Tis the Season (and the Reasons)

The Fall clearance and warehouse sales are here. Weak retail sales have also resulted in significant markdowns far earlier in the season. While I've curbed spending for myself (I did sneak in another pair of comfortable flats before my shopping ban...oops), it doesn't mean I'll skip them. That's because it's time to start shopping for Christmas.

Some people have expressed surprised when I tell them that I'm starting my Christmas shopping now. They become even more shocked when I tell them that I used to shop year-round, when I still had the time. But it has been my custom and practice to find something special that I know the recipient will like AND to get a great price on top of it, and I'm not about to change that now, especially when the economy is bad. It takes time to find the right gift, so if it isn't perishable, why not snag it when you find it, rather than regret it later when it's gone?

However, there is the issue of making sure that it is something that person is absolutely looking for, wants, or needs. Otherwise, the gift may need to be accompanied by a viable return receipt. Return periods tend to be rather limited, so that has to be taken under consideration. But then again, the return periods during the Christmas season may be even more limited than the regular year. Now is arguably a part of the "regular year," and it's close enough to the holidays but not quite in the holiday season, so it might be the best time to start shopping.

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