Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Gift-Giving Double Whammy

You'll Want to Avoid this Reaction

If you’re a man, you might start getting nervous because of the holiday decorations on light poles, Christmas trees in stores, and gift commercials on television. If you are married, in a relationship, or just dating, your significant will expect a gift or probably gifts. You have a higher than 50% chance of screwing this up. Men break up before the holidays just to avoid this torture.  Don't despair, I am here to help. Why is the gift so important?

Answers may vary according to women.
What Your Gift Means
1. It shows how important the woman is in your life.
If you made the mistake of popping into a store on Christmas Eve and grabbing some prepackaged gift set, she will realize she isn’t important at all.
2. It demonstrates where the relationship is going.
Often women in relationships expect a ring at Christmas.
3. Your gift shows how well you know your beloved.
Yes, you are supposed to magically know what she wants. Failure to know shows you never loved her. Those in long-term relationships will get hints.

With all this said, you might fall prey to a commercial that tells you a woman wants diamonds. You go out and drop a bundle only to be told that diamonds represent death and oppression of those who mine them. Here are gifts not to give. This list came from a bunch of angry women.

What Not To Buy
1.       Any item used for cleaning. No vacuums, no carpet cleaners, and definitely no mops or buckets.
2.       Cookware (exception: a chef or gourmet cook may actually want the $200 blender or mixer, but can’t rationalize paying that much.)
3.       Something the man wants or will use. That reciprocating saw might come in handy when you’re building a new bedroom.
4.       Workout videos, weight sets, gym membership, which all imply a need to get in shape.
5.       Sexy Santa lingerie
6.       Electric razors
7.       Christmas-themed clothing. Even if she pretends to like it, she can only wear it once a year.
8.       Animal slippers
9.       Shaping jeans. It’s okay if the woman buys this herself.
10.   Plastic surgery. Imagine the conversation at work after the holidays. What did your sweetie get you?
11.   Fake designer handbags. It’s okay if she buys it herself.
12.   Leggings-one size does not fit all. Those clothing tags lie.
13.   Shaping underwear-nothing says unhappy holidays like Spanx under the tree.
14.   Anything linked with 50 Shades of Grey is never a desired gift.
So what does your sweetie want?  Most women will take pity on their husbands or boyfriends and tell them out right what they want. Others give hints. Pay attention, she might be dropping hints even now. If unsure, ask.  Always save the receipt. What one woman likes, another won’t. Don’t assume if your last girlfriend wanted Obsession perfume that she will too. Don’t compound the problem by mentioning that your former sweetie loved it.

Holiday Gift Ideas
1.       A night out on the town, especially to a restaurant or a movie she has talked up. Yes, you can wrap this in a box. Print out the reservations and put it in a decorative box.
2.       A spa certificate to a place she likes. However, this isn’t the time to try out a spa called Oriental Delite.
3.       Sentimental gifts-has she been wanting a string of pearls just like grandma’s?
4.       Coffee—was a suggestion in a magazine. I don’t drink coffee so it would bomb with me.
5.       The newest book by her favorite author. Check to see if she has it first. If you could get it signed that would be even better.
6.       Vacation- who couldn’t use one in the dead of winter? Remember this is her gift.  A golf resort may not be her dream trip.

Ask. If she tells you she doesn’t need anything, make outrageous suggestions about what you might buy instead.

Remember to tell her how much you love her. That’s what the gifts are supposed to say. Often, it's very sweet to make her something too. One of my most treasured gifts is a poem my husband wrote for me. Good luck.
Never a Good Gift Idea

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November & Black Friday Bargains

Many of you already started shopping for Christmas, but there are still some bargains to be picked up this month.

Cookware-many people are ready to cook up a storm. There is no better time than to pick up a set of cookware often at 50% off. Turkey roasters, platters and even dishware are on sale in many stores.

Tools are on sale too- Go to your favorite stores for tools including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, even Sears. While you’re there, you might poke around to see if they still have any patio furniture, grills or fire pits.

