Thanksgiving is less than a week away. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally when we decorate our house for Christmas. We take out the Christmas tree, string it with lights, ornaments and other decorations. We start decorating the outside of the house as well.
Our first Christmas out of college was rather pathetic in terms of decorations because we didn’t have hardly any of our own but we managed to scrape by. Wait a second… I didn’t say we went out and bought a bunch of stuff? Very observant of you! Here’s why…
Christmas Only Happens Once a Year
I know the fact that Christmas only happens once a year is a bit obvious. What is less obvious is what happens with this and any other holiday that occurs once a year. Stores stock up on decorations months in advance (especially for Christmas) and try to get exactly the right amount so after the holiday goes by they have nothing left to sell.
This doesn’t always happen though. In fact, there is normally a lot of left over decorations after holidays, especially Christmas. So what happens?
Christmas Clearance Sales
You guessed it! The day after Christmas almost every store will mark all of their decorations on clearance. This should shock no one. Remember Easter and Halloween? There was a ton of candy and decorations marked half off the day after. Same thing goes for Christmas.
Most stores will start discounting their items at 50% off. They will discount the slow moving items even more the longer they sit on the shelves. Everyone who pays any attention knows this happens with every holiday. A few people take advantage but the masses just buy when everyone else does, in the weeks prior to the holiday.
Your decorations from last year should cover your Christmas this year even if you normally buy a few new things. Don’t buy any new decorations before Christmas this year. Instead you should…
Make a List of What You Want
There are a ton of great deals out there but if you buy stuff you don’t need or will never use you’ve just made a bad purchase. Instead, make a list of the things you want to get in the weeks before Christmas. Take a look over the list on Christmas day after things have settled down and decide what you really want to get.
Things go fast during the after Christmas clearance sales and not everything makes it to the clearance. If there is something you absolutely MUST have you better get it before Christmas. For everything else, number your list in order of which item you want most. Go for the items at the top of the list first before heading for the other items.
Remember how I said our first Christmas was pretty slim in terms of decorations? We found a tiny Christmas tree in our rental house’s storage shed and set that up. We borrowed some ornaments from my parents.
I used some lights I had bought the day after a few Christmases ago (they were only a dollar a box when I bought them). That was about all we had in terms of decorations that Christmas.
The day after that Christmas we went out and bought an awesome tree for half off. We bought some glass bulb ornaments, again at half off and a few other items. We didn’t get any extra lights though. We had plenty of those and saw no reason to buy new ones.
Have you ever taken advantage of after Christmas or after holiday clearance sales? There is a ton of money to save if you can control yourself and buy for next year the day after the celebrations are over.
P.S. That picture up there actually is our first Christmas tree. My girlfriend took the awesome picture!