Holiday Shopping Madness

by Dave Jackson

Todays newspaper was bigger than Sunday’s. And that’s saying a lot for Naples, FL. This once tiny seaside town has exploded into a real estate professional’s dream. Buying and selling and building of homes has created a market that takes about two and a half inches of Sunday’s newsprint to explain.

I saw it right there in the over 30 four color ad flyers stores place in the Thanksgiving day newspaper. Best Buy was selling an 256 MB MP3 player for $29.00. $100.00 savings! And Kmart was selling a progressive scan DVD player for $19.99 (after a $20.00 mail in rebate). How could I pass those up? Actually, Circuit City has a Sandisk 256 MB MP3 player for $49.99 tomorrow – at least a name brand.

Now that I read the fine print, the Best Buy MP3 player has an instant store rebate of $29.00, then a $70.00 mail-in rebate. So out of pocket it’s $99.00 right off the bat. The Sandisk version at Circuit City is $30.00 in store rebate and a $20.00 mail-in rebate. Either way, you leave the store paying more than the advertised price.

This year I really want to get my wife a small digital camera, only because our current digital is big, and ancient – only 2.1 megapixels. The battery cover is broken and requires tape to hold it closed. But after talking to her tonight after our gluttony, she tells me she’d like jewelry. So, who’s available to go shopping with me tomorrow?

Isabella is probably working. Most of the other girls I know don’t wear much jewelry, or have shopping of their own on this busiest of days, so I wouldn’t suspect they could offer a valid opinion. Which leaves my four year old. But at her age, everything that glitters is pretty – “can we take one of each?” No help there. The ads are full of up to 70% off jewelry tomorrow. I’ll ask once more what she wants, and hope I can find something similar. Yes, I’ll get a gift receipt…and remember that it’s the thought that counts.

But what surprise is it if she knows?

Well, time to sleep on this one. Tomorrow the stores open before daylight and I have to be in line if I’m leaving with anything. Thankfully this is the last Christmas we’ll be watching pennies so closely. Stay tuned.

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