Archive: Holidays and Special Occasions

Gifts O'Plenty for St. Patrick's Day

You get invited to an Irish friend's house for St. Patrick's Day, where you'll have an evening of traditional Irish fare. But you can't possibly show up with a case of green beer and a necklace of blinking shamrock beads. Some local Irish shop owners offer up their ideas for...

By Tania Anderson | March 12, 2009; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Picking Valentine's Day Flowers

A dozen long-stem roses these days will run you around $70. It has always boggled my mind how much we spend on something that dies within a few days. But still millions of people get flowers for Valentine's Day. I have to admit, a bouquet of gorgeous flowers has been...

By Tania Anderson | February 12, 2009; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Shopping for Inauguration Gear

The inauguration is almost here and that means there's lots of stuff to buy. All of the campaign buttons and bumper stickers we stocked up on during election season are now re-worked with the Obama family's faces and the famous January 20, 2009, date. So I went shopping and found...

By Tania Anderson | January 13, 2009; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

Tuesday Tips: Making Returns

I recently wrote about the hunt for The Perfect Gift. We all want to give it and get it, but that doesn't always happen. So we sometimes have to schlepp back to the store to make the dreaded return. Stores say they have customer-friendly return policies. Even still, we have...

By Tania Anderson | December 23, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Hunt for the Perfect Gift

There are three words that send shivers down my spine: The Perfect Gift. It's what we seek to give. But how do we define the perfect gift? And better yet, where do we find it? Is the perfect gift one in which the recipient starts crying tears of joy? Or...

By Tania Anderson | December 18, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tuesday Tips: Setting Up a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

I've been in one Secret Santa gift exchange in my life. It was an office-based event and I'll never forget the excitement of returning from lunch and seeing a neatly wrapped box sitting on my chair. It was more about the fun of receiving an anonymous gift than the actual...

By Tania Anderson | December 9, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Holiday Shout-Outs Via E-Mail

I can't wait to start getting this year's holiday cards. Any day now they'll be shooting through my mail slot, chock full of news and photos of what's been happening with friends and family. Or will that even happen this year? A close family member hinted recently that her holiday...

By Tania Anderson | December 4, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

We Shop Early for the Love of Tradition

Who says there's a recession? Or maybe the line that stretched across one side of a Target store in Falls Church at 5:45 this morning was just an indiction of how much we need a deal these days. Or do we just like the annual tradition of shopping early bird...

By Tania Anderson | November 28, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

What Are You Thankful For?

I'm thankful for many things, but as a shopper I'm especially thankful for healthy competition between stores, coupons that are worth at least $1 and don't require you to buy more than what you need, sales that slash prices by at least 30 percent, free shipping, finding the unexpected in...

By Tania Anderson | November 27, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tuesday Tips: Shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Love it or not, Black Friday is fast approaching. It's the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season and people either happily ignore the day or embrace it in all its frenzied glory. I recently tapped into the expertise of Dan de Grandpre, founder and CEO of Dealnews.com, for some...

By Tania Anderson | November 25, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

To Buy or Rent on Thanksgiving

Turkey? Check. Potatoes for mashing? Check. Ingredients for apple pie? Check. A table large enough for everyone to sit? Uhhh. If I ever hosted my family's Thanksgiving dinner, people would be sitting... well, on the floor. The kids would love it. The adults? Not so much. Here are a few...

By Tania Anderson | November 20, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Last-Minute Halloween Finds

The scariest thing about Halloween for me is how it always seems to sneak up on me. This was never a problem until I started having kids and they insisted on dressing up. And as much as I try to convince my daughter to be a 5-year-old preschooler for Halloween,...

By Tania Anderson | October 28, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Shrinking Columbus Day Sales

Columbus Day weekend is coming up and that usually means lots of sales. But is it just me or are stores unusually quiet this year? I haven't seen the usual screaming announcements of major markdowns. I found these few: Macy's furniture is marked down this weekend an extra 10% on...

By Tania Anderson | October 9, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Stores Will Hear a Pin Drop This Holiday Season

Looks like there's going to be a lot of space under our Christmas trees this year. And stockings will hang like sad, skinny socks from our fireplace mantels. At least that's what economists have said, along with a survey of 8,000 Americans. Consumers will be shelling out 2.2 percent more...

By Tania Anderson | September 25, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

Shopping for Dad

He taught you how to ride a bike and drive a car. And he helped you with your algebra homework late at night when it was the last thing he wanted to do. (At least mine had to.) Once a year we honor the fathers in our lives, whether they...

