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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Shopping For Your Employees

If you are the boss at your company and you and your company have had a successful year financially, you may want to share some of that success by purchasing Christmas gifts for your employees. However, Christmas shopping for your employees is not an easy task. There are a number of factors which contribute to the difficulty of the situation. The number of employees is one such factor. You may have a large number of employees and they may not share similar interests making it difficult to decide on a gift. Additionally, you may be concerned with the prospect of employees talking about their gifts and jealousy arising if it is believed some employees received more expensive or better gifts than others. This article will discuss some of these concerns and will offer tips for dealing with these dilemmas.

Favoritism is a serious issue which all bosses should carefully consider when Christmas shopping for their employees. Bosses should assume the gifts they give to their employees will be discussed and compared so it is wise to not purchase any gifts which will be viewed as favoritism. One way to avoid this problem is to purchase the same item for each of the employees. This may seem impersonal but office politics often takes precedence over sentiment and in this case it is wise to give each employee the same item to avoid any potential problems. The boss may opt to give more expensive items to hiring ranking employees. This is an acceptable practice as long as each employee on the same tier is given the same gift and employees on higher tiers are given more expensive gifts than employees on lower tiers.

Bosses also have to consider finances when Christmas shopping for gifts for their employees. This is a particularly important concern especially in cases where the boss has a large number of employees working for him. In this case the boss may have to consider giving only small token gifts due to the large number of employees. If he is paying for these gifts out of his own pocket, it is not reasonable to expect him to purchase extravagant gifts for many employees. If the boss is receiving a bonus for his hard work during the year, he may make a decision to allot a percentage of his bonus to the purpose of purchasing Christmas gifts for his employees as a way to show his appreciation for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. In some cases, the company may even allow their high ranking employees to expense the purchase of Christmas gifts for employees because it is viewed as a method of keeping morale high and retaining employees. In this case the boss should review the company policy and determine how much it is acceptable to spend on each employee before doing his Christmas shopping to ensure he will not be violating any company policies in making his purchases.

Another difficulty bosses often face when Christmas shopping for their employees is selecting a gift which will be appropriate for all of the employees. This can be a difficult task because the boss may have a wide range of employees working for him with varying interests. As previously discussed, it is considered a good idea to purchase the same gift for each employee instead of choosing a distinct gift for everyone. While this makes shopping easier in one capacity by ensuring the boss only has to select one gift, it complicates the Christmas shopping process by tasking the boss to select one gift which will be universally appreciated by all of the employees in the office. Examples of some gifts which are generally appreciated by all may include items with the company logo such as sweatshirts, mugs or other office items. These gifts are not only practical but also help to promote a sense of pride in the company. Gift certificates are also always appreciated. Gift certificates to local restaurants or business or online retailers are gifts which are likely to be appreciated and valued by all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Shopping for Your Husband

You might think that Christmas shopping for your husband would be the easiest part of your Christmas shopping each year. You might mistakenly think this is going to be such an easy chore because you love your husband and know him really well but in actuality; Christmas shopping for your husband is sometimes the most difficult part of the holiday season. This can happen for a number of reasons. First of all you may feel added stress to find a perfect gift for your husband. While you may be willing to settle for gifts which are merely acceptable for other members on your Christmas list, you are likely to feel stressed to search for items which are spectacular for really close relatives such as your husband. If you have been married to y our husband for a number of years you may also have difficulty Christmas shopping for him because you may feel like you have already bought him everything. This article will offer some useful tips for Christmas shopping for your husband which should make the process easier.

Considering your husbands interests and hobbies is one way to make Christmas shopping for him easier. Paying attention to these interests and hobbies can give you a better idea of what type of items would make great Christmas gifts for him. For example, if he recently started golfing and is still renting golf clubs you could consider purchasing a golf bag for him and giving him a gift certificate to purchase a set of golf clubs to fill the bag. Or if he recently started running, you might consider items which would make his run more enjoyable. You might purchase an MP3 player which is designed to be worn on an armband while running or a speed and distance monitor which tracks his mileage and his pace throughout his workout.

Another useful tip for Christmas shopping for your husband is to not be afraid to repeat gifts you have given him the past. You might normally consider purchasing a bottle of cologne for him for Christmas and then decide against it because you realize you gave him a bottle of cologne for Christmas two years ago. This is very common because many people think it is boring to give the same gift more than once but it is not always a bad idea. This is especially in the case of items which can be used up such as cologne, scented soaps and candles. It makes sense to gives these gifts repeatedly because your husband uses them often and runs out each year. However, even items such as clothing can be given as repeat gifts. It is acceptable to give your husband items such as ties, sweaters or pants on more than one occasion because clothing goes out of style and likewise your husband’s taste may change. The tie which he loved a couple of years ago may not be one of his favorites anymore. However, if you gave him a trendy new tie for Christmas this year it is likely to be a gift which is much appreciated.

