Or is that the cha-ching of the cash registers in the stores that I hear.
Either way, the time has come to seriously start thinking about shopping for the holidays, if you haven't already started.
This past Friday was Black Friday--the day when most retailers finally make it into the "black" for the year. Yesterday was Cyber-Monday--the day most people scramble to online shop.
What do you do?
Personally, I'm not an online shopper and Black Friday isn't a factor where I live. I enjoy Christmas shopping, as long as I hit the stores early in the day before it gets too crazy. I'm also a big believer in the gift card! Some folks don't like them, but I do. It's not the same as giving money. The recipient has to use the card at the store. Plus, you have to know what stores that someone likes.
But even if you're not 100% certain at what store people on your list really like to shop, there are some standards that you can't go wrong with--coffee shops, restaurants, movies and bookstores. Who doesn't like to treat themselves to a coffee and some chocolate goodie, a great meal, a movie or a book or magazine?
Personally, I love to give and get gift cards, especially the ones for the movies and the bookstore. It's the right size and I don't have to worry about finding a place to put it in my apartment once the holiday season is over. And I'm honestly grateful for it, especially in January and February when I'm trying to pay the high heat bills. It's great to be able to whip out a gift card at the bookstore and treat myself.