Holiday Shopping Tips

By Marisa, age 19, Indiana

With the commercial presence reminding us that the holiday season is growing closer and closer, the urge to find the perfect gift for everyone on our lists is growing stronger with each day. Of course, holiday shopping can be difficult when you want to purchase things your friends and relatives will enjoy without going over your spending limit. Even though the Black Friday rush is over, there are still plenty of great buys that can allow you to please everyone on your list ... and your wallet too.

When preparing to go on a holiday shopping run, have a general idea of what each of your friends or family members would like. If you go out with an intention to get something very specific, it is more likely that a higher price will not detract your buying interest. Browse the ads before you go and have a plan to avoid expensive stores where more money buys fewer gifts.

The mall is not always the best place for holiday shopping. There are way too many overpriced stores and plenty of places to get sidetracked spending money on yourself. Of course, the mall offers a great selection of stores, so it's easy to find something for everyone in one stop if you are willing to spend a little extra cash.

Ebay is a great mall alternative if you have access to a debit or credit card through a Paypal account. Ebay has even more options than the mall, and you don't even have to leave your house to go shopping. Be careful when bidding. Make sure you know if the item you are buying is in new or used condition, and check that the shipping time will allow for you to receive your item by Christmas. Not only does Ebay have a huge selection, but their prices nearly always beat those of retailers.

One great low-cost gift option is making something on your own. Everyone loves getting a homemade gift because it shows that you cared to take the time to make something rather than just go buy it. Cookies are a great option, especially for dads and boyfriends. What guy doesn't love a batch of homemade goodness? If you're the artistic type, there are even more options available. Why not put together a scrapbook of your favorite memories with your closest friends. It's cheap to get duplicates of photos made, so you can make a similar gift for all of your closest friends and personalize it to fit each of your friends' personalities.

Christmas right around the corner and you still haven't found the perfect gift for one of your girlfriends or ever your mom? I suggest, a great collection of shoes and purses that offers overnight shipping for the unbeatable price of negative five dollars. Unbelievable. Some of their items are a bit on the pricey side, but endless is a great option if you find yourself in a pinch for time.

No matter what you need to get for someone on your list, you're sure to be able to get it at an affordable price if you look hard enough. Have a great holiday, and happy shopping!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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