Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make The Most of Your Day at the Mall

It's that time of year again! And though I am typically successful at blocking out the fact that Christmas arrives in stores earlier each year, the town I live in completed it's lighting display yesterday, and the "Countdown To Christmas" programming has begun on TV.  So, it is indeed time for "Make the Most of Your Day at the Mall." (Regardless that I've not yet had a bite of Thanksgiving Day turkey...)

Even though, I am one who purchases gifts throughout the year for my family and friends, and prefer to purchase unique, often hand-crafted or antique items, regardless of my best efforts, I always have at least one trip to the shopping center during the Holiday rush.  And, unless it is an event (concert, football game, homeshow, etc.) I am not a fan of overcrowded spaces. A little planning helps me to utilize my shopping time in the best way possible, and get back to where I prefer to be - at home decorating, baking, wrapping, and spending time with my loved ones.

Here are some tips for making the most of your shopping trip(s) to the local Mall:

1.  If you've not yet, start an inspiration folder.  Save any gift ideas, discount offers or store ads and keep them organized in one place. Take the folder with you when you venture out on your shopping excursion.

2.  Visit your local shopping center's website to find out more about holiday hours, promotions and events. (And note: these may be events or event days that you wish to avoid depending upon your time constraints and goals.)

3.  If "Black Friday" is up your alley, find out which stores have "early-bird" incentives. Pick one which is most in line with your "inspiration folder" and begin there.
Macy's Herold Square

4. Shopping is habitual. We usually don't go outside our comfort zone and venture into stores where we don't often make purchases.  If time allots, visit three "new to you" mall stores and you may surprise yourself (and your family/friends) with something different!

Pottery Barn Stockings
 5. While in the line (that you are wishing was shorter) make the most of your time. Stocking Stuffers are often placed near registers, and being aware of what is around you may save you time later searching for an item that was right under your nose!

6. Take the time for specialty shops. Because of their limited real estate, their inventory is selected with more care.  There you may find an item that is on point with this season's trends, yet with a  unique spin on what would otherwise be a "cookie cutter" item.

7.  Take advantage of the sales racks which are most likely at the back of the store. Locate the perfect gift there and save big dollars!

Hope this helps to make your gift shopping this season a little more organized and a little less stressful!

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