Now that we’ve all been (literally) stuffed on turkey and the dust has settled with Black Friday’s marathon sales, the holiday season is officially in full swing. Santa is in residence and “Frosty the Snowman” is seemingly inescapable in the Freehold Raceway Mall. To avoid burning out before it’s even December, try these fun tips to get in the holiday spirit!
- Get a jump on shopping… this weekend. For those who opted out of the mania that is Black Friday, don’t feel like you missed out: many stores extend sales throughout this weekend, and you’ll be relatively unbothered with all those door-busters home resting.
- Check back at your favorite stores often. It pains me to see a shirt I bought a week ago suddenly marked down on sale, but with a little diligence you can wind up on top of this situation. Become familiar with your favorite stores’ policies; some offer adjustments if recent purchases go down in price, and others will willingly let you return and re-buy unused merchandise.
- To get the most out of your holiday budget, you’ll also want to make sure you don’t wind up stuck with ill-fitting or unwanted gifts by getting gift receipts. Double-check how long you have to return, as well, because while many stores enact longer holiday policies at this time, not all do. Diligence is key!
- Take a break from the work of gift-shopping with a movie at AMC Loews. Christmas offerings right now are the sweetly comic Arthur Christmas or the decidedly R-rated A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Or see something the whole family can enjoy, like the nostalgic gem The Muppets or Martin Scorsese’s fanciful Hugo. Students get discounted tickets on Thursdays and seniors (over 60) on Tuesdays.
- Visit Santa in the mall’s center court area, where he resides 9 am to 9 pm, from now until Christmas Eve. If you go before December 7, though, not only will you beat the crowds, but save $3 on photo packages instantly. After taking the kids’ picture with Santa, go just a stone’s throw away to Starbucks to sample the new holiday flavors. Warm up with a Caramel Brulée Latte, or get really cozy with a Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha.
- Stock up on Christmas cards at Hallmark on the upper level Lord & Taylor wing before the good ones are gone (then you wind up with those sad pan-seasonal images of bare snow-covered trees) and get a jump on sending out your season’s greetings, because the holidays will be upon us in no time!
I can’t guarantee that any of this will cure the fact that each consecutive store you enter is playing the same four Christmas songs, but they can instill the spirit of this most wonderful time of the year!