The Traveling Steve's

After Christmas Shopping January 2019

Happy New Year once again! I hope by now everyone has gotten back into the New Year’s routine; i.e. work, activities, volunteering, etc, whatever the normal day to day things you do. The month of December always seems to be the most hectic month with work and the balancing act of preparing for and celebrating the holidays, continuing on thru the New Year. Fortunately this year New Year’s was on Tuesday, so I was home the rest of the week after our Disney mini-staycation. We left the lawn decorations up and the Christmas lights up until January 6th, as did most of the neighbors.

In what is an annual tradition, Steve (DOS) and I did some after Christmas shopping the weekend after New Year’s. The after-Christmas deals have changed quite a bit in the last few years as retailers routinely discount the Christmas items well ahead of Christmas, so there’s not much inventory left after the holidays. Still, there’s usually a Christmas clearance area in many department stores that we actively seek out.

This year we ‘made out’ in Dillard’s department store, where they had the few remaining Christmas items marked 90% off! We started off with just a few bargains in the Dillard’s Seminole Town Center in Sanford, Florida; i.e. a couple ornaments here and there. With fancy ornaments priced at $25, these were a bargain at $2.50!

The 2018 Dillard’s stuffed bear was a bargain at $1.50, the annual hard-cover Christmas cook book at $1.00, the twelve days of Christmas specialty ornament box a true bargain at $12 (regularly $120!), and so on. All told we saved some $900 on our $100 worth of purchases, at pre-Christmas prices of $1,000! One item we especially liked were these wooden ‘Merry Christmas’ boxes for $4 (regularly $40) which are great for both Christmas displays and storage of items.

While none of the after-Christmas stuff we really need, it’s fun shopping for a bargain, and gifting nice (and over-priced items) to friends, family, and neighbors as stocking stuffers the next year. This year we have three new sets of neighbors, so we bought them each “Our first Christmas” ornament, and 2018 Christmas bears. We also bought some stockings for our Jekyll Island pre-Christmas celebration next December, a bargain at $2.50 each for overpriced stockings originally selling for $25 each!

Of course the bargain of the day was this faux-fur “parka”, actually a Christmas tree skirt which DOS is modeling in the store. Originally priced at $167, it was a bargain at $17. I asked the sales clerk if people actually paid the original prices for this ‘junk’ (actually I said ‘stuff’) and she said some people actually do! I though $17 was overpriced, but the facebook photo of DOS wearing the faux-fur was worth that alone!

Anyway, the next day (Sunday afternoon), we went to another local mall mainly to get some exercise walking around there. We both made the mistake of going to the Dillard’s department store there, and all bets for the walking exercise were off. Another $1,300 saved though @ 90 percent off!

For $130 we stocked up on some of the same items as yesterday, although we added five of the Christmas wooden cart boxes for storage, several miles of Christmas ribbon, and even this light-up citrus tree. Like the faux-fur tree skirt from yesterday, the citrus tree was the bargain of the day; similarly priced at $17 after being marked down from $170.

The reason we bought the citrus tree was it reminds of us the Chinese New Year in Asia, which we’ve seem over the last couple years in Vietnam and Singapore. We’re going to Singapore at the end of the month, so it’s something to display around the house (along with the red Chinese lanterns) to get us excited and ready to travel over there.

So not a busy post New Year’s weekend, but at least we had a bit of fun with our after Christmas shopping. Now if we can only find a place to store all this ‘stuff’!

Happy New Year!

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