Eight days before Thanksgiving, I stopped at a local Best Buy and was completely dumbfounded by what I saw.
There, outside the sliding doors, a tent already had popped up; its owner sitting on a folding chair next to it.
Yes, folks. More than a week before Black Friday, the crazies were out, planning their big spending sprees, which this year began as early as 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Perhaps they should rename it “Black
Always ready to pounce on a great sale or deal, I understand fully the allure of $200 off an LCD or laptop. But, imagine the money these folks could earn by simply working those hours they’re wasting on the sidewalk.
Had our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide been published before Black Friday, I would have brought them a copy and tried to convince them the smartest — and most fun — shopping experience can be achieved all with the help of our comprehensive guide.
Inside, you’ll find everything from tips on how to shop smarter this holiday season to a list of Santa appearances and the shipping deadlines for the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx. We’ve also included some fun holiday art projects you can do with your children, travel tips from the Transportation Security Administration and tackled the debate between real and artificial Christmas trees.
For our Jewish readers, we’ve even included a latke recipe from Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Brenner Glickman as well as some suggestions on shops featuring Hanukkah supplies and gifts. And, perhaps most importantly, this guide is jam-packed with ads from a myriad of local retailers, restaurants and service providers, who all are offering unique gifts ideas for everyone on your list. As you prepare your shopping trips this year, make sure to plan stops at some of these businesses. You will be amazed at what you find outside the shopping plazas and strip malls.
Our goal with this guide is to provide you with all the necessary tools, tips, ideas and information necessary to give you the easiest, most productive shopping experience as possible. We want you to get your to-do list done, so you can get home in plenty of time to enjoy the season with your friends and family.
After all, when that LCD or laptop is obsolete (likely sometime in the first quarter of 2012) and all the ham leftovers and cookies are eaten, we want you to have plenty of memories to bring you joy well into the new year.
So, from all of us at The Observer Group to all our beloved readers, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and happy holidays.
— Michael Eng
Click on the viewer below to read our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.