Finally, if you simply cannot decide what to get your husband for Christmas, it is acceptable to ask him what he wants. Have him make a list of several items he wants and plan on purchasing a few items from the list as well as a few surprises.

Christmas Shopping for Your Wife

Most men do not enjoy Christmas shopping or any kind of shopping at all. While they may generally dislike Christmas shopping, they especially do not like Christmas shopping for their wives. These men may love their wives dearly but the thought of purchasing Christmas gifts for their wives seems like a daunting task. Their wives most likely have no idea that their husband deals with the stress associated for Christmas shopping for them each year. They likely assume they are easy to shop for and that it is a piece of cake to select a gift for them. This article will examine why most men have so much trouble Christmas shopping for their wives and will offer some tips for gift ideas their wives are sure to love.

Most men attend a number of parties with their wives throughout the year. They may attend birthday parties for nieces and nephews, engagement parties for cousins or friends and housewarming parties for friends. They also likely arrive at most of these occasions bearing gifts, however, in most cases it is the wife who does the gift shopping. Most women enjoy shopping and do not mind always tackling this task. However, the women cannot help their wives when it comes to shopping for them at Christmas. These poor men have no practice shopping for presents and then all of a sudden they find themselves having to purchase Christmas presents for their wife without any help from her. Following are a few gift ideas your wife is sure to love.

A scrapbook is a great idea for a Christmas gift for your wife especially if she is always complaining about never having time to organize the family photos. This idea may scare many men because they are afraid they have to be artistically talented to give their wife this type of gift. Fortunately for them there are many individuals in the business of making scrapbooks. All the husband has to do is round up several photos and sit down with the scrap booking consultant to discuss what type of book he is looking for and his wife’s favorite colors and preferences. With this information the consultant can create a lovely scrapbook from the pictures the husband provides.

A spa gift certificate is another excellent idea for men who find Christmas shopping to be difficult. Most women enjoy being pampered and receiving treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and other rejuvenating treatments. Even if you are not sure where she would like to go to receive these treatments you can purchase a gift certificate from a service which works in conjunction with a number of spas around the country.

Another gift which many women will greatly appreciate is a gift certificate for a maid service. This is especially useful for women who work a full time job and do the majority of the housework. It can be quite difficult to keep the house in great shape will work 40 plus hours per week. Giving a gift of maid service does not imply you do not think the house is clean enough but rather sends the message that you realize how hard your wife works and want to make her life easier. An even better idea is to make up a homemade coupon book with items such as cooking dinner or cleaning the bathroom. If your wife typically does these chores she can cash in one of her coupons for a night off from this chore if she is feeling tired.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Shopping on a Budget

Although most people enjoy the spirit of giving at Christmas time, it is also a fact that Christmas shopping can be a significant financial burden for many. This is especially true for those who have a large family or a large group of friends who regularly exchange Christmas gifts. Christmas shopping can also be a financial problem for those who feel compelled to purchase expensive gifts for each person on their list. However, there are ways to deal with the financial burden which often results from Christmas shopping. One of the ways to deal with this financial problem is to set a budget beforehand. Another way to deal with the financial stress of Christmas shopping is to shop throughout the year instead of all at once. This article will discuss the importance of setting a budget for Christmas shopping as well as how Christmas shopping can become less financially taxing by spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year.

Those who have concerns over the amount of money they will be spending on their Christmas shopping should consider setting a budget for their Christmas shopping before they begin their shopping endeavor. In order to begin the process of setting a budget for Christmas shopping, it is important to first create a list of all the people you intend to buy Christmas presents for this holiday season. This list should include all of the close friends and family members you typically purchase gifts for as well as any co-workers or employees you normally purchase gifts for, your mail carrier or your children’s teachers. You may also wish to budget for gifts donated to toy drives organized by charitable organizations if you typically contribute during these events.

Once you have your list of gift recipients there are a couple of ways to go about establishing a budget. Perhaps the simplest way is to decide how much you plan to spend on Christmas shopping and divide this amount by the number of gift recipients on your list. This will result in a budget in which you plan to spend the same amount of money on Christmas gifts for each person on your Christmas list. This type of budget strategy may be appropriate if you plan on purchasing similar gifts for everyone on your Christmas list but it may not work out well if you want to purchase something really special for a few of your closest friends or relatives.

