Shopping Guides for the Whole Family
The holidays are over, but it’s never too early to start planning next year’s season. If you didn’t think of great gifts this year for your family, it’s time to ensure that next year’s holiday is the best one yet! Here are some amazing gift ideas for every familial situation for next year:
Know All About Black Friday
This is a particularly American tradition, and many Black Friday videos are out there on the Internet to show you just how busy this time of year can be. Taking place right after Thanksgiving, there is little standing between Black Friday and the winter holiday season. Those Black Friday videos show Wal-Marts, Targets, and similar retailers being packed with excited buyers who are chasing after steep discounts on just about everything. Just how busy is this time of year, really? Many statistics have been gathered to paint a picture. Typically, Black Friday shopping begins at midnight, and it will go on through the night and into the next day, too. Across the nation, as Black Friday videos show, people may even form lines to get their hands on these discount products, and retailers will give away tickets for shoppers due to limited numbers of those discount items.
What does all this add up to? The numbers are high, as those Black Friday videos would suggest: in 2011, Black Friday shoppers spent roughly $52 billion on various goods, and one year later in 2012, an estimated 226 million Americans shopped on Black Friday. The amount of money spent in a typical Black Friday would, in fact, cover 20% of the entire nation’s total credit card debt, and over 100 nations have a GDP lower than the amount of money spent on this particular day. There’s a reason those shoppers are so excited in all those Black Friday videos: some retailers may mark merchandise on sale up to 70% off the original price, such as large flat-screen televisions. So, with all this in mind, what are some fine shopping ideas for your family when the new year arrives? It is never too early to find some sales and prepare for the next holiday’s gift-giving time, and the crowds may be relatively thin during this time as well.
Shopping For Mom
This should be a no-brainer, shopping for your parents. Typical shoppers are adults who may have their own children, but their senior citizen parents should be included, too. Several generations of the family can come together to exchange gifts, and no one is too old for the joy of receiving gifts. Your young children might not want to come along for a busy shopping trip, however, so you may choose to find some weekend daycare for holiday shopping for your youngsters. A shopping trip might last for hours in one or more crowded and noisy retailers, and children may get tired or overwhelmed by all the noise and activity. That, and you might get separated from them, and no one wants that.
Now, what are some fine gift ideas for your older mother? Personal tastes vary widely, of course, and different women might have different ideas on what makes for a good gift. In fact, many parents cherish hand-made items or home-cooked food, and simple company during holiday time. Most often, these parents are looking for not a flat-screen TV or a used car, but rather, more practical items. Flavorful drinks such as bourbon or coffee bean bags might be a fine idea, and the same is true of tea packets. You may not savor the idea of getting mixed up in the crowds you see in Black Friday videos, so you could visit smaller, more niche retailers that offer unique flavors of coffee, tea, and other fine beverages. The same is true of visiting a winery to find a few bottles of your mother’s favorite brands or types of wine. No one trampled over each other to get a discount TV at a winery, after all.
Calming items are also a great idea for an older mother, such as wax melters. For those not familiar with the concept, a wax melter turns on and heats itself, melting scented wax and spreading lovely aroma in the room. Care should be taken so that children and pets don’t burn themselves on the hot surface, though. An older mom may also appreciate getting items needed for yoga, such as a mat or clothes or a guide DVD, and such things can be found in smaller retailers which avoid the scenes like you would see in typical Black Friday videos. Get creative with shopping, and you can dodge the huge crowds and stampedes.
Shopping For Dad
Shopping for your older father is roughly similar to shopping for your mom, and he may like some of the same things that she would, from sharing home cooking to wax melters and fine wine or coffee bean bags. Many older men enjoy golfing, too, and you might find your father a new golf glove (it might even be real leather), a new caddy bag, packets of tees, a new shirt, or anything else he might like. That or your gift can be when you join him for a few games and compete out there on the course. If your golfing dad has all the gear he needs, why not give him a familiar face during a casual tournament?
Or, your sporting older father may be a pickleball enthusiast, and you can find some pickleball apparel he will like, from clothes to a new paddle. Pickleball is a sort of cross between tennis and badminton, and it began in the 1960s as a children’s backyard game. Now, it is a fine sport for older athletes who don’t have the stamina for sports like basketball or tennis. And if your father would rather watch sports than play them, a sports package is a fine idea. What is that? You can go online and find packages that include tickets for a game, as well as hotel reservations, apparel, and in some cases, even plane tickets. In short, buying a sports package is a great, all-in-one way for someone to watch their favorite team perform in another city. Such a package can be used for one or more people, and some are meant for an entire party.
