Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boxing Day 2007

Traditionally Boxing Day is a Canadian/English holiday that was based on putting food or small presents in the leftover Christmas boxes and giving them to servants and/or the poor as gifts. Most Americans have never heard of Boxing Day but I'd imagine that it will become a term more familiar to Americans in the upcoming years if for no other reason than for its usefulness to be exploited by marketers as an excuse for a sale. In honor of its origins I ensured that I'd made my donation to a children's charity that I support first and then decided to brave the crazy crowds to check out a few of the Boxing Day sales yesterday afternoon. I still have some friends & family who I'll be getting together with after Christmas and still don't know what to buy them so Boxing Day was a chance to hopefully take care of my final Christmas shopping. Here is my attempt to describe my Boxing Day shopping experiences.

Barnes & Noble:

This was my first stop. I know from past experience that Barnes & Noble has a pretty good selection of good holiday gifts for 50% off the day after Christmas. They didn't let me down. I picked up a nice calendar for 1/2 off, a Playmobil Christmas playset, 2 Cute Teddy Bears in snowflake sweaters, and a nice puzzle. I probably would have bought more but thought I'd better hurry up so I wouldn't miss what was on sale at Target. The store was busy but not annoyingly so and checking out was surprisingly quick. Both the Teddy Bears and Playmobil Santa Sled were great deals at about $8 each!

Party City:

Party City is a card/party store that claims to be discount (but it's not.) Most of their holidays stuff was on sale for 50% off but you had to look closely to see what was actually a deal: Christmas Candy = Not a Deal but Christmas Decorations = Deal. I picked up some snowflake hanging decorations that will be nice and festive for next year (at least they will be festive until the cats probably pull them from the ceiling and chew on them.) Also picked up a sale package of Hanukkah party Crackers. I'm very excited about the Cracker find! I've been reading posts on English blogs about these things and seeing them on some television shows so can't wait to pop open one for the first time and evaluate the "crackiness" of the pop! But do I open one now or hold off until 2008? (I know... I'll open one in order to blog about it! Wow...blogging can justify practically anything you want to do!)


In the past Target has seemed to be very lucrative as far as Boxing Day sales go...however this year it was a total bust in my opinion. Out of all the stores I went to, it was the only one completely crowded. Also many items I expected to find on sale (pajamas, gloves, scarfs, sweaters, special holiday gift packs, holiday themed toys) were not on sale! The only major sale area was the Christmas aisles. Since I didn't need an artificial tree, stockings, or was really a waste of time. I considered picking up some Christmas candy on sale but when I took a look at the crowds jostling around me and the likely long checkout wait for candy that my waist didn't need anyway...well I finally left the candy there and walked out.

Stein Mart:

Have you ever been to a Stein Mart? I hadn't until yesterday. It's this odd chain that I've been told sells designer, department store stuff at low prices...isn't that how TJMax or Burlington Coat Factory started out? I know I don't like those places so I've been in no rush to check out Stein Mart. However I know several friends who rave about the place. Upon first walking in the store did seem much cleaner and nicer than other discount stores I've been to. It did look just like a small department store. Although I didn't see any clothes that I personally would be caught dead wearing, I'd certainly classify the clothes as very designer looking. I didn't end up buying anything because my overall impression was that I'm about 10 to 20 years too young to be shopping there yet and haven't had enough highlights & plastic surgery to fit in as a shopper at this store. I don't mean to put the store down because I can certainly see why some of my friends love it. However for me I felt like I had somehow entered an old Twilight Zone episode...and was relieved to find that the doors did indeed open back up as I left and no undead sales clerks blocked me from leaving the store! Really if you've never been in one and there is one in your've just got to go in, browse, and let me know if some unnamed....something about the store also strikes you as odd!

The Hallmark Store:

The Fancy Hallmark ornaments were 40% off. Those things make the best gifts for people you don't know, care about, or are simply really hard to buy for! Quite a few ornaments were sold out already but a decent selection remained. I'm a sucker for ornaments that look like retro toys (and Hallmark knows this!) so I picked this one up as a gift....but I think I might keep it for myself:

Too my great disappointment Hallmark didn't have any of their Hoops & YoYo talking items on sale. They said the collection arrived before the holidays so it was still considered "new".

Well that's the end of my Boxing Day adventures. I'm trying to hold myself back from the temptation of going out to see what's left at Barnes & Noble the day after Boxing Day! Did you score any amazing deals during the Boxing Day/post-holiday sales?

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