Weekly Gift Idea: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Good Grief!

happy computerDon’t you get tired of being pestered from every side by the media. Right now is the beginning of the holiday season and we are being pestered up and down on television and in the newspapers, etc. And Oh Yes! By our computers.

Right now we’re being pestered about Black Friday. You don’t have to go to a store to find a Black Friday deal. They are all over the web. And now I’m being hit by Cyber Monday. As I remember, Bill Gates said that cyber Monday is the day we should be giving to others. I think that the retailers could care less about that. They just for you to buy.

There is one good side to this. We can pick up some excellent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, the gifts we need for Christmas.

So we may as well reach into that Opportunity Grab Bag and save some dough.

Now, I’m pestering you! Good Grief, Charlie Brown!


2014 Black Friday deals–find this year’s lowest prices and sales on electronics, video games, DVDs, and more.

Black Friday 2014 Deals Are Here

Black Friday deals are here! From now through November 28 you can skip the lines and shop Black Friday deals from anywhere, even your couch. We will have thousands of limited-time Lightning Deals for you to choose from, exciting Deals of the Day, and savings on your favorite electronics, toys, jewelry and more. New deals start as often as every 10 minutes.

Weekly Gift Idea: Advantages of Shopping Online

Jeff Bezos, Mr. Amazon.com

Jeff Bezos, Mr. Amazon.com

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon in 1994, sold books on the Internet then disks, electronics, clothing, camping equipment, jewelry and many other items. Amazon is the largest Internet company and the company that made retail shopping online possible for a multitude of items. Amazon is not the only choice now. Just the best choice.

All large chain stores now sell online, Walmart, JCPenney, Target and so many others. If you are old and confined like me, you do most of your shopping online.

Some warehouse outlets sell online. In fact, that is why they were started. I have had some problem with such organizations. One company ruined Christmas for me last year when it did not ship what I ordered before Christmas. Therefore I would order early from any company that you have not ordered from before, and call customer service to make sure you will get your stuff.

You can see why I stick with Amazon and the Big Chains.

Most all companies will gift wrap your packages and ship them to whatever address you like.

I don’t know if you know what it’s like to try to wrap about 100 packages, but to me, that is not fun. My wife’s care giver has helped me to do this during the last couple of years. I am not going to wrap gifts this year or am I going to take them to the post office.

Shopping early is always a good idea. That way you know that things are going to get where you want them to go when you want them to get there.

One thing about dealing with Amazon or the Chains is that you will be able to return the gifts or other packages easily. If the shirt doesn’t fit, no problem. You can exchange it immediately.

Also, you can review what people say about products. This is very valuable. Nobody wants to receive a piece of junk in the mail.

Happy Shopping and Happy Thanksgiving to you ane yours. Don’t get run over on Black Friday!

John and Pat Jones

Buhl, Idaho

Weekly Gift Idea: Black Friday

camping 1It’s Cold Out Here!

If there’s anything I hate it is standing out in the freezing cold in the wee hours of the morning waiting for some store to open its doors so that the stampede can tromp me into the concrete. You finally get up to where your item was waiting for you and find that it is not there any longer. The fat guy in the red shirt heading for the cash register is holding it high over his head. He has a smirk on his face.

There are alternatives because numerous retail enterprises want to grab your money and they know that some of us will not have our nose against their store window. So they have sales during the week and on the Internet. You probably know that Walmart has lots of sales this week, one after another.

I ordered a few items from Walmart the other day but I didn’t want to go to the store. My granddaughter said, you can just pick that up at the store. I had Walmart stick it in the mail. FedEx says it will be here next Friday so I will not be going out into the cold because they will bring it right to my door.

Camping Out?

Christmas birdIf you like the adventure of freezing your butt before the store opens, then more power to you. Our local mall says that they are opening at midnight so you can get in out of the cold. You might even be able to grab a cinnamon roll that a cup of Joe while you are waiting in line. That is if you have someone to chase after it or hold your spot.

I guess some folks take a canteen full of hot cocoa and a lunch with them. That and an arctic sleeping bag and a tent can make life better. Camping stuff is on sale now.

I used to love camping until I lived outdoors, frequently under ground, in Korea. That took some of the luster out of it. I still enjoyed it with my scout troop(s) and my family if I had the right equipment such as an air mattress that would stay inflated, a tent that didn’t leak and a good place to fish.

AMZ 2It does sound exciting now. Maybe I’ll run out there with the rest of the county. No wait! I forgot that I’m 82 years old. What I want I couldn’t carry it anyway.


