Several times a year retailers offer big sales on many of their items. Some of these times include President’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. Retailers hold sale events during these times of year to encourage shoppers to get out and make some big purchases.
The last minute Christmas shopping frenzy which takes place each year can be largely attributed to the sale events at Christmas time. Many shoppers specifically wait until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping because they know many items will go on sale at this time.
While this is an excellent way to save money, savvy Christmas shoppers know that doing a little bit of their Christmas shopping at these other sales during the year can help to ease the stress and financial burdens often associated with last minute Christmas shopping.
Christmas shopping during big sales is definitely a good idea but it is important to remember that there are some ways to really take advantage of a big sale and some ways to have your Christmas shopping deterred by a big sale.
This article will discuss a few basic strategies for doing your Christmas shopping during big sales without falling into some of the common pitfalls often associated with shopping during sales.
One of the biggest pitfalls associated with doing your Christmas shopping during big sales events is to end up purchasing many items you don’t need and would not have purchased if they weren’t on sale. This can be a problem especially if it causes you to exceed the budget you have set for Christmas shopping. This often happens when shoppers encounter a sale they think is simply too good to pass up.
For some shoppers a discount of more than 50% seems very appealing and they may be tempted to buy these items just because the price has been reduced by so much but they might not really need the item. In this case the shopper may be saving 50% off of the original price because of the discount but if they wouldn’t have purchased the item if it wasn’t on sale they are really spending more than they would normally spend and are essentially losing money.
To avoid this pitfall, it is wise to make a list of each person on your list and what you intend to purchase for them so you will not be tempted by big bargains.
Another problem associated with Christmas shopping during big sales is that hesitancy often causes the shopper to miss out on an item. When you are Christmas shopping during a big sale it is important to be slightly impulsive.
If you see an item you think you would like to purchase for someone on your Christmas list, you have to either buy it right away or run the risk that it will be gone if you come back later to look for the item. Retailers often put items on sale when they only have a limited quantity of the item in stock and therefore once they sell out the item is gone.
So it is important to remember that when you are Christmas shopping during a big sale, you have to make decisions quickly. You need to either decide to purchase an item or completely forget about the item because it will likely be sold soon after you leave the store.
Family Fun Christmas Activities
Family is at the core of the Christmas season, so creating fun memories with your family is always at the top of the must-do list this time of year.
What fun activities can you incorporate into your family life that makes Christmas memorable and fun? Plenty, really. There are the traditional and the things a little bit out of the box.
Think back to your childhood and Christmas time in your house. Are there particular memories that are clearer than others? Those are likely the traditions your parents created for you and your siblings. Trying to create traditions in your own home with your own children is one way to make Christmas fun, exciting and memorable.
Perhaps it’s decorating cookies, or making gingerbread houses. Maybe when you were younger your mom always had something yummy smelling coming from the kitchen. You can create the same tradition by simply keeping potpourri warmed and smelling nice, if you don’t have the time to bake frequently.
If you want to do a fun family activity in the kitchen, but baking’s not your thing, you can make a variety of other gift items in your kitchen. The kids love making chocolate and candy covered pretzel sticks, and you can pair those with homemade hot cocoa mix to give as gifts.
Be sure to incorporate music into your family’s traditions. How about some family fun singing Christmas carols or creating your own family music CD? Record your family singing Christmas carols and use that CD as your music CD for the holidays. If you all are particularly talented, you could make these look pretty and give them as gifts.
Many families like to cut down their own Christmas tree. This is a really fun family activity that can add a lot to the Christmas season. Christmas tree farms are located just about everywhere. Check into a local grower’s group for locations.
You simply show up, grab a saw (this is mom or dad’s job) and go hunting. Depending on the location of the tree farm, you might walk only a short distance, or you might have to hike up and down hills and far into the farm’s reaches to find just the right tree.
To add even more fun to this activity, create another family tradition that will annually go with the tree cutting. It can be as simple as also having lunch (at the same place each year) and picking up candy to eat in the car on the way home. You might also add a shopping excursion to the day; after the tree is safe at home in a bucket of water, you might all go shopping as a family for some new ornaments.
Other fun family activities can include annual visits to certain places in your community. Does your town have an annual “Christmas tree lane” where all the homes on one street decorate (sometimes in an over the top fashion) for the holidays? You can make a tradition of driving down the street each year, or walking the entire street, if the weather allows. Walking gives the kids a chance to see some of the details of the various décor items.
Many children think hot cocoa is an essential part of the Christmas season. If that’s the case with yours, you could start a fun family activity each year where you make a big batch of hot cocoa mix at the start of the season.
Let the kids have a small cup each night before bed during the month of December and closer to Christmas, add special items to the hot cocoa, like mini marshmallows one night and whipped cream another. Be sure to leave this family-made hot cocoa for Santa on Christmas Eve!
At a certain age, children enjoy decorating their room for the holidays. One fun family Christmas activity is to encourage this decoration by letting the kids shop for items to put in their rooms and letting them do the decorating. Be sure to take a picture of them in their decorated room each year. They’ll enjoy looking at the pictures year after year.
Dominican Republic Holidays – The Christmas Day
Being predominantly Catholic, Christmas day takes a very special place in the Dominican Republic’s holidays. Sure, there are no white Christmases or Christmas balls, but Dominicans have their special way of celebrating the centerpiece of all Christian holidays in the Caribbean.
First off, Dominicans start celebrating Christmas earlier than most people around the world. They start so early that their Christmas dinner, in fact, is held on the 24th of December, not on the traditional 25th observed by the rest of the world.
But the Christmas mood begins far earlier than that. Beginning on the first day of December, the Dominicans start playing traditional melodic Christmas tunes. Usually, groups of 2 to 4 persons play the official Dominican music, the Merengue, with the accordion, the drum and the güira to the tunes of Christmas carols, which set off anticipation for the celebrations to come.
The sense of community is very strong among Dominicans. This is why it is not surprising that informal Christmas parties, called the Aguinaldos, parties that are open for everybody and not just for a few family members are held throughout the nation. People could come from anywhere, whether they are invited or not.
On most cases, people who participate in the Aguinaldos are the singing parties who, on their way to the Christmas party, have already visited a number of houses where they were either given a home-made ginger beverage called the ‘jengibre’ or a taste of what is served on the dinner table of the family they have visited, called ‘bocadita’.
And of course, once everyone has gathered in a house where the party is set to kick off, partying, dancing, eating, and drinking begins. Beginning with traditional Dominican Republic carols, this party continues well into midnight.
The Aguinaldos have always been the typical Dominican Republic way of celebrating Christmas. These informal community parties are enjoyed in the most populated areas of the country where the sense of community is very strong.
Because most of the people in the Dominican Republic are mostly poor or middle class, the way Christmas is celebrated varies. It is very important though for every Dominican family to be together on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Both are official non-working holidays.
What would be Christmas if there are no Christmas decorations?
The Dominicans have a very distinct way of decorating their homes during Christmas. Most families have recreations of the Nativity or the Birth of Jesus Christ within their homes. These are called ‘Nacimiento’. ‘Charamico’, the Dominican Republic’s version of the Christmas tree, is the literal translation of ‘dry branch’. To serve as a Christmas tree, the ‘Charamico’ is painted white and decorated with typical Christmas tree decors like balls, lights, and ribbons.
Dominicans also have their own special version of the European flower for Christmas called Poinsettia, which they call, ‘Flor de Pascua’. Most homes also grow the ‘Estrella de Natividad’, literally translated as the ‘Star of the Birth’ of Christ.
Truly, Dominican Republic has very special ways of celebrating the festive season of Christmas.
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