Online Christmas Shopping Is Back!

It’s been so long since I’ve updated the Online Christmas Shopping blog that I even forgot I had started it!! If you’re living in Asia, you will understand when I say this… Aiyah!!! (North American’s can translate that loosely to !$#@#!!)

At any rate, I have been running around like the proverbial headless chicken for my offline magazine, and it was only the lagging and horrid economy that brought me back here. Yes, my job is thankfully secure, (I can hear you wondering) but I can see these times are affecting many people I love in negative ways, and it really hurts to watch without doing something to help this situation.

So I have made the decision to continue my online home in order to find deals and steals and smoking hot surprises for the coming holidays. I realize it’s 300 + days away still, but it still is an important time of year, and I’m thinking most of us, come Xmas, will need to find a few smoking hot deals, considering we are all losing sleep over this economic crisis.

Speaking of losing sleep, my personal friends know that I am a chronic insomniac and have been since around the 4th grade. It didn’t help that I survived a brutal earthquake in Taiwan when I was younger (which happened when I was asleep). I was researching a cure and cruising the blogosphere when I came across Insomnia Cures, a wonderfully insightful site, with plenty of useful tips and products to help cure insomnia, no matter how chronic the condition may be.

I will throw up some sleep products in the online stores I should start building soon, for the holiday season of course, but if you are sleepless now then do head over to Insomnia Cures and poke around.

Later peeps, and to all those subscribers that wonder how I’ve been, I’m fine. And I’m back!! Don’t forget Christmas can creep up on ya. 🙂

It’s Online Christmas Shopping Day!!

Black Friday is history now. How did you do on that crazy day? I went out just for a few things and couldn’t believe the throngs of people and mass panic – it was surreal. Quietly I smiled, and kept rubbing my Mastercard as if it were a Talisman against the craziness inside the mall. After a 20 minute wait at Starbucks I decided to head home and play Call of Duty 4 on my computer, and leisurely check out some online Christmas shopping for the deals that would arrive on Cyber-Monday – which is today!! Woohoo!!

So if you are still not sure about what can be found online, check out the links I have for e malls in this post. If you are too busy browsing everything under the sun to click there, here is a collection of the best spots for deals I have found over my tenure of shopping online:

You can find anything under the sun at those e malls, and if not they will surely point you in the right direction. So to celebrate this cyber Monday, click away and find some smoking deals and get that pesky online Christmas shopping out of the way!!

Happy Thanksgiving To All from the Online Christmas Shopping Guru!

turkey for ThanksgivingJust thought to be ahead of the throngs of posts out here in the internet – and give up a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that reads here. Stay tuned if you will for the upcoming Black Friday post here at Online Christmas Shopping, it will change your life (well, not really 🙂 but it will lead to deals and deals that can save you tons of money)

Now go and have some turkey with Cranberries, watch some football, and when everything dies down and the dishes are washed, come back here and do some online Christmas shopping for the love of Pete! There’s some incredible deals coming in the next few days!!!

Let’s Hack The Holidays!!

christmas computerWell here we are, just past Thanksgiving (depending on your neck of the woods), and there’s nothing much in between here and the decorations coming out of the attic, with the exception of Scrooge showing up on TV somewhere. With that said, it’s about time to really get down to our online Christmas shopping thing, yes? Personally I refuse to count down, once the  “40 days left” mark hits, just because it seems to cause great panic in my readers (and my husband), but none-the-less it’s time to get off our butts and get the lead out.

The butt I’m speaking of here is a proverbial one – if you’re taking my advice – because by shopping online you can keep sitting on your butt all day, while you pick out something wonderful for your loved ones :-).

I was just over at lifehacker (an excellent blog btw), and thought of a brilliant – if not completely unoriginal concept… hacking the holidays! Now, when I say hack, what I mean is – to get inside the wants and needs of people you love without them knowing – to drop their jaws with some fantastic gift idea that either surprises them completely, or helps them in some way that would otherwise have gone neglected.

OK, so here’s how we do it. Today, we are going to concentrate on the needs of the people you love – in order to get them a gift that answers that need. Not the wants, but the needs. The wants are almost too easy to hack anyway, it’s the “needs” that people don’t necessarily advertise. One of the best ways I know to give a meaningful gift is by helping their health in the process.

Maybe you know someone who’s not necessarily at their peak condition. Perhaps your college buddy has developed a tummy to match good ol’ Saint Nick… or maybe your sister in law has eaten far too many Halloween candy this year, and it’s really starting to show.  A gym membership would be a great gift, if it didn’t immediately suggest that you think the receiver of that membership was a lazy, useless, slob. So we can forget about that – and anyway – have you seen the cost of gym memberships lately? It’s really not cheap. You could also get your Auntie a nice over-sized dress, or play “guess her weight” and get whacked with a Christmas ham at some point over the holidays. No, not wise I’m afraid. What we have to do here is devise a method from which you can extract the most service from your gift, with the least negative implications – contextually speaking. Speaking of “extract” here is a bloody good gift idea for your loved ones who may not be x Olympians.

