Letters From Santa

I was just checking out Where is Santa Claus Now?, a blog post by Wayne about a service that will mail a letter from Santa to your child. After checking out the post, I was reminded of a letter to Santa that I had written quite a long time ago.

After reading my letter, I surely have to remember to save my kids letters so they too will have a memory of a Christmas past.

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Best Buy Black Friday

Get your memory…Cheap Memory!

Stupidly I did venture out for Black Friday shopping. Curiosity got the better of me, and I agreed to go to the
Reading Best Buy early Friday. The doors were opening at 5am, we were there about 430am, and were greeted by 100’s of other shoppers. The line was wrapped all the way around the store and into the parking lot of the Home Depot next door, which had a really short line of about 25 people. The lure of cheap computers which brought out the masses, ran out shortly after the doors opened. Vouchers for the cheap computers were given in line. One gentlemen had been in the line since 10pm Thanksgiving night, and did not want his voucher, so he sold it to another patron for twenty bucks. In the store there were lines set up to shop in different areas…the computer line was about 1 hour wait. Then you had to wait in line to buy it, which was anther line. If you were shopping for general merchandise, there was also anther check out line, which I had wondered into upon getting into the store. The line consisted of a maze that ran through out the side of the store that consisted of home appliances to car radios. Just making my way through the empty line took me five minutes. Upon realizing which line I was in though, after receiving a free gift for coming into shop(15 free song downloads in a sports card like wrapper) I quickly got out and tried to find the end of the computer line, which was almost on the opposite side from the computers. So I am in line waiting, and and as the line proceeds to move at a snails pace for nearly half an hour, I come upon a bin of 1 to 2 gig SD memory chips for my cameras. Cool, my current chips are only 256 and 512 MB, which cost me well over the $29 for the 2 gig they were asking. The 1 gig was $14. Also grabbed a 14 dollar 1 gig thumb drive, all while waiting in line to browse the available computers. My shopping companions mean while had entered the the final check out line with their purchases which also included a few thumb drives and bunch of other Christmas presents. After waiting in the line for a good 45 minutes I finally was able to consult with a computer specialist to find out the cheap computers that had served to get me in were sold out. The cheapest computer available was a $400 Emachine that seemed to be a fine machine, but at this time I was on sensory overload along with being about ready to hit a mental shopping wall, so I declined. I really did not want to feed the shopping frenzy that was fueled by the lure of Best Buy’s 200 dollar computers.

I really did not want to feed the shopping frenzy that was fueled by the lure of Best Buy’s 200 dollar computers.

So I meandered around the store for a while checking out other merchandise, and in the end had my friends purchase my memory products for me because now the line to check out was nearly an hour and a half long and they were only minutes from the end.

In the end, even though I did get some really good prices on memory, I would not go to Best Buy for the Black Friday shopping festivities, and am glad I did do it once. The lines were ridiculous, the prices were not enough to make up for my lost time. Would I really want to come Thanksgiving night and wait in line out side a purveyor of cheap electronics, to get a machine that would undoubtedly need the Geek Squads assistance. Knowing this, I would have purchased those extra maintenance contracts which would have brought the price of my two hundred dollar computer up to well over the value of the cheap emachine or even the Toshiba lap top that was sold out within minutes.

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Black Friday

Best Buy

Black Friday is approaching all too rapidly, and all the activity associated with it is coming upon me like a ton of bricks. Lizzie has already made plans to go shopping in Philadelphia. We are planning on staying over night Thanksgiving in a Philly hotel. I was unaware that there are so many fine stores in Philadelphia. She is planning on hitting the big department stores with her mom and daughter in tow. Her son is planning on camping outside of a Best Buy to get a rock bottom price on a new computer. As appetizing as a new computer sounds, I just don’t think I am going to do any shopping on Black Friday. More power to you if you can stand the crowds. The only shopping I plan on doing on Black Friday is from the comfort of home. I just love the Internet.

