It is almost time for me to start my Christmas shopping.
I am not alone. A survey -- called Holiday-ology, of shoppers at
Crossroads Mall and other properties owned by Macherich Co. of Santa
Monica, Calif. -- showed that 40 percent of shoppers wait until one
or two weeks before Christmas to begin shopping and 14.7 percent
wait until Christmas Eve.
On the other side of the gift-buying fence are those from the get-
every-present-purchased-early school of Christmas shopping. Many of
these shoppers started holiday shopping months ago and take pride in
being finished by Thanksgiving.
Why wait? One economic theory about holiday shopping contends
that the longer consumers wait to start buying, the more concerned
major retailers will become. They will start cutting prices quicker
and more drastically.
Shoppers from the shop-early school are working against this
theory -- big retailers will think sales for the holiday season are
going well and will not reduce prices.
For instance, a Christmas present bought in June is not going to
be of any use for six months. The shop-late economic theory suggests
that, instead of buying the gift during the summer, to put money
that would have been better spent in an interest-bearing account and
then wait to shop -- at least until mid-December.
Savvy shoppers will have more money to spend and worried major
retailers will have already slashed prices, resulting in even bigger
There is also the risk of buying a Christmas gift for someone in
June or July and later realizing that you do not really need to have
a present for that person.
For example, you buy a gift in June for your son-in-law --
something that only he would appreciate. In August, your daughter
tells you what a #%&* he has become and by Labor Day he is no longer
a member of your family. These gifts often become merchandise for a
garage sales and are sold for cents on the dollar.
Early shoppers also use the if-I-wait-too-long-all-of-the-
This is not a concern for late shoppers. We are innovative and
creative shoppers. If a particular item is so popular that it is
sold out by a week before Christmas, it is too mainstream for us.
"Almost everyone will have one of those," we say. "I want to find
gifts that are different."
Party like The Duke
John (The Duke) Wayne lived a lavish life. One of his most
cherished possessions was a 136-foot yacht, the Wild Goose.
A World War II minesweeper, custom converted to include a top
"party" deck for 150, the Wild Goose was bought by Wayne in 1962. He
doubled cabin size, raised headroom to accommodate his height, and
included a wet bar, poker table, fireplace and all the comforts you
would expect. Now operated by Hornblower Cruises and Events, the
Wild Goose is available for special events.
"Aboard, she is truly one of a kind," says Kevin Lorton, director
of sales of Hornblower's Los Angeles/Orange County operation. "And,
if a client wishes, we can arrange for the very image of John Wayne,
his walk, his voice, his smile, to join your party. The Duke passed
away in 1979 and this is an impersonator, of course. But a memorable
An outing on the Wild Goose would make a memorable gift and
Betting on a good gift
Finding the proper gift can often be a gamble. How about taking
your beloved to Las Vegas for New Year's Eve.
It's being dubbed "The Big Bang," and city officials hope it
brings a blast for the bucks. Stung by criticism that its year 2000
celebration fell flat, Las Vegas intends to explode $500,000 worth
of fireworks in 10 minutes over its famous Strip and downtown this
New Year's Eve.
"Last year, I was being interviewed as the new mayor of the
entertainment capital of the world, and I looked out and it was a
dud," Mayor Oscar Goodman told The Associated Press. …