Need clothes and shoes? Many stores will offer coupons that you can stack onto already low prices. Don’t forget you can shop online and still use the same coupons.

Surprisingly, don’t hold your breath for a Black Friday tablet stunner. Companies feel they’ve already slashed prices low enough.

Wedding in your future? Wedding dresses are at their lowest prices in November & December.

Turkey is on sale. No surprise, there. You can buy two and save the other.

HD Televisions will be a good bet, if you planned to buy one.( non name brand/big screen)

Black Friday Deals worth Considering

Kindle Fire w/ $20 card at Toys R Us for $179.99

Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack for $37.49 at Toys R Us

Leapfrog Leappad 2 Explorer for 39.99 at Toys R Us

Sony 8GB Memory Card for PS Vita for Vita for $10 at GameStop

Cultured pearl necklace and earrings set for $29 at Macy’s

Drill Master 18V 3/8 Cordless Drill Driver and Flashlight for $18.99 at Harbor Freight Tools

3-piece bistro type dining room set. $109 at Lowe’s

Shopping  Online?

Amazon and Wal-Mart have the most and best deals. Kohls will have 20% off the site plus free shipping.

What Not to Buy on Black Friday
1.       Christmas Decorations
2.       Name Brands HDTV
3.       Toys
4.       Bedding/blankets
5.       Wine/gourmet food
6.       International Airfare
7.       Kindle HDX
8.       Apple iPad mini w/Retina
9.       Jewelry & watches
10.   Exercise equipment
11.   Winter clothes
12.   DSLR Cameras
13.   Game Consoles w/o a bundled item

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Dilemma

Thanksgiving is coming. You need to decide what you are going to do. You have several options.
1.      Eat at home. According to Today Money, the average dinner will cost you about $50 to prepare for your family. Think family of five at the most. Each extra person is about $5 more. There is preparation time and cleanup to consider.
2.      You could go eat at grandmother’s or mother’s house. You might save on food costs, but there are travel expenses, and often prying questions you might not like.
3.      Pick up your dinner already made. I did this once when the kids were all sick. We couldn’t go anywhere and I wasn’t up to fixing a full feast. It is less expensive than doing it yourself. The only downside is you might not have some of your family favorites. Here is a sample menu from Krogers. 

Supreme Turkey Dinner

(Turkey serves 8-10)
1 13–16 lb. Private Selection Fully Cooked Oven Roasted Turkey
 2 24 oz. Wholesome@Home Mashed Potatoes
 2 32 oz. Dressing/Stuffing
2 24 oz. Gravy
2 32 oz. Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole
 1 32 oz. Sweet Potato Casserole
 1 16 oz. Wholesome@Home Cranberry Celebration
 2 10ꞋꞋ Pumpkin Pie
 1 12 ct. Dinner Rolls
(You can get this in a smaller size or with ham.)

4.      Then there is dinner out. Many hotel restaurants put on a delicious holiday buffet but it may be pricey.
Here are some chain restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving and many are serving the traditional meal: Bob Evans , Cracker Barrel, Ponderosa, IHOP, The Claddagh Irish Pub, Boston Market, Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurants,. Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, Granny’s Buffet, Fire Mountain, Bugaboo Creek Steak House, Denny’s, Golden Corral, Houlihan’s, Huddle House, Lone Star Steakhouse, Luby’s, Max & Erma’s, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks, Mimi’s Cafe, Mitchell’s Fish Markets, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Shoney’s, Ted’s Montana Grill. Waffle House, Whataburger
Call ahead because some locations may be closed and others require reservations.
5.      You can always volunteer at the local soup kitchen. You’ll get to dine with folks who are truly grateful for what they are about to receive.
6.      There is my old standby as a single person: The Frozen Turkey dinner. It is usually a dollar from Banquet. You can dress it up with a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce if you so desire.  
7.      Remember that Chinese buffets are open too.

As for me, we are going over the river and through the woods to my mother’s house.