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Blog Promotion Resources

My Technorati Profile very helpful in promoting My Christmaslist.wordpress.com blog.

My Christmas blog was mentioned in a post on several other blogs. The first is a general shopping blog and the second is a consumer information site.  I will be adding these two sites to my blogroll when time permits.

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Department 56 and More

1930 Harley Davidson with Sidecar

Department 56 is one of the most collectible seasonal decorations available to the general public, which make great gifts that are sure to become highly cherished family heirlooms and not to become a bunch of discarded trinkets.   Dept 56, which is celebrating its 30th year this year, has many items that can be used together to create a seasonal display in your home. Many of these items remind me of the seasonal decorations that I played with as kid at my grandparents. I myself like the idea of having a seasonal display that my kids would some day inherit. Take for instance the Department 56 collections of the gift site, countrynmoregifts.com. If I were to buy several items a year from this site, I could have a really cool Christmas village display that my kids would look forward to setting up every year, and that some day(a long long time from now)my grand children would be able to enjoy as well. Department 56 pieces are collectible because they are quality Seasonal decorations that will be around for many years to come. However, the pieces are of limited quantities, so they do sell out, so if you want to add or begin a Department 56 collection order early to ensure that you get the pieces you want for your special seasonal village display. I made the mistake of not ordering a piece, Downtown Radios & Phonographs, and it is now sold out like many of the other cool pieces. It is a good thing that Countrynmoregifts.com has a lot of other Department 56 Pieces to Choose from. In addition to Department 56, Countrynmoregifts.com also has other collectibles to include Precious Moments, Snowbabies, Boyd’s Bears, and many other collectibles.   Downtown Radios and Phonographs

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Educational Toys from Dreamalong.com

Candy Cane

As a former teacher, I love stores that sell Educational Toys. Dreamalong.com has all of my favorites from Legos, Calico Critters, and huge assortment of award winning toys for all ages. My son is partial to the Legos, and is looking forward to playing with a Lego Mindstorm first thing Christmas morning. I first discovered Dreamalong.com and the Lego Mindstorm when my son asked to take Robotics as an 6th grade elective. (My Consumer News: Lego Mindstorm | Robotic Toys)

Lego Mindstorm

My daughter loves the Calico Critters. Her and her friends seem to have suitcases full of the little critters, which seem to be a pretty inexpensive animal character dolls. There are many different options to buy of these things, with many items being under $10.

Calico Critters

No matter what the age, boy or girl, Dreamalong.com is sure to have an educational toy that is sure to be a favorite toy to play with Christmas morning and beyond.

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Christmas Nightmare

Christmas TreeOne of my worst Christmas shopping adventures occurred at the Best Buy in Allentown, PA before the Christmas of 1999 or 1998. I had stopped of for a last minute gift after a work Christmas party. The purchase was made and I was leaving the store. As I left the store, I became aware of the fact that no cars at all were moving in the parking lot or what cars were moving were moving slowly. Essentially all the cars were locked into the parking lot like a bunch of sardines. There was one exit onto a main artery known as MacAurthor Rd, which also served to be not only the outlet for the biggest mall in the area, but it was also a main junction for an Interstate highway.
The planners of the parking lot had made one exit and one entrance. The side of the parking lot that I was in did not move for nearly 3 hours. Cars were attempting to drive over the curb and up over a grassy hill. Only a few SUV’s made it out successfully. The lack of planning on the part of the developers created a situation that could have caused great harm, especially if an emergency situation that involved ambulances or rescue vehicles.
What should have taken no more than several minutes, took well over three hours after getting into my car. The frustration of this event caused me to avoid this store for numerous years. And then I would only go into the store while parking in another stores parking lot. I also notices that they store had put in an other exit which does not empty out onto a main artery. I still have some negative feelings towards this store, and in general learned my lesson about going shopping in and around the malls during the holiday shopping season.

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Filed under Christmas Shopping Nightmares