Shopping For Your Siblings
What might you buy for your brothers or sisters? If they are roughly your age, then they may also be charging into a situation you’d see in Black Friday videos. They may have children of their own, and you have the option to buy gifts for your nieces and nephews. But your brother or sister is the one who grew up with you, and these bonds go well beyond childhood and into adulthood, too. Many people have very good relations with their siblings, even across distances, and you’re bound to know their tastes pretty well. Sometimes, they continue an interest from when the two of you were younger, or they have picked up a new hobby or lifestyle and you’ve heard about it through family gatherings and/or social media, and other correspondence.
In some cases, you’re willing to brave a busy retailer as you’d see in Black Friday videos for your brother or sister’s case, or you would rather visit niche shops instead. The possibilities are endless, and in some cases, adult siblings give each other “regular” adult gifts, such as wine bottles or coffee or tea bags, or candles or decorative items for the home. Other brothers or sisters are more creative, and they can give each other goods for their hobbies, from kayaking and rock climbing to poker or gardening or playing a musical instrument. A sports package is a fine idea for a brother or sister who loves seeing their favorite team play live, and a sibling may appreciate a photo scrapbook of the family (sisters, in particular, may like this). Or you might even just give them a gift card for their favorite restaurant, or books or DVDs that they will appreciate.
Shopping For Your Children
Now, it is time to shop for your children, and they may be eagerly looking forward to what you get for them. Often, toys or items that kids will like are found in large retailers, and that may mean enduring a scenario like in those Black Friday videos (they really are something). Are you willing to dive into that? If so, be sure to look up certain strategies for a successful and relatively easy and low-stress shopping experience. If you’d rather not star in the next popular Black Friday video, you may opt to buy your children’s gifts online, or visit niche shops for your shopping trip. Every child is different, but generally speaking, pre-adolescent children will like the sort of toys and games you can find in large retailers, while adolescent or college-aged children will have more particular tastes. Avoid those Black Friday video scenarios and visit smaller shops that sell vinyl records or graphic novels or collectible figurines, for an older child who enjoys pop culture. Or, you might sign them up for sports lessons, or include them in a sports package so that they can attend a huge sports game with the family.
Of course, be sure to have a clear budget for all this. Some children have expensive health issues, and you might be paying a lot for pediatric dentist services. Likewise orthodontic care in the form of braces or Invisalign retainers, among others. Or, it may be your older parents who need health care, and they might depend on your financial assistance. If this is the case, your family may be understanding if your gifts for them are budget-oriented, or if those gifts are home cooking and family company rather than a new flatscreen TV. This may also be a fine time for homemade gifts, or finding affordable items on Etsy or similar online catalogs. You may be surprised what sort of charming and high-quality artsy items you can find for a fair price.
Shopping For a Friend
This might not be too different from shopping for your brothers or sisters, and your good friends might be a similar age as you are. If you’re close to them, you may even know their extended family too, including their children. This can expand your shopping options as wide as you can afford.
For a friend who loves the same sports team as you (that might be how you met), buy a sports package for two, or three or four if a mutual friend or two is coming along as well. A similar gift idea might be for the whole group of friends to go on a golf trip together, for example, or go bar hopping (drink responsibly), or even go on a vacation together, such as to Hawaii. Less expensive ideas may range from getting matching ugly sweaters as a humorous gift, or matching bourbon glasses, wine glasses, or coffee mugs. How sentimental they are is up to you, and some very close friends like to have personalized versions of these things, such as a photo of the two of you together printed on a plain coffee mug. Close friends may also make and share scrapbooks like you would with a close relative. And if nothing else, you can indirectly give your friend a gift by buying things for your friend’s children, especially if your good friend will have trouble buying something for their children on their own.
Shopping For Yourself
Yes, really! Gift giving is best done for others, but if you’ve been having a tough year or you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself once you’ve bought gifts for everyone else in your life. If you’re feeling stretched thin, why not book some time at a spa resort for yourself, or a massage parlor to get the stress worked out? This can help you feel fresh and cheerful for the new year. You might also just buy yourself something that you’ve been needing, from a new wallet to new running shoes to stylish hair extensions to anything you need for a hobby. Are you an artist? Get sketchbooks and pencils, or paintbrushes. If you’re the one who likes bourbon or expensive coffee beans or tea, well… you will certainly know how to treat yourself for that! Overall, don’t be afraid to conclude your shopping trip on yourself, as a way to rejuvenate and acknowledge all your hard work and generosity up until now.