check out our Black Friday special sale where you can gobble up some great savings on amazing costumes, holiday decorations and fabulous accessories.
Veterans Day is one of only 10 federally sanctioned holidays that are celebrated in the United States. Even with so few holidays on the annual calendar, how many typical American’s even know what Veterans Day is? You can bet that if you asked the average person to name all ten U.S. holidays, he’d be hard pressed to remember every single one of them. Veterans Day can easily get lost or overlooked in the pre-holiday shuffle even though it is a very important holiday that deserves some special attention. Veterans Day is a holiday specifically designated to honor our war heroes, past and present-- those who have served our country while fighting to protect our many freedoms. Let’s face it, without our Veterans we may not be celebrating any other holidays at all, because life as we currently know it, may not even exist! We owe it to these great men and women to take a moment of our time in order to honor their great sacrifices while at the same time, paying due homage to their heroic efforts.
Want to make your Veterans Day more meaningful? Here are a few Veterans Day basics to get you started.
During WWI, a treaty was signed between the Allied nations and Germany. The treaty went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November in 1918. From this day forward, that particular moment was specifically marked as a time for remembrance of those who had served the country during the war. The holiday was called Armistice Day. As part of Armistice Day, it was common to have celebratory parades and other community events commemorating this special occasion. At precisely 11:00 am, it was a common practice for the entire country to cease business for a few moments of silence, in order to pause the days activities and to quietly honor all WWI heroes.
As the years went by, and with the advent of WWII and other war efforts that occurred after WWI, it did not go unnoticed that there were many other new veterans out there who had also fought for freedom, they too displaying great honor and valor. These post WWI veterans were most definitely worthy of recognition as well! In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law legislation that stated that Armistice Day would properly be expanded in order to include all veterans. Armistice Day, going forward would now officially be known as Veterans Day, a holiday specifically designed to honor each and every US soldier, bothpast and present.
Veterans Day is not just another holiday. Veterans Day is a more serious as well as reverent occasion than some of the other special days we commemorate in our great country. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate courage, bravery, honor as well as patriotism. Veterans Day is also very much about gratitude. This year, take a moment of your time to put your life on pause, and give sincere thanks to those who have given up tomorrow so you can have your today.