By Tania Anderson | June 12, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Last-Minute Mother's Day Ideas

Psst! Mother's Day is Sunday. Stop hyperventilating. The holiday sneaks up on all of us, even us mothers. While flowers seem like a safe bet, you might want to put a little more creativity into honoring the woman who raised you or your children. Here are a few ideas for...

By Tania Anderson | May 8, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Welcome Baby for Just $30

Your best friend has finally popped out her baby after nine months of waddling around and eating everything in sight. It's cause for celebration, or at least a good gift. Having brought two little creatures of my own into the world, I've seen my share of cool and useful baby...

By Tania Anderson | March 20, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Real Irish Gear for St. Paddy's Day

St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, which usually means green beer and silly hats. But if you're really serious about celebrating the holiday, you must know where to shop for Irish gear straight from the Emerald Isle. The Washington region is home to a few stores that sell authenic...

By Tania Anderson | March 13, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

Christmas seems like it was just yesterday, doesn't it? And now look at us. It's Valentine's Day and we have nothing for our honey. Oh how Feb. 14 sneaks up on us. One thing to thank the Internet for is the ability to express our love without it looking like...

By Tania Anderson | February 14, 2008; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Many Happy Returns

There is a certain person I know who always returns the gifts that I give her. I won't mention any names here, but hers rhymes with "bomb." (You know who you are.) To help her out, I spoke to several stores in our area to get some good tips on...

By Tania Anderson | December 27, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Holiday Meals... to Go

I remember as a kid when it was a major secret if your mom ordered food for a dinner party, especially your family's holiday dinner. The food would be secretly brought home, tucked under a coat and then quickly dished out on your own platters and serving dishes. But these...

By Tania Anderson | December 20, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

An Insider's Guide to After-Christmas Sales

You're armed with three gift cards from your favorite stores. Retailers want to unload their inventory. It's the perfect combo -- you with money, stores with goods they don't want. I'm talking after-Christmas sales, people. They say retailers are more desperate than ever this year to get our money, and...

By Tania Anderson | December 18, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

As a kid, I loved shopping for our Christmas tree. There's nothing like strolling through a cold parking lot filled with rows of sweet-smelling pines and Fraser firs. One year, our tree fell off the car as we rounded a corner into our neighborhood. It got run over by a...

By Tania Anderson | December 4, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

What the Locals are Buying for the Holidays

Boy, do the holidays make my brain hurt. I love giving as much as I love receiving, but when you give a dud present, it's written all over the receiver's face -- and that's a bummer. I could pore over holiday gift guides until I'm blue in the face but...

By Tania Anderson | November 29, 2007; 03:06 AM ET | Comments (5)

You've Got...Holiday Cards

I know the wave of holiday cards spitting through my mail slot is about to start. It's one of my favorite parts of the holidays -- especially getting pictures of friends and family I haven't seen in a while or reading a few lines about what people have been doing...

By Tania Anderson | November 27, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Black Friday Morning: Tamer Than Expected

I could hear my BlackBerry chirping in the early morning hours on Black Friday. No, it wasn't my friends e-mailing me about how wonderful their Thanksgiving feasts were. It was retailers sending out last-minute e-mails to entice shoppers like me with free shipping deals and 50 percent off sales (just...

By Tania Anderson | November 23, 2007; 12:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tips for Making Black Friday Not So Scary

The term "Black Friday" sends shivers down my spine in fear and excitement. Fear that if I don't go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, I might be missing the deal of a lifetime. And excitement because the deal of a lifetime is just waiting for me. Some years I've ventured...

By Tania Anderson | November 20, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (23)

Fixing a Fixer-Upper for the Holidays

The relatives are coming this holiday season and the house is a mess. And I'm not just talking about a few things out of place and dust bunnies as big as your cat. I'm talking paint peeling, kitchen cabinets circa 1978 and windows that just don't seem to close all...

By Tania Anderson | November 6, 2007; 03:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Pre-Holiday Limbo = Random Deals

This time of year always seems to offer a dizzying array of sales. It's really too soon for retailers to start talking holidays and most of the summer items are dwindling, so they start offering discounts on whatever's on the shelf. Here are the random sales I found this week:...

By Tania Anderson | October 23, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Halloween Costumes for Adults: Trick or Treat?

I knew this day was coming: The day my young daughter would request that my husband and I dress up in costumes for Halloween. You see, I'm six months pregnant and the only thing I can possibly be this year is a giant tomato. And so I began my search...

By Tania Anderson | October 18, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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