Another strategy for establishing a Christmas shopping budget is to determine how much money you would like to spend and then divide the individuals into different categories. Some of the categories you might want to include are close friends and relatives, business associates, acquaintances and gifts which are purchased for people you do not know. Once you have all of the members of your list categorized you can determine the percentage of your total budget you would like to spend on each category. For example you might decide to spend 50% of your total budget on close friends and relatives, 25% of your total budget on business associates, 15% of your total budget on acquaintances and the remaining 10% on Christmas gifts for charity drives. Then you can use these numbers to determine the total amount of money you will spend on each category and divide that number by the total number of people in each category to figure out a dollar amount for each person on your Christmas list.

A final strategy for establishing a budget for your Christmas shopping is to start out by determining how much you plan to spend on some of the most important people on your gift recipient list. This will most likely include your closest relatives. Once you set dollar amounts for your closest relatives, it is time to divide up the remaining amount of money in your Christmas shopping budget. This can either be done arbitrarily by dividing the remaining amount in your budget by the number of people left on your list or you can continue to go through your list selecting a dollar amount for each person until you reach your budget. At this time if there are still people remaining on your list you will have to either reevaluate the dollar amounts you have already chosen or consider eliminating some people from your list.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Shopping Online

When most of us think of Christmas shopping we picture crowded malls and shopping areas, difficulty parking and sales racks in complete disarray. For some people this hectic chaos is what Christmas shopping is all about and they would never consider avoiding the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season for anything. For these individual this is a very important part of the Christmas season. However, for shoppers who find this scene to be too frustrating and stressful there is an excellent alternative. Christmas shopping online is a relatively new concept but each year more and more people are turning to online shopping to complete all, or even just part of, their Christmas shopping. This article will offer useful tips for completing your Christmas shopping online.

One of the most useful tips for Christmas shopping online is to do your Christmas shopping early but not too early. It is important to complete your online Christmas early enough to have the item shipped to the recipient in time to arrive before Christmas without incurring charges for rushed shipping. This is important because you want your friend or family member to receive the gift on time but you don’t wan to pay a great deal of extra money for shipping. Standard shipping rates are typically quite reasonable but express shipping rates can be rather expensive. While it is important to complete your online Christmas shopping early enough to get the gift to your friend or family member before Christmas, you do not want the gift to arrive early. While there is technically nothing wrong with this, it may be result in the gift being opened early or the recipient putting the gift in safe spot until Christmas and then forgetting it was ever received.

One problem which can occur when you do your Christmas shopping online is that the item you purchase may look better online than it does in reality. To avoid this problem it is best to only purchase items online if you are absolutely sure what the item actually looks like. For example you may have seen a particular model of a coffee maker in stores. When purchasing the item online you should compare the model number to ensure you are purchasing the item you really want. If you do this you, and the recipient of the gift, will likely be pleased with the purchase. If you have never seen the item in person it is important to view the item carefully. You should study all of the given information including the measurements to ensure the item you are envisioning as you view the online advertisement is the item you friend or family member will receive in the mail.

Finally when Christmas shopping online, it is important to only make purchases from reputable retailers. You may be tempted to purchase items which appear to be an incredible bargain but if the retailer has a bad reputation or you cannot verify the reputation of the retailer it might be a better idea to purchase the item from another retailer who has a more well established reputation of providing excellent products and services to their clients. You may wind up paying slightly more in this case but you will gain the security of knowing you are dealing with a reputable retailer and you will not have to worry about the quality of the item you select or the shipping practices of the retailer.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Shopping the Day after Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving is commonly referred to as “Black Friday”. This day is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the years and for many signifies the first day of Christmas shopping. While the term black Friday was originally used to represent the day in which retailers returned to profitability many who work in the retail industry use this term as a way to describe the crowds and chaos which accompany Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Likewise consumers expect significant sales to go along with the large crowds which flock to stores.

For many shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is a tradition which wouldn’t be missed for the world. These individuals look forward to the sales and starting their shopping as a way to get into the Christmas spirit. These individuals can be counted on to arrive before the malls and shopping centers even open to get a great parking spot, to make multiple trips to their cars to drop off packages before returning to the shopping area to make more purchases and to almost literally shop until they drop. These are the individuals retailers count on each year to boost their quarterly earnings and to help them report profitability for the year.