Weekly Gift Idea: The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas treeWhen I was a kid, we didn’t get much for Christmas. Usually one toy. My parents couldn’t even afford that sometimes. It was hard enough to put food in our bellies and close on our back. Our neighbors helped.

But we always had a Christmas tree, which we decorated together, and I always got scolded for not separating the icicles and throwing them when we put Christmas decorations on the tree.

We always had a turkey dinner. One year we had a leg of lamb which my father had made so much ado about, leg of lamb with mint jelly. But the dinner was a bust as far as we were concerned. We wanted our turkey. So did Dad.

Santa and SleighWhen we were little, we always had Santa come to the house. That was a very exciting time until my sister told me that our Santa was really the boy next door. I started checking beards in the stores around town, giving them a tug. That was not appreciated by the store Santa especially when we announced that he was not Santa, just a helper.

A few times the city and county employees put on a Christmas show for the children. That was an exciting time because we always got a nice gift at the end of the program.

My Parents

My Parents

On Christmas morning, we always lined up at the parlor door, the younger children first, my brother Don, me, Lorna, Pearl, Dorothy, Aaron and Alice. Pearl, Aaron and Alice have since passed on. When the door finally opened, we ran in, looked at our gift, and started to rifle our stocking.

I always knew what I was getting because dad was so excited about it that he always told me. He bought me a wind-up train, which my cousin broke that afternoon, a wood rifle, and the most exciting of all, a stationary engine that I could never get to work.

SantaOn one Christmas, my father’s parents came to stay with us. Grandpa bought me a drum set which I love to play. So did the other kids. But grandma didn’t like it at all. She always seemed to have a splitting headache and the drums didn’t make her feel any better. So that was the end of the drum playing while they were there.

My grandmother’s carrot pudding was big with me. I loved it hot and covered with hot white sauce. One year she blew her putting all over the kitchen ceiling when she put the lids on too tight, but we still had putting. Trying to get that stuff off the ceiling was another thing.

The last exciting thing about Christmas, was taking the Christmas tree outdoors, when the needle started falling all over the floor, and burning it. There is nothing like a Christmas tree burning, shooting fiery pine needles into the sky.


Weekly Gift Idea: Black Friday Is Here at Amazon

Black Friday Deals

AMZ 2Here’s a chance to save some money on Christmas gifts without leaving your home, without packing the gift, without shipping the gift.

Amazon started their Black Friday today. Every 10 minutes or so they are listing new gifts that you can purchase at much lower cost.

Amazon offers gift wrapping and notes if you say that your purchase is a gifts.

Well, I’ll certainly be over there.


Weekly Gift Idea: Books for Children

Dr S 1You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child. Dr. Seuss (thanks to brainyquote.com)

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read. Abraham Lincoln (thanks to brainyquote.com)

You cannot open a book without learning something. Confucius (thanks to brainyquote.com)

The first book I ever read was Dick and Jane. Thousands of us can say that same thing. But the books I like best when I was a kid, with a Jimmy microbe books. Later it was anything written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. But my favorite childhood book was I Was a Headhunter by Lewis Vance Cummings.

My wife’s favorite book was The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. She passed these around to our grandchildren over the years. My wife’s caregiver says that she made her boys read Ann of Green Gables to give them culture.

Books are great gifts for children. Our children loved books and they still do. Reading is a good habit to get into and the best time to get into it is when you are young.

Buy a child a book and then read it to him or her.

Even teenagers like to be read to. We had a teacher when I was in junior high school, Miss Bowdidge, who always read to us. In fact, we begged her to read to us so we could sit there and listen to her instead of work.

Sounded like a good idea at the time.

JohnSanta and Sleigh

Weekly Gift Idea November 19, 2014: Lowering the Cost of Christmas

miserI have 34 living grand-kids. Some are married and have spouses. And of course, my children are married and they have spouses. During the last year, we have been building quite an inventory of great-grandchildren. So the cost of handling Christmas is giving exorbitant.

Every year I have said I’m going to stop buying because I’m getting old and I could run out of money if I don’t cut back. My wife has a full-time caregiver and the cost of taking care of her is over $55,000 each year. There are some cost in addition to that. Fortunately I have much of the cost covered by insurance.

But now I have to take the suggestion of some of my children. That is to join in the family pool and draw a name. So that’s what I’m going to do starting this year. I’m going to contact my children and have them put me in their family pool and draw me a name. That way I will only have to buy five family gifts so I can give them something of a bit more value.