Buy them a juicer!! Here is an excellent gift idea. If they have a juicer, buy them a juice recipes book! If you’re the second cousin of Donald Trump, buy them a Juicing spa retreat! I’m not kidding, Jack Lalanne is right about the health benefits of juicing. As you can tell by now I’ve been reading juicing recipes for health, a great site about the benefits of juicing, and with the authors unique approach + the videos he spreads throughout his site I have been converted to a juicing fanatic myself lately. So if I’ve given you that “aha” moment, head over there to find lots of great info, combined with any juicer or recipe book under the sun available to buy.

Appliances always make great gifts as well, because whenever these contraptions get used it’s always you they think about. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

If all of your loved ones are close relatives to Lance Armstrong, then perhaps you can forgo the juicer and look at other hacks to get inside their secret needs, but keep thinking along these lines. Health is one gift that keeps on giving long after you’ve thrown away the wrapper. Try thinking of some online Christmas shopping that helps in areas that are healthy and promote things like a balanced diet and good nutrition whenever you can (stealthily of course  :-)), because if your gift helps them stay healthy for years to come, you are giving them the greatest gift possible!

Don’t Get a Hangover Before The Party Starts!

santas everywhereI simply have to be the worst for planning Christmas parties. Yes when it comes to online Christmas shopping I have been labeled a “guru”, but parties just bug me. There is so much planning and preparation I often wish a guide – or maybe a magic wand existed to make it less misery for me.

Yes I love Christmas, that goes without saying, but planning for parties can get ridiculous and hard just because it seems I’ve already done everything there is to be done over the years. Often I end up stumped for new ideas to keep the fun in the Christmas spirit, when really it shouldn’t be that difficult. I recently found this guide, thanks to my sister-in-law :-), which is filled with creative Christmas ideas, and so far what I have read is very nice. With this guide you can simplify all your ideas, access them through an index, copy and paste your own ideas into a customized lesson plan. I’ve been reading it only for a few moments and already there are plenty of ideas for this years party to jot down and utilize. Click here and you can also check out some other ideas to help out your Xmas parties, and BTW that particular link has an excellent holiday cookbook.

There is more of course, but that’s the nutshell of those first few links. The last link contains a product I bought last year, and I have to say it’s gotten more use in my house than the fridge, come holiday season. Creative Christmas ideas also offers tons of Christmas game ideas, devotionals, ice breakers, along with a good deal of Christmas teachings – if you have children or plan to throw a party or 2 that includes little children. It’s always very nice to keep the kids up to date on exactly why they are getting gifts and time off from school. This day and age the reason behind Xmas seems to get lost in the translation.

All in all I’m quite impressed with this ditty, and it is really very cheap considering what it offers. As for my blog, this may not necessarily an online Christmas shopping article, but it will help you to get some more stress out of your way this Christmas, so check it out if you want! Having said all that, I guess I must send a shout out to my sister in law for sending it through for me to review. Kim, I actually enjoyed it!!

Who Else Wants Less Stress This Christmas Season?

christmas stressLet’s face it. The holiday season can be riddled with stress and worry, especially when you haven’t properly alloted time for it. There’s the dilemma of having to attend too many office parties, the dread of in-laws showing up on your doorstep, or just a general worry over what must be prepared at home (to let your friends know your not Ebeneezer Scrooge). The one thing you can do to avoid adding to stress is online Christmas shopping because at least knowing your shopping is taken care of will free up enough time to prepare for the other items on your Xmas agenda!

Here are some of the best spots to find great bargains and excellent support for your shopping needs. Clicking on the links will take you to a world where you can see just how much selection and price advantage online shopping can offer.

  • Amazon Stores – These are great for finding things that you may not think of buying someone, just from the vast selection a company such as Amazon has at its disposal. It’s also nice to note that what you may not find on any given site can usually be added buy a simple email request to the e site owner (which in this case happens to be me :-))
  • Chitika Mini Malls – Like I already noted, this is an excellent site that provides an awesome collection of products. The nice thing about Chitika is they always provide a comparative analysis of products and outlets, they provide product reviews, and offer the easiest vehicle for getting the best bargain. I use this company the most out of all the online shopping centers.
  • Ebay Stores – I’ve used these a great deal as well because in many cases you find people who have some kind of affiliation with major brands like Guess or Gucci. This particular store is even more perfect if you are from Singapore, but regardless it has some excellent items for toddlers, great garments for ladies, and it is known for it’s awesome customer feedback.

