Awe….soon our bellies will be filled to the rim with delicious food. The leftover turkey will be all wrapped up and stowed in the fridge, the pies will have been all devoured and you’ll be ready for a long vacation. Unfortunately, the Christmas shopping season kicks off with a vengeance in the next few weeks. Don’t stress out yet – we’ll share some tips for saving money and staying sane while navigating holiday shopping madness.
Make a list. Write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend. This will help you manage your holiday budget.
Start Early. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start buying holiday gifts. That’s why we are offering you this holiday gift guide early. Once December hits, you’ll be glad you already have some people crossed off your list.
Do some online Research. If you’re unsure of which specific item to buy (for example, you want to buy your significant other a new watch but don’t know what brand or model is best), search for reputable online reviews like consumerreports.com. Check sites with user reviews and ratings like amazon.com or cnet.com, to find out which products have the most positive feedback. You can even find the best online price by using a comparison shopping site, such as pricegrabber.com.
Hit up Black Friday (If you dare). If you’re looking for great deals and aren’t afraid of battling large crowds, the day after Thanksgiving is a shopping must. Get a head start on fellow shoppers by checking a website like blackfriday.org before the big day. Be warned, though – some, so-called “Black Friday” deals aren’t any cheaper than the regular sale price, so do some extra research before you camp out in the store parking lot at 2 a.m.
May we suggest you avoid long lines and shop local? Most locally owned stores, like these in The Loafer, offer great and creative gift ideas and the lines for checkout is minimal. We’ve compiled some easy and great gift ideas for you to use during your holiday shopping madness.
Get no-cost holiday shipping. Last minute shoppers, here’s a gift for you. If you can’t find your gift item at our local retail store, in December, thousands of online merchants offer free shipping and will deliver by Christmas Eve.
Do it Yourself. There’s an abundance of homemade pickles, hand knit hats and handcrafted stationary these days, thanks to a growing obsession with all things crafty. Pinterest offers some great ideas. If you’re creatively inclined, avoid mall madness altogether and bake a batch of cookies, sew personalized tote bags or make beautiful earrings for friends or family. Even shopping local you can run into many hand crafted items already made you can purchase and that gift will feel very personal.
Stay Calm. Most importantly, take a deep breath. Take your medications if you need to. Take your patient pill and have fun shopping. Keep reading for great gift ideas for our local merchants that will make your holiday shopping experience much more fun and simple. One of the best tools for holiday shopping is in your hands right now. Continue browsing through The Loafer and see all that our businesses have to offer.
It seems like these days everyone has a beer aficionado on their gift list. Not only does it keep beer colder longer, but cools down quicker when you put it in the fridge. Mention you saw it in The Loafer and your first fill is on the house. It just doesn’t get any better! Stainless Steel Growlers – $25.00. Available at Holston River Brewing Co. / 2623 Volunteer Pkwy , Bristol TN / 423-946-2380.
Who doesn’t love BBQ? Perfect for that hard to shop for friend or family member. Or, be the hero at your family get together or office party when you show up with BBQ and all the trimmings from Baconland. We will cater your event if you prefer. Everyone loves BBQ and it doesn’t get any better than Baconland. 239 Bluff City Hwy – Bristol TN / 423-573-2271
Sam’s has everything you need in one location for holiday entertaining and gift giving! We have an extensive selection of wine and spirits, as well as stemware and glassware, gift bags, books, party supplies and more. Crown Royal Gift Set – $25.99. Available at Sam’s Package Store / 1304 E. Stone Dr. – Kingsport / 423-247-9463.
Nothing makes a better gift than a gift certificate to About Face Weight Loss & Aesthetics. Let your favorite person pick what they’d like to spend it on. No easier way to make a person happy than with a gift certificate of beauty. ABOUT FACE WEIGHT LOSS & AESTHETICS / 615 Volunteer Pkwy – Bristol TN / 423-989-3223
Gift cards make great gifts as we all know. With two locations and award-winning food, this is a gift that is sure to be appreciated. Whether it’s used to dine in or for take-out, you’re giving the gift of great food. Stop by or call to arrange your own gift card in any denomination you desire. VALENTINO’S RESTAURANT / 1101 Volunteer Pkwy Bristol TN 423-444-6394 / 1501 King College Rd. Bristol TN 423-968-7655
Purchase a $100 Gift Card and receive a certificate for a FREE round of golf (valued at $38.00, offer expires 12/31/16). Available at Country Club of Bristol / 6045 Old Jonesboro Road – Bristol 423-652-1700
Only for the finest drinkers. Purchase the world’s first single barrel bourbon. The taste profile is sweet with citrus and oak. A creamy vanilla nose features hints of nuts, caramel, orange and light chocolate. Blanton’s Original set the standard for single barrel bourbons. Best served neat or on the rocks. 46.5% alcohol by volume. Blanton’s Original Single Barrel – $59.99. Available at Greenacres Package Store / 1229 N. Eastman Road – Kingsport / 423-246-9682
For the practical giver! Sometimes the best gift you can give is some time and freedom. Many folks don’t like to leave their pets alone overnight or even for the day. Get them a gift certificate from Paws N Claws for a day of doggie day care or an overnight stay. This is both a thoughtful gift and one with much practical use. Available at Paws N Claws / 3110 Avoca Road, Bristol / 423-764-2400
Custom Gift baskets with products from Lux Collagenetics, Hempz, Paul Mitchell, Ed Hardy, JWOWW, Snook and more. Starting at $65.00. LUX SPA & TAN / 1060 W. Main St. #12 – Abingdon / 276-525-1220
I Love My Changes! / Customized gloMinerals / Makeup Gift packs 25% off plus free makeup case. 106 Pinnacle Drive, #106 / Johnson City, TN 37615 / 423-328-0488. Next to Cracker Barrel at Boones Creek.
The Gift of Fun!!!!!! / Recoil 2017 / 4 Wheeldrive, 72 Volt Electric, 3 Year Warranty. Quiet, great for deer hunting, good for camping. COME BY FOR WINTER PRICING! Available at Bristol Golf Carts / 710 Volunteer Pkwy – Bristol / 423-878-1834
Healing Waters Day Spa & Salon / Hot Stone Massage w/ Pavonia Facial & Reflexology Package only $100.00 / 107 Charwood Dr – Abingdon 276/ 628-4233 / Other gift certificates also available.
MOJO Skateboard Shop serving the tricities for over 25 years of skateboarding and longboarding. Owner, Joey Booth, life long Johnson City Small Business Owner, proudly bringing you the best in Professional Skateboards. We carry full line of Decks, Trucks, Wheels and Bearings. Including: Baker, Girl, Creature, Bones Reds, Shake Junt, Spitfire Wheels, Bones Wheels, Indy, Thunder and Venture Trucks. We Rock, So You Can Roll! Located at: 729 W. Walnut St., Johnson City, TN near ETSU