Even The Grinch Has to Admit It’s The Holiday Season Now

Oh, I’m sorry, were you in the middle of your last bite of Thanksgiving day turkey? Perhaps you’re enjoying one of those leftover sandwiches where you smash together all of the ingredients of Thanksgiving dinner and think about how much better it is now that the relatives have left and you can eat without 8,000 questions about your career goals/dating life/plans to bless your parents with grandchildren. Well enjoy it while it lasts, because you can no longer deny it: it’s officially the holiday season. You can no longer huff and puff about the holiday decorations in the stores and the fact that the mall Santa still appears to have a summer tan. You can’t run from the multitude of stations playing all Christmas music all the time. (There are three if you have regular radio here in Boston, five if you have XM. In case you were wondering, I’ve been listening for weeks.)

And with the holiday spirit comes rampant consumerism. It’s gift-buying time, and this year you’ve only got three weekends to shop. So to kick off your Black Friday madness, CoupMe has a whole weekend of holiday specials. The deals we’re featuring this weekend are amazing gifts for your parents, friends, and yourself (keep an eye out for our house cleaning deal–you know you’ll need someone to wipe the egg nog off the floor the day after your Christmas party!). And you won’t even have to wait in line for hours (or days, like this crazy lady). Nope, just buy the deal before midnight, and get your list checked off from the comfort of your computer.

We should mention that when you buy a CoupMe, the certificate only states the value, not the actual price. So your giftees will have no idea how much you saved getting them a massage or a nice dinner out–they’ll just be grateful. Great gifts are running all weekend, and keep an eye on CoupMe throughout the next month for more fab gift ideas. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our regions. You can take care of everyone from your grandmother in Hartford to your aunt up in Vermont with CoupMe deals.

But on the off-chance that you can’t buy CoupMes for everyone, here are some of our tips for getting through the holiday giving season without giving yourself a migraine.

  • Give a Gift That Gives Back: Spending copious amounts of cash on sweaters from the GAP can often bring us into a state of guilt-ridden anxiety. While part of the point of giving a gift is to revel in the plain old frivolity of giving and getting things that you can’t afford, justify or need, you can ease that guilt by buying through sites that donate money to a cause when you purchase. Looking for sports tickets or a unique gift? Check out BiddingForGood, an online charity auction site where the proceeds go to a cause. Or sign up at iGive to give money to a cause while you shop online.
  • Give an Experience: Some years, instead of giving gifts to one another, my friends decide to go out for a group dinner at a restaurant we have all been dying to try–and that’s out of our normal price range. We go out and have a fantastic meal, splitting the bill. There are quite a few of us, so the amount we’d spend on gifts is still probably less than the price of one fancy meal together. And we so rarely get everyone together at the same time that it’s a great excuse to catch up–much better than dropping off gifts at one another’s doors during a rushed holiday season.
  • Stay Out of the Mall: There’s a huge Buy Local movement in this country right now, and for good reason. Local buying means that you’re funneling more of your money back into the community. But beyond that local shops give you gifts that you might not otherwise have thought of, and staff there are always more willing to chat about your gift-giving needs and go the extra mile to find the perfect thing. Plus, you get to skip the parking situation at the mall, which is always a plus. If that’s not enough convincing, check to see if your town has a holiday stroll or similar event, where stores are open late, serving snacks and hot chocolate, and the sales are on.
  • Fit it In: OK, fine, despite all of our warnings, there’s always that one person you have to face the Christmas crowds for. So when you go to the mall, try to make it about something else. Head there at 4:30, and plan to meet a friend for dinner at 6 in a nearby restaurant. Limit the time you’ll spend aimlessly wandering the mall and give yourself a reward in the process.

Of course, despite the best intentions, some of you will be wandering the mall on Christmas Eve, empty-handed and panicked. And for that, we only have one recommendation. Make sure your travel mug is full of spiked egg nog, and good luck.


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