The Ghost of Christmas Stress

Yes it’s possible that the parties you will attend end up more boring than a Coat Hanger Convention, and it’s more than likely you’ll be visited by in laws that you secretly wish would move to Florida already. Plus its always a toss up between inviting your friends over to marvel at your decorations, or arriving at their doorstep with gift baskets and a healthy portion of egg nog. On top of all this the weather is either remarkably miserable or completely not in spirit with a season meant to be jolly. Now you may say that this seems like a horrible holiday picture, but let’s face it, a worse case scenario is worth pointing out when most of us have gone through something similar in our lifetime.

Online Christmas shopping can take a great deal of stress away from your busy holiday schedule just by its nature. Shopping online may not solve a weather crisis, but it will help you to stay inside and watch from your window as others chain their tires and brave frozen roads and overcrowded shopping malls. It may not allow you to avoid the dreaded office Christmas bash, but you are sure to show up with a great pile of cool gifts – if your online shopping was completed using the handy I Detective method I will outline soon. (hint hint :-)) Yep, shopping online not only frees up enormous time, it can allow you to get much more personal and specific with your gift ideas, and can keep you safe from transit catastrophes as well as frustrated shoppers.

There are many E Malls just like the ones I’ve described above, and within these and other web pages you will find that prices are much more competitive than “snail shopping” and also that the selection is much more appreciable. You can also shop comparatively, noting and bookmarking items for later consideration. All this helps so much to make your experience of gift unveiling a treat and not a holiday nightmare.

I have personally used Chitika malls for years now, but just recently have I decided to join their program for real. Mostly I like Chitika for their enormous choices and well thought out search engine. Recently I noticed how they take the extra effort to show you the competitive price from different companies and let you choose which is the best price for you. There’s nothing as good as looking for… say… a good juicer to find out that Best Buy has one 30.00 cheaper than Target.

All in all your online Christmas shopping needs can be fulfilled easily and without any stress, leaving you plenty of time to figure out the best way to avoid the in laws. In future posts I will show you how using a little shopping savvy can garner you some fairly incredible rewards programs and air miles as well. In the meantime, Halloween is over and now Christmas is just around the corner. Don’t you think it’s time to get started?

Getting Cyber Mugged?

Secure Online Shopping:

da internet policemanWhen it comes to credit card security my man is just as protective as an angry Rottweiler, and to be respectful I have to say that is a good thing. Around October when I would succumb to my online Christmas shopping needs he just couldn’t stop winging about the perils of cyber-crime and bad people. Yes, crime in any form is really not very nice, and protecting your identity and credit in this day and age is both prudent and necessary. However when self-protection turns into a blind belief in unreasonable myth I have to draw the line, and one of the worst myths in recent years pertains to online shopping being continually unsafe. I’ve been shopping online for roughly 10 years, 5 more years than I’ve spent as a married woman. Not once, even back in the days of the “Wild Wild West” (internetally speaking :-)) has anything untoward happened to my bank accounts. My credit is still picture perfect, and nobody is living in Paris buying a villa under my name.

My husband is a different story. He wouldn’t open his wallet online to save his own life – until 2 years ago when I finally convinced him to give it a try. Now he can’t stop!! It’s a bittersweet victory for me though, as I used to have so much fun laughing at him once Christmas Eve came. I always knew that on 10 am, December 24 he’d be on a mad dash to the mall for some last minute gift. I could also expect that infamous “call from the mall”, with a frantic man screaming “There’s nothing left here!”, or “this place is a madhouse!!”. That was always my cue to start the kettle for a nice chamomile tea to help him calm down once he got back home. 3 years ago the chamomile was replaced with a healthy dose of egg nog and a back rub, because apparently he went head to head with an impatient grandmother over the last good PS2 title at Sears. He lost miserably. I think that’s what convinced him online shopping was a safe bet.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a million horror stories regarding the evils of shopping online and they always precede the “it’s not secure” speech, but I’ve just never had any problems, and I’ve been doing it since it was possible. In 2002 I did have a problem with a gift being out of stock but thanks to a very courteous website, the substitute product suggested was even more perfect then the one I had initially ordered.

We’ve all heard these comments before, yes?:

  • Your credit card information is vulnerable!
  • You can have your identity stolen!
  • Criminals can get your home address when you shop online!

Every reason listed is nothing more than the myth of the insecure internet in action. In this day and age we have just as much chance of being mugged in a shopping mall as we do having our sensitive info stolen online by some ingenious hacker with a motive. Simply put, secure ordering online is exactly that, secure. The measures that companies have incorporated in their online purchase options have become extremely sophisticated and I am living proof that they can be trusted. There are precautions to take, just as there are precautions in the real world. You don’t go outside with a neon sign wrapped around you that says “I’m carrying $5 000.00 please steal it”, and likewise you wouldn’t shop online without the necessary protection. You can look at my recommendations for internet security to find out how best protect yourself.

All in all, online Christmas Shopping is safe, secure, and fun. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!

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