Those who enjoy Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving feel this way for a number of different reasons. Some enjoy shopping on this day for the tremendous sales which are inevitable. Still others enjoy shopping on this day because they like to take things one season as a time and figure now that Thanksgiving is over; it is time to start focusing on Christmas. There are even others who like shopping on this day for the excellent people watching opportunity the day presents. Whether or not they get any actual shopping done these individuals flock to shopping malls on the day after Thanksgiving because they know there will be tons of other shoppers to observe. Finally there are those who start their Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving because of a sense of tradition. It is these individuals who have simply always started their Christmas shopping on this day out of habit. Their parents probably started Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving and they simply learned this is the day to start Christmas shopping. They will also likely pass on the habit to their own children.

Conversely there are other shoppers who absolutely refuse to step foot inside a mall or shopping center on the day after Thanksgiving. For these shoppers trying to get any shopping done on this day is near impossible. They are willing to sacrifice the opportunity to buy some items as gifts at excellent sale prices just to avoid the throng of shoppers who swarm the stores on this one particular day. However, it is important to not that just because these shoppers avoid shopping areas on the day after Thanksgiving does not mean they don’t enjoy great sale prices on the Christmas gifts they purchase. These shoppers may take advantage of sales throughout the year to accomplish their Christmas shopping within their set budget.

There are still others who typically do not do any shopping on the day after Thanksgiving but these individuals do not necessarily avoid the malls and shopping areas on this day either. There are many people who enjoy taking a trip to the local mall or shopping center on the day after Thanksgiving just to enjoy the hustle and bustle the day presents. For these people just walking around and experiencing the excitement around them helps to put them into the holiday spirit.

Whether you are an early Christmas shopper, a last minute Christmas shopper or just a people watcher, you likely understand it is appropriate to expect large crowds in malls and shopping centers on the day after Thanksgiving. It is up to you to decide whether or not you choose to join the shoppers on this hectic day.

Buying Clothing When Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping can be a lot of fun. Spending some time searching for the perfect gift for everyone on your gift list can be a great deal of fun. It is also rewarding when you find and purchase a gift you just know your loved one will treasure. However, there is one aspect of Christmas shopping which seems to be difficult for everyone. It seems when it comes to buying clothing while Christmas shopping, everyone seems to have at least a slight hesitation. There are just so many variables when it comes to clothes shopping that it can be difficult to shop for clothing for those on your gift list. Some of the variables which make Christmas shopping for clothing so difficult include size, color, style and material. This article will take a look at why Christmas shopping for clothing is so difficult and will attempt to offer some insight into how to purchase clothing for others.

The matter of size is one thing that makes Christmas shopping for clothing so difficult. You may have a good idea about what size your friend or family members is but it can be difficult to select the correct size particularly for items such as pants, skirts, dresses or blazers. Items such as sweatshirts in which the fit does not have to be perfectly tailored are easier to shop for but even with these items you still run the risk of selecting a shirt which is too small. A sweatshirt which is too big is considered acceptable as many people where these shirts large as a style but shirts which are too small can be rather uncomfortable and will not likely be worn by the recipient. When Christmas shopping for clothing it is wise to either select casual items or ask the recipient to try on the clothing. This ruins the element of surprise but will help you to select the correct size. You may wish to discuss your intentions to purchase clothing for your friend or family member and ask them if they would prefer to receive a surprise or to participate in the selection process by trying on items before they are purchased.

Selecting colors is another difficult aspect of Christmas shopping for clothing. In general if you know your friend or family members wears a particular color often, it is safe to assume they like this color and enjoy wearing this color. However, even this safe strategy can backfire on you at times. You may decide to purchase an article of clothing in this particular color because you see your friend or family members wearing the color often but you may soon find out they are tired of wearing that particular color and were hoping to receive clothing in other colors to expand their wardrobe. Again you can alleviate this problem by talking to your friend or relative and asking them what colors they would like to wear. This lets them know you are planning to purchase clothing for them for Christmas but does not give away the type of clothing or the style of the clothing.

Perhaps one of the most difficult dilemmas associated with Christmas shopping for clothing is selecting a style which will be appealing to the recipient of the Christmas gift and will look good on the recipient as well. If you are purchasing a gift of clothing for a really close friend or family member you may have a good idea about the style of clothing she likes because you see the clothing she wears on a regular basis but it still can be difficult to pick out items which you know she will like and will be flattering on her in terms of style. Again one of the best ways to deal with this situation is to ask the friend or relative to come shopping with you.