All Holidays, All the Time

December 16, 2011

Fro Yo at Forty Carrots

As we go into the last full weekend of shopping before Hannukah and the big Xmas, here are a few thoughts:

GO EARLY — Seriously, this will save you hours. Nobody seems to get it together that early in the morning, so if you can get there when the stores open — which is probably around 9am this weekend — you’ll have no one jostling you for counter space and minimal lines at the checkout. In fact, miracle of miracles, you might even get some sales help to help you out. I did it in the last couple of weeks at both Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale’s, pre-11am, and it was sweet emptiness on every floor.

GO LATE — People seem to get hungry around dinnertime, so if you can eat early and then head out to the stores, you will miss the rush. And since most stores stay open late to maximize every last shopping moment, you will have an easier time getting in the door at 9pm. I have been in Macy’s in Herald Square post 9pm the week before Christmas, and the sales people were falling over themselves to help me. That is truly a Christmas miracle.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY LAST COUPON — Before you head out, check online to make sure there isn’t a discount you’re missing. Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy are all giving cardholders an extra 10% off, just make sure you have the code. Bloomingdale’s is giving another 15% off this weekend to anyone who uses their Bloomie’s card. Origins is giving a percentage off, depending on how much you spend. So the few minutes you spend on the computer, the few more bucks you’ll have in your pocket. And then you can buy yourself a present!

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GIFT CARD…OR COOKIES — I am one of those people that always wants to find exactly the perfect gift for someone. But the truth is, in these times of economic turmoil, people seem just as excited to get a gift card from a store they truly love, and pick out something they might not have spent money on. And if money is tight on your end, a delicious baked good, wrapped nicely, is a great gift — especially if you get invited over to someone’s house. Most hostesses love something tasty they can put out for hungry guests. The point is, don’t make yourself crazy. While “it’s the thought that counts” may be over-simplifying it, there probably isn’t a need to spend hours upon hours on gift shopping.

SCOPE OUT SOME TREATS FOR YOURSELF…AND A NICE PLACE TO USE THE LOO — If you are spending a lot of time in stores, I am all for using the time to find some items for oneself. Treat yourself to lunch in a department store restaurant (the frozen yogurt at 40 Carrots in Bloomingdale’s in the bomb — I’m partial to the coffee with carob chips). And check out this list from Racked on the 16 best restrooms in NYC!

Good luck. Stay sane. And I hope you get everything you’re wishing for!


I’ve had a slew of holiday parties this week, all fun but just a little too much festivity for one week. Last night was all about pink champagne, and tonight I went for the tequila sunrise. I hadn’t had tequila outside of a margarita in a good long while, and let’s just say it took me back…ha ha. At tonight’s party we had to wear our favorite concert t-shirt…so I went back to 1987 and wore my George Michael Faith Tour tee. Good times, people!


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