Another way to cut cost at Christmas, is to cut down your list of those whom you would like to give to. Sometimes that is the only practical thing to do, especially if you are short on cash. You also can save by not buying on credit. Hide your credit cards for the holiday season and forget where you put it.

Credit card spending should be paid off at the end of each month.

You also can cut back on the amount of money that you are willing to pay for a gift.

Watch for the sales!

Ebenezer Scrooge

Weekly Gift Idea: How to Shop for the Holidays

One of my great grandchildren.

One of my great grandchildren.

MSHG LogoEvery year I have a new batch of great-grandchildren. Adding to my 34 living grandchildren and my children and spouses, buying Christmas gifts is always a problem. Every year I tell my children that this is the last year that I’m buying gifts, but every year I end up buying gifts. It’s like buying for the 10 Tribes of Israel.

Santa and SleighIn the past, I’ve headed out to the mall and shopped the main chains. I also have used Walmart where they have the prices listed at the end of the isles so that you know what you will be paying.

I also shop on the Internet, especially Amazon, but you can shop at Walmart and Target and Walgreens and many other stores on the Internet. I have not always been satisfied with Internet shopping. One year, many of the gifts did not arrive either before or after Christmas. That discount supplier is off my list.

Christmas treeEach year we received gifts through the mail from our children. Nowadays they are almost always shipped from an Internet store. So they don’t go through all of this wrapping and label it again sorting in such that I have been going through every year. For the last couple of years I have had my wife’s caregiver give me I hand. She is much better at keeping things straight than this old gray head.

ShoppersFinancing these gifts is getting to be a problem for me. With about 100 heads, that means a lot of money that I can no longer afford. I say this because I was given a new aortic valve (my second replacement) in September and I could live another five or 10 years. I could run out of money. My wife requires tens of thousands of dollars to care for each year. I do have insurance, but there are lots of extra cost.

So, maybe this is the year that I don’t buy gifts. Well, I always say that.

Send money! LOL (Just kidding!)


Gift Suggestion for Today: Electric Blanket or Mattress

MSHG LogoI’ve been thinking about electric blankets and mattress pads. I ordered today having never had one in my life. But it is very cold here now and I have a big pile of blankets which keep me cold or hot, too hot. Then I wake up all sweaty and have to pull off my night shirt.

My wife’s caregiver, who seems to be taking of me a lot of time, suggested an electric blanket or mattress pad. So, now I’m on my way to controlled heat.

But I thought, “What a nice gift an electric blankets and mattress pads would be for an older person. Well, nobody seems to be older than me around here but maybe your parents or grandparents could use such an outstanding gift. You might even reward yourself for being so considerate.

I remember when I was a kid in Utah, how cold it got with no heat at night, and how many blankets we had to have. I use to help my mother stretch and sew blankets. It was also my job to get the frames out and put them together.

I remember the curtains had to be put on frames when they were washed so that they would dry in place. But then, I also remember putting flat irons on the stove for ironing and scrubbing boards and stuff  like that. I remember the great joy at our house when Mother got an electric clothes washer. Can you imagine not having one now days? Wouldn’t you get tired of turning the crank on that blasted ringer?

My Parents

My Parents

I guess I’ll be up to the times with my new electric blanket. LOL

So do you think that an electric blanket or mattress pad would make a good gift?

Just thinking out loud.


Grabbing Savings at Amazon


MSHG LogoGrabbing savings at Amazon.com is easy. First, they are always blasting out emails to customers on the subject. Right now it is Black Friday time so you hear that. Also, it is the Holiday season so you get that rush too.

When you shop at Amazon, you can look at the categories and choose one or you can search all departments. You also can write Best Sellers or Top Sellers so that you can find what others are buying. You will  not get the same page of buys. These titles are different to Amazon. Don’t ask me why.

Other entries could be Top 10 Sellers or such. You will always get what you are after if Amazon has it.

You could write Bikes on Sale in Sports or All Departments or such. Amazon let’s you dig. You will probably get what you are looking for, however, using Bikes for Kids in Sports and Outdoors.

I always look at the descriptions on a product. Sometimes it leads to better products. For example, I was looking for a history of New Mexico book and a comment suggested a better book. He was right. Since I am writing another novel for Amazon, I bought both books which I need for backup for my novel. Just for the fun of it, I just put under Books, “Best Selling History of New of Mexico. ”

I didn’t get history. I got the current drug situations, a kids book, and other non history. You just have to give things a try.

Amazon is such a huge outfit that you can usually find what you want. Watch pricing however, they are not always the least expensive but free shipping always helps Prime Membership Members in that area.

Santa and SleighTis’ the Season to be Merry!

Have fun!