With Thanksgiving falling on pretty much the last possible day in November, Christmas has come hurtling toward Moms and Dads like a runaway freight train with a turbo-booster. That means time is tight for shopping for Christmas presents for children, toddlers, and babies. Now, anyone with good parenting skills wants to provide a Merry Christmas (or other happy holiday) for their kids with plenty of presents without breaking the bank or raiding the college fund.
Additionally, no one wants to spoil their kids either. Add to that the fact that a lot of children already have more toys than they can play with, and you have parents torn between buying lots of toys for Christmas to fill up that space under the Christmas tree, and Daddies and Mommies wondering if they shouldn’t buy any new toys at all this holiday season.
Fortunately, it is possible to have it all when it comes to Christmas. The plan is simple. Get great deals on as many toys and presents as fit into your budget, thus satisfying both the no-overspending need AND the have tons of fun Christmas toys to play with on Christmas morning. What about the over-filled toy boxes and closets and shelves?
Before Christmas have a frank, but not depressing, talk about how not everyone is as fortunate as them. Use this as a time to play up how lucky your family is, and how great it is to be part of such a loving household, instead of dwelling on how sad it must be to be in the reverse situation. At the end of the conversation ask them to go through their toys with you and decide which ones should be donated to other kids who might have more fun playing with them. If you have a particularly green child, play up the recycling angle. If you have a got to have it all kiddo, play up the need for plenty of space to put those new Christmas presents.
Make the donation before Christmas to open up some room. As an added bonus, make sure to keep the receipt. Donations to charity are tax deductible, and nothing helps cushion the expense of the holiday season like parents saving money on taxes.
Find Great Deals Online for Christmas Toys and Presents
When it comes to finding the best deals online, there are too many Johnny-come-latelys, deceptive websites, advertising filled webpages, and sites pretending to list only great holiday savings deals links, when they are in fact, listing whatever links offer up the highest commissions to webmasters who send paying customers their way. Get suckered into using one of these bait-and-switch online "deals" scams and you could actually end up paying more than you would have by walking into your local store and grabbing the hottest toys right off the shelf.
To avoid these issues, use online deals websites that are community based. That is, online deal lists that are submitted by, ranked by, and commented on by an active deal community.
One of the best online deals websites is SlickDeals.net (notice the net, not com)
[That is not a paid link or an affiliate link or anything. Hover your mouse over the link and you’ll see it goes straight to www.slickdeals.net, or if it makes you feel better, just type it directly into your browser. – The only ads I get any money from on this website are those Amazon ads and the Google Ads]
Slickdeals has a Frontpage that lists what the moderators have chosen as the absolute hottest deals as submitted by their readers. These deals are displayed as a simple list of links. Click on the ones you are interested in, skip right by the ones you are not. If there is a free shipping code or a 20% coupon code, you can be it will be listed there alongside the deal. No need to go find a great price and then hunt all over the Internet to find a free-shipping code or watch your entire savings go up in smoke to shipping and handling costs.
The best part about Slickdeals and their online bargain listing is that every listed deal has a link that says "Discuss". Click that link and you will find a huge user base going back and forth over whether or not any particular deal is a hot deal or not. Even better, you will also find people going back and forth of the quality, specifications, features, and brands of every television, video game, watch, jacket, dress, and toy listed. This is incredibly helpful if you are buying gifts that for that special someone that you aren’t very familiar with.
You will get a much more realistic impression of what makes the best cordless phone, or the top LCD television set by reading the ongoing discussions in the slick deals forum than you will by trying in vain to sort through which reviews are real, which reviews are fake, which comments were left by employees, or which commenters were paid to rate the product high.
Don’t even bother searching for something like best computer monitor. You’ll be on a shifty website before you can say widescreen. Instead, head over to slickdeals and read a few of the discussions about some of the computer monitors on there. By the time you are done, you’ll know what some of those numbers mean, and more importantly, why it matters whether or not it has HDMI inputs or built-in speakers. (Yes, if they are big on photos and videos. And then, no, if they have other computer speakers that they will probably be using anyway.)
Here is another money saving tip. Torn between whether or not to get the extended warranty? Don’t buy it from the store or website! Instead, check out the extended warranties from a company called SquareTrade. Good luck and Merry Christmas!
By the way, a couple of other deal sites that I have had good experiences with are GottaDeal.com (which also has a coupon code section) and DealNews.com.