Black Friday really should be called Amateur Hour. Smart shoppers know that the real deals happen immediately after December 25, when retailers are looking to get rid of their winter inventory. But while you're hitting the mall and browsing the websites in late December, don't forget to check out the clearance sales on holiday decorations that take place between Christmas and New Year's Day. Just a little research will snag you some sweet savings on next year's festivities.
Shopping for inflatable Santas and snowflake tablecloths in late November is like looking for bathing suits and sundresses in June: You'll get what you want, but your bank account will feel the pinch. Retailers take advantage of our desperation and impulse-shopping urges, loading their shelves with seasonal merchandise and waiting for us to pounce. But once the season is over, we're less inclined to buy, which is a short-sighted move at best. We should be thinking in terms of what we'll need at this time next year, and buying all the clothes and decor that the stores can't get rid of fast enough. (I have a Halloween-loving friend who snatches up all the pumpkin centerpieces and skeleton figurines as soon as they get put on the clearance shelves on November 1.)
So before the ball drops on New Year's Eve and the unsold snowmen get shipped back to the warehouses, do some smart shopping and pick out the indoor and outdoor decorations you'll be delighted to unpack next December. (Yes, you'll be entitled to a little bragging when your friends and neighbors ask where you got them from.) Here are just a few of the great buys you can get right now.
Oh! Christmas Tree
Thinking of skipping the live tree next year? Think about it: An artificial Christmas tree is practical, reusable, and won't turn brown prematurely. The Home Depot is offering lots of models, such as this large pre-lit tree, in a variety of sizes and lighting options. And at this rock-bottom price, it'll pay for itself in just a year or two.
Even if you don't have a white Christmas next year, you can still create the illusion with this projection device, which stakes into the ground and rotates, flashing a pattern of pretty snowflakes onto your house (or the flat surface of your choice). Walmart is offering it at nearly 50 percent off.
Counting The Days
Send your letters to Santa off in style next year with this festive drape, ready to hang over your mailbox (box not included). The white-trimmed pine cones look like they just came from a snowy forest. Available online at BJ's for a get-it-now $20 — a quarter of the original price.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Even if you've already packed up your menorahs (Hanukkah came early this year), there's no reason why you can't still pick up some decor for 2019. JCPenney has this pillow on clearance for $30, but if you use the code SALE4 at checkout (good through January 2), you'll get an extra $6 off.
A Bouncing Bumble
The Abominable Snow Monster may have started off as the bad guy, but once Yukon Cornelius and Hermey tamed him, the Bumble turned out to be just as helpful in Santa's workshop as Rudolph himself. This inflatable Bumble will have everyone smiling when you put it in your yard.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.