First thing’s first: I’m a Jew. I haven’t celebrated Christmas since I was a little kid and we still believed in Santa Claus. (I was eight when I discovered he wasn’t real, and ceremoniously told my younger brother and sister at the dinner table. My mom got so mad she squeezed ketchup all over my face.) We never had a tree, but after that year, we stopped getting Christmas presents, too.
The current historic economic nosedive has two unintended consequences. One of them is that hobos just aren’t really cute anymore. Maybe they never were. All these years I thought they were adorable dirty clowns, carrying little bundles tied to the ends of sticks. I never realized those bundles were full of cans of beans and broken dreams. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Present Tense,” who wasn’t crazy about the pearl necklace her boyfriend of one year gave her for Christmas and worried he was going to give her something similar for her upcoming birthday. “I don’t want to seem like I’m not grateful, because I am, but I never wear jewelry and am not really a fan of pearls.” She said. “Should I just act like I like it and let him buy me another or is there some way I can let him know that pearls just aren’t my thing?” After the jump, find out whether she got another pearl necklace for her birthday or not. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Forgotten Birthday Girl,” who was anxious that her boyfriend may not get her anything for Christmas just as he had “forgotten” her birthday months before, and wondered whether she should get something for him for the holidays. After the jump, find out if they’re still together and whether either of them got gifts from each other this Christmas. Keep reading »
You’ve probably made your shopping list and checked it three or four times by now this holiday season. Some of the people on there are no-brainers; you know you have to buy your mom a gift. But after you put the obvious folks on there and move further down the list, you always get the point where you can’t help but think, “Do I really have to buy them something?” Even if you grudgingly accept that yes, you really need to leave that person on your “nice” list, there are ways to show them holiday love without blowing your budget. Gifting expert and New York Times best-selling author Robyn Spizman, who has partnered with Office Depot to serve as a Smart Gifting Expert, offered these tips for tackling those obligatory gifts your list with your holiday spirit – and budget – intact. Keep reading »
My boyfriend asked me last night if we/he should get my parents and sister each a gift for Christmas. This is our first Christmas as a couple and the first serious boyfriend I had around the holidays. He has already met my parents and sister and they all like each other. Should he get them a gift? Should I tell my family that they all need to get him something too? So far I told him I’d let him know but I’m really not sure what the best thing to do is. — First Christmas Together
For Valentine’s Day, I opened a tiny box from my amazing boyfriend of one year that included the nicest and most expensive piece of jewelry I have ever owned in my entire life. The problem? I absolutely hate it! It is a truly nice necklace, but it’s nothing I would ever choose for myself. I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I took off my grandmother’s beautiful necklace from the 1940s — one of my dearest heirlooms — to replace it with an over-priced department store find. I’m also a bit confused since I found out it was purchased during my 45-minute drive to where he lives. Quick decision, maybe? So, here lies the question: do I tell him what I really think or do I continue to wear this necklace that honestly makes me cringe? I know he works hard, and the thought was there; I just don’t know if it’s inappropriate to suggest that we exchange it together and both pick out something else, or if I should just keep my mouth shut. My mom even joked about the possibility that this same situation may happen if he ever proposes, which we both talk about often. I’m the kind of girl who would be happier with a $50 vintage piece of jewelry than anything that’s $400 and brand-spankin’-new. — Trying To Be Grateful
I’ve never been one for long lines and cranky register people/fellow shoppers, so I never usually leave the house on Black Friday. I did get up one year for it, at 4 a.m., and went to Kohl’s—my mom wanted company and I was curious and fully committed to going back to bed ASAP after we left the store. What did I see? Mass hysteria. One guy bought about 45 blenders and was rolling them out on a flatbed push-cart. Another lady had the entire stock of black gloves in her cart and was essentially snarling at anyone who came near her (or her stash of pleather). People were yelling at the register employees. The parking lot was a road-rage mess. Frankly, I don’t care what sort of sale is going on; it ain’t worth the very un-yuletide cheer people seem to have going on. Internet holiday shopping, however, is a 100 percent different story—I am all about it. So, as you may guess, today is my day to shine. And I’m not alone. I hear analysts are projecting that 96.5 million Americans are planning to buy something from the internet today—over 10 million more people than last year.
Oh, and as a gift from us to you, we’ve got a bunch of great sales listed, after the jump. Because sitting there at work, you can get, like, half your holiday shopping done (or, OK, fine, pick up a few things for yourself). Just don’t get caught! Keep reading »
We love it when we’re on-trend. Earlier this month, we showed you how to make really cute button earrings and how to embroider a notebook. We thought crafts would make really thoughtful gifts. And apparently the rest of the country did also because craft sales are up. Noticing less figures in their bank balances, holiday gift-givers have decided to make their presents or purchase handmade items from others. “With the recession, people are looking for ways to save money, and doctors are recommending [crafting] as a major form of stress relief,” said Victor Domine, a spokesman for the Craft & Hobby Association trade group. One woman stitched cable-knit coffee sleeves for her friends to use instead of the cardboard ones. But creativity-challenged gift-givers are also choosing to go the handmade route, purchasing gifts from our favorite online marketplace Etsy and others. [New York Times] Keep reading »
“Target: Women” host Sarah Haskins hits it out of the park in her assassination of gift giving jewelry for holidays and the commercials marketing the trend. From “jewelry face” and creepy voice overs to the “special memories” associated with shiny baubles and what jewelry says about a relationship, Haskins knocks it out of the park. It will almost make you NOT want to get jewelry as gift. Almost. Keep reading »