Discovery Store Secret Santa Sale this Weekend

Secret Santa Sale - 20% off store-wide
As we move into the main stretch of the Christmas 2009 Shopping Season many stores are running time specific deals.  Similar to Black Friday or Cyber Monday something special is being offered.  The Discovery Store from the Discovery Channel is running a 20% off if you order through their special links and banners that they are offering to their affiliates.  I have always like The Discovery Channel.  I admit I am a bit of a science and techie geek but that doesn’t mean that the gifts offered at the Discovery Channel Store won’t appeal to the masses.

A major selling point for the Discovery Store is that the products and toys they offer are educational in nature.  There is always a cool factor as well especially with the Robot Toys they sell.  Robot toys like Discovery Joebot and Rocky the Robot Dumptruck are great gifts for boys on your list.  Remote Control toys like RC Stunt Psycho and Discovery Remote Control T-Rex are also good gift ideas for boys.

On the girls side The Discovery Ultimate Pottery Wheel or the Green Dollhouse with Furniture are just a couple of cool gifts that the girls on your list will love.  Another gift that I found interesting was the Sticker Maker that they are offering at 20% off already.  My children love stickers in fact they have been obsessed by them.  They are also offering 2 best selling scientific/educational toys at discounted prices for the tinkerer on your list.  The Discovery Electronic Gadget Lab and the Discovery Tornado Lab remind me of displays that my son and I played with at a trip to the local Discovery Museum.

The Discovery Store 20% off storewide sale takes place from Saturday 12/12 at 12:01am PST to Monday 12/14 at 11.59pm PST. Take an additional 20% off all Discovery orders when you click through this link. Shop now!

Black Friday 2009 Starts Early

coupon queen copy Follow Me on Pinterest Black Friday deals are starting early this year.  What does that mean?  Many people not into shopping or in the retail business are often confused about Black Friday.  During the Christmas and Holiday Season Retailers sell a majority of what they sell the entire year.  The reason why they call it Black Friday (for all you non-accountants out there) is because from a profit and loss perspective when a business starts making money they are “in the Black” versus “in the Red” when they are losing money.

Black Friday is usually the Friday after Thanksgiving.   This year in 2009 we are seeing retailers starting their Black Friday promotions and deals early.  There are a few reasons for this.  The major one is the recession.  Stores are afraid they are not going to get as many shoppers in the store so they are hoping to entice them with deals on what they consider hot items.  This is good news for us the buyers because prices will be lower.  The other reason is that due to the way the calendar falls there only 4 shopping weekends this year.  That is why you see stores like Best Buy and Sears other major retailers offering deals starting as early as this weekend or Monday.

The good news is that you may be able to get your Christmas gift shopping done early.  You also need to be careful this year because according to reports on CNBC retailers are not stocking up as much as last year.  Last year they were burned with lots of inventory that they practically had to give away at the end of the shopping season.  This year you may find hot toys and gifts being sold out much earlier so if you have one of those on your list shop early!

Toy Safety Sites for Gift Givers Follow Me on Pinterest As the 2009 Christmas season is almost upon us I thought I would point out a couple of websites that I have found useful for toy safety.  As a parent I definitely worry about giving my children unsafe toys.  Though most toys are generally safe some toys can cause injury and some even death.  You also need to worry about toys that may contain dangerous chemicals.

In the past few years more visibility has been given to the dangers of high levels of lead in certain toys.  The website that attempts to test and track results for a variety of chemicals in toys is  They actually test more than just toys so here is the direct link to the toy section that allows you to search for toys in their database.  They actually put out a list of toys each year.  Their 2009 list does not seem to be out yet.

The other site that provides general safety data for toys is which has come up with their 10 Worst List for 2009.  Those toys would probably make for bad choices for gifts.  Not everyone agrees with how either of these organizations come up with their lists but as a gift giver you definitely don’t want to give toys that will be thought unsafe by the parents involved.  The 10 Worst Toy list has been generated since 1973 and has helped determine improvements in the manufacturing of toys.

