Posts Tagged ‘SHOPPING’

  • What: Large selection of holiday gifts, decorations & edibles. 28th Annual Event.
    • Where: Alaska Ferry Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham, WA [map]
    • When:
      • Thu, November 19, 5:30 – 9:30pm
      • Fri, November 20, 9:30am – 9:30pm
      • Sat, Nov 21 9:30am – 5:30pm

    • Admission and parking FREE

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    black_fridayAs those who have followed this holiday blog over the past two years may recall, I take a dim view of crass Christmas commercialism, and particularly the abject feeding frenzy known as “Black Friday” – that morning after Thanksgiving when millions rise in the pre-dawn darkness to stand in line outside retail outlets before engaging in a mad rush to “get the best for less.” And I do mean “mad rush.” This post Turkey-day buying hysteria has escalated beyond all rhyme and reason over the last couple of decades, and last year, as was probably inevitable, someone got trampled to death.

    But this year, things will be different – or so Wal mart assures us.  They’re moving the start of  Black Friday to to Thanksgiving morning, and remaining open through Black Friday.

    One is tempted to argue – since the hot deals will first become accessible on Thanksgiving proper (and in limited supply) – that this will just make for the same sort of maniacal rush as in previous years, but on Thanksgiving day, rather on Friday.  Besides detracting from time spent with family at hearth and home.

    Sound fun? Sure it does! Why relax and enjoy good food and drink with friends and family when you can stress out fighting the hordes of rabid deal-seekers at Wallyworld?

    To read previous articles on the subject of  Black Friday, follow the links after the snip, below.

    November 11, 2009

    Calming the Black Friday Crowds


    A year after an unruly crowd trampled a worker to death at a Wal-Mart store, the nation’s retailers are preparing for another Black Friday, the blockbuster shopping day after Thanksgiving. Along with offering $300 laptops and $99 navigation devices, stores are planning new safety measures to make sure the festive day does not take another deadly turn.

    Last year, frenzied shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., trampled Jdimytai Damour, a temporary store worker who died soon afterward. To prevent any repeat, Wal-Mart has sharply changed how it intends to manage the crowds.

    That new plan, developed by experts who have wrangled throngs at events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, will affect how customers approach and enter the stores, shop, check out and exit. Each store will have its own customized plan. The hope is for an orderly Black Friday, a seemingly incongruous notion.

    The most significant change at Wal-Mart is that the majority of its discount stores (as opposed to its Supercenters) will open Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m. and stay open through Friday evening. Last year, those stores closed Thanksgiving evening and reopened early Friday morning. By keeping the stores open for 24 hours, Wal-Mart is hoping for a steady flow of shoppers instead of mammoth crowds swelling outside its stores in the wee hours of Friday….

    Read more

    Previous articles on Black Friday from Simplify Christmas–

    Why not try doing some low-key shopping locally, and dispense with Black Friday? More fun, less stress, and the money spent locally will either stay in our community or will go towards helping the less fortunate.  A printable 5-page list of local holiday bazaars may be found here. Likewise, Christmas bazaars, and many free/low-cost holiday events are listed at the SimplyXmas Calendar, which is constantly updated from now right through until New Year’s.

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    • What: Seattle’s Greenwood-Phinney District, already well-known for major Northwest events like the  Greenwood Car Show and The Greenwood Seafair Parade,  is adding another event to the list of annual goings-on.  This Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first Snowmen on Parade fundraiser at the debut of the new “Art Up/Open Up” monthly art walk. The Snowmen, decorated by local artists and members of the Seattle Boys and Girls Club, will be displayed along Greenwood Avenue and sold through a silent auction.  Art walk visitors may select their favorite snowman and go to the adjacent business to bid on the unique holiday masterpiece.  Bidding closes at 9:00pm.  All proceeds from the snowmen auction go to support the Seattle Boys and Girls club.
    • Where: Greenwood Avenue North, between N. 67th – N. 87th streets, Seattle [map]
    • When: December 12, 2008, 6:00-9:00pm. Thereafter, the “Art Up/Open Up” Art Walk will take place on the second Friday of each month, from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Future dates have been scheduled on the Western Washington Events Calendar for your convenience.


    The “Art Up/Open Up,” Art Walk  is designed to encourage businesses to open their doors to local artists, to add to the enrichment of the increasingly popular Greenwood District, while disseminating art, culture and goodwill. On the second Friday of each month the Art Walk will feature visual art, great music and performances, along with special discounts and promotions from many of the fine local restaurants, bars and shops.


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    Hyper-idealized Victorian Country Christmas

    • What: All shopkeepers in Victorian attire – Singing nativity and strolling musicians – Two stages with live entertainment – Visit with Santa – Ride the Christmas Train &/or the Old Cannery Train – Ride the Christmas Carousel – Christmas kitchen with demonstrations – Christmas Market featuring 70 vendors of unique, handcrafted items – – Holiday House featuring furniture, Christmas décor and experts to answer your design questions – 530 shops – Winter Wine Garden
    • Where: Western Washington Fairgrounds, Puyallup, WA [map]
    • When: December 3-6, 10:00am-9:00pm | December 7, 10:00am-6:00pm
    • Admission: Adults: $9.50 | Seniors (62+): $8.00 | Students (6 – 18): $8.00 | Military w/ ID: $8.00 | Kids 5 & under are FREE | Groups Specials available | All tickets at the door.
    • Parking: FREE

    For more information, see the official website

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    Bellingham Friends of the Public Library Booksale, December 3-6, 2008

    • What: A lot of high-quality used books, including children’s books, at low-low prices. A great place to do some frugal Christmas shopping, or just pick up some titles you’ve been looking for.
    • Where: Bellingham Library, Main Branch, 210 Central Ave., Bellingham, WA [map]
    • When: Wed, December 3, 3:00pm-6:00pm (preview sale – double marked price) | Thurs, December 4, 10:00am-8:00pm (marked prices) | Fri, December 5, 10:00am-6:00pm (1/2 price) | Sat, December 6, 10:00am-3:00pm ($3.00/bag).

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    Well, no kid has everything, but let me pose the following scenario to you. I have no doubt that many readers will be familiar with it–

    Dick and Jane get lots of presents at Christmas.  Their parents go all out, as do both sets of grandparents along with assorted aunts and uncles. There’s not room for everything under the tree; presents have to be piled on the kitchen table as well. Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning, the unwrapping gets underway, and two or three hours after starting, Dick and Jane are still at it. Paper and ribbon and bows everywhere; the place looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane.

    It’s hard to buy for kids like this. First of all, there’s the risk of duplication, especially if you go after this year’s “trendy” toys.  But on a deeper plane, suppose that you feel like you want to get them something that’s special, amongst all those other “special” things (read: special junk)….

    Answer: Books. When the toys have lost their novelty a few months down the road, and joined the vast array of rarely-played-with toys that populate Dick and Jane’s rooms, the books will still be there, beckoning. Well, maybe. This strategy probably works better with younger kids who are just learning to read, than it will with older kids who have discovered the allure of the video game. But even if the books go neglected, you will know that you gave it your best shot, bestowing upon them a time-honored, non-passive form of entertainment that enriches both mind and spirit. As opposed to glitzy crap made in Chinese sweatshops.

    There’s the added advantage here that you can, with some judicious shopping around in used bookstores, pick up like-new kids books at a substantial savings over the big retailers. Unless you think that spending more money on brand new books means you love Dick and Jane more, that God abhors Christmas thrift, or some other crazy idea along those general lines.

    Another idea is art supplies. Most kids like to draw and color, so getting them crayons, colored pens and pencils, art paper, etc., is never a waste.

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