Dollars and Sense: Holiday bargain shopping begins - East Valley Tribune: Business

Dollars and Sense: Holiday bargain shopping begins

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Linda Hutchings is a Gilbert resident and a life-long frugal consumer—uh, cheap skate. Please reach her at: Send her your penny-pinching ideas.

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:41 am | Updated: 11:31 am, Thu Nov 22, 2012.

Well, “Holiday Creep” is what I call the phenomenon of having holiday hype start earlier and earlier every year.

“Holiday Creep” sounds like cousin Leroy who shows up for Christmas dinner wearing a red Santa hat with mistletoe tied to the tassel.

Traditionally, holiday shopping began in earnest the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. “Black Friday” was originally a negative label. Supposedly, the crowds in Philadelphia were so overwhelming that bus drivers, taxi drivers and police labeled the day “black,” meaning, “I think I’ll call in sick.”

The ever-busy Harvard MBAs said, “Oh, no, we can’t use the ‘black’ word. Let’s say that stores make no profit (red) until the day after Thanksgiving (black.)” They turned black into white--kind of like politicians do.

Holiday Creep has sneaked up on Thanksgiving in two ways. First, you can read the Black Friday ads long before Thanksgiving by going on line. Just google in the name of a store plus the words “Black Friday” and see what you get. There are good sites for investigating more than one store:;;;; and

Second, you don’t have to wait until Friday; you can have Black Friday on Thursday — “Holiday Creep” again. Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, Target, and Toys-R-us are starting their sales on Thursday evening. Some stores that open Thursday evening will not close again until Friday night.

You may want to call the store to find out about their long lines and whether or not they distribute shopping vouchers. One lady got excited and started using pepper spray to get everyone to move back (so you may need a gas mask to enter the store.) Well, that was a bright stunt on her part. I’m sure the police let her shop before hauling her off to jail — where she can get some green baloney instead of turkey-golden leftovers.

Well, with online shopping, you don’t necessarily have to freeze your backside sitting in front of a store at Midnight like I did to get a Nintendo Wii in 2006. (Well, there is a certain camaraderie waiting in line at a store, if you don’t mind runny noses or that opportunist who thinks he’s Mr. Starbucks selling hot chocolate for three bucks a cup.)

Check out shopping on line for Cyber Monday and stay warm. Some online stores like and have deals all month long. Thus, you’ll avoid getting a cold so you can still taste and smell your turkey—and you won’t have to chew with your mouth open so you can breathe.

The way we are going, pretty soon you won’t be enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey in the afternoon or evening. Meal Creep means that you will now be having Thanksgiving Breakfast--so you can shop most of the day. Next year Thanksgiving will be on Wednesday.

As usual do not take anything for granted, rather double check stores, days, times, and prices.

Come to think of it, does the idea of things creeping earlier and earlier mean that I’m getting younger and younger? No? I thought not. Happy holidays to you, too.

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