Affordable Grandparents Day Gifts 2009

grandparentsday Follow Me on Pinterest It’s never too late to show Grandparents how much you value them.  Some Grandparents are heavily involved in the day to day lives of their grandchildren while others may not have that luxury or responsibility.  Either way Grandparents Day is a great time to show them how important they are.

Grandparents Day Gift Ideas

Easy and affordable gifts can be homemade or just be thoughtful.  If the grandparents are really involved in your children’s lives and help take care of them and raise them maybe they need a night out.  Treat them to a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.  If they like wine get them a bottle or even a wine basket.

Homemade cards from the kids are especially nice since it gets them involved in the gift giving and in understanding the nature of the special day, appreciating grandparents.

If the grandparents are not able to spend a lot of time with their grandchildren pictures and/or home movies are a simple yet usually much appreciated gift.  My mother-in-law can never get enough pictures and sometimes we don’t take the time to go through those pictures in our hard drives.  You can put them in traditional picture frames or buy a digital one where you can load more than one.

You can make an album or slide show type of movie with pictures you just haven’t had the chance to do anything with.  Recently I have been using a software program called Muvee to produce slide shows accompanied by music and titles.  My parents were blown away by one I sent them with pictures from our last visit with them.  Not everyone likes video editing but you may already have an application that you can do this with on the computer you have.

You can always keep to the basics of flowers and wine and most importantly your time!

Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas

fathersdaytiesm1 Follow Me on Pinterest Father’s Day is Sunday June 21st, that’s this weekend!  Don’t panic you still have time to get good Father’s Day gifts but you do have to act fast.  As the picture shows a tie is usually not the right choice.  Like all gift recipients on your list getting the right gift for Dad depends on the Dad.

At this point you may run into shipping issues with some of your Father’s Day gift choices but keep in mind that online gift stores know that time is running out too.  They do their best to offer whatever expedited shipping options they can.  Keep in mind you have until Saturday to get the gift delivered to you if you are going to be hand delivering it.  You can also use my late gift strategy from my Mother’s Day gift post if you think you are not going to get the gift delivered in time:

  1. Get a Great Father’s Day Card
  2. Include a Printed Picture of the Present
  3. Make sure the Father involved gets the card on or before Father’s Day!

So now that that’s out of the way let’s look at what will make a good last minute gift.  Here are the top 5:

  1. Shaving Related
  2. Framed Picture/Digital Photo Frame
  3. An HD Camcorder or Camera
  4. A Gift Certificate to his Favorite Games Store
  5. DVD Set of One of His Favorite TV Series

These are not necessarily in order since I have used all of these before with success.

1)Shaving can be a man’s biggest pain.  My husband has sensitive skin and a year or two ago I was told of higher end shaving products from The Art of Shaving.  You don’t necessarily have to get that brand but you can check with clerks at your department store for something equivalent if you can’t find this line.  Their products can be expensive but they do offer a better shaving experience that results in smoother better looking skin.  If the Dad on your list does not shave you can always get some grooming tools for his beard or goatee.

2)Framed pictures and digital photo frames are great because most fathers love to have the latest pictures of their kids.  I am buying a digital photo frame for my husband this year because every year I end up buying a new frame for the most recent picture of the kids he wants in his office.  You can add pictures and change them and most digital picture frames come with different color frames that can be swapped out depending on the decor.  This is also great for grandfathers who want the latest pictures of their grandkids.

3)Men love tech toys.  If the father on your list has not upgraded to HD and HD camcorder might just make his day.  Nowadays you can get the Flip or Sony equivalents for around $200.  You need to make sure it had HD capabilities though since the Flip still has the non-HD versions out on the market.

4)If the man is a gamer and you don’t know the difference between World of WarCraft and Guitar Hero you might want to buy him a gift card or certificate at a place like  GameStop.  If you know the specific title he has been waiting to get his hands on go for it and really make his day.

5)TV Series on DVD have made a bunch of older and very popular TV series available for purchase.  Men tend to love slapstick type of comedy and you can get them anything from the Three Stooges to Seinfeld.  I have done well with Seasons of The Office and 30 Rock.  You can also look at movie collections as well like The Matrix, The Terminator, Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Trilogy…

So there you have it, 5 ideas for great last minute Father’s Day gifts.