Among the facts of life my parents taught me was this: When it comes to Christmas wrapping paper, paying full price is a waste of money.
Same goes for Christmas cards.
On Dec. 26, we'd jump into the car and head to our favorite retailers to buy those items marked down by 50% to 75%. Then we'd tuck them away for the next year.
What's the saying? Nothing is certain except death and taxes? I'd add the holidays to that. They'll come again next year, so it makes sense to save money on things we know we'll need.
I thought of our family philosophy today after seeing a news release from Meijer, the discount retail chain based in Michigan. Officials there said the big trend this year is holiday decor, especially outdoor decorations, including inflatable characters, pre-lit LED characters, projectors and reels of holiday lights.
I was a little surprised by the news, but I shouldn't have been. I wrote a story this month about how quickly live Christmas trees were selling out. With most of us stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, there's a strong demand for those things that make it feel like the holidays.
“A Meijer survey of 1,200 shoppers indicated eight out of 10 people planning to purchase decorations expected to spend as much or more than last year,” the news release said. “As families sought ways to demonstrate togetherness and spirit in response to the pandemic, they began putting up elaborate light displays or going on family outings to see them.”
Many of those sales were rung up early in the season, officials said, adding speculation that families wanted to get the children involved in holiday decorating.
As a result, the shelves might be bare the day after Christmas.
But the really smart shoppers will be checking for deals, just in case.