118 Black Friday–Still a Thing?

It just seems like Black Friday doesn’t have the buzz it used to, does it? But we’re still going to shop this year, so I have a few things to say about that. And an email at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET about what Christmas IS to them. Would love to hear your voice telling me at (323) 487-12-25! You’ll find the Christmas Stocking on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+ and Pinterest. And of course at MyChristmasStocking.net.

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Featured music:

“Someone to Love This Christmas” by Michelle Hylan
Buy on iTunes
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Background music:

“Jingle Bells” by the California Guitar Trio
Buy their music here

“Holiday Glory” by Howard Eddy
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Up on the Housetop” by Frank Carter from the album “Christmas Cheer”
Get the album from Frank
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells” (from Noisetrade)

More information:

DealNews has what they say are the 12 biggest Black Friday myths.

Digital Strategy Consulting reveals more research on Black Friday post-Brexit in the UK.

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96 Black Friday and Hot Toys for 2014

Complementing past Black Friday episodes about online and credit card safety, we look at other techniques for staying both safe and comfortable on Black Friday and beyond.  Join me on  Twitter (@XmasStocking) where you’ll get some Christmas news, Google+, where I hope to do a hangout or two, Facebook, where we talk about the show. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Call the Christmas Stocking and tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Big thanks to Anne who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Bells are Ringing” by The Connection from the album “A Christmas Gift for”
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Dance to da Beat” by 5 is Even (from Mevio.com)

“Carol of the Bells” by Live Action Fezz from the album “Badgerland: A Very Badgerland Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

The National Crime Prevention Council has tips for your personal safety plan for Black Friday.

BlackFriday.com has more good Black Friday etiquette. Not quite Emily Post….

The toys returning from the 1980s. Some other great toys this year.

Tips to save on Christmas shopping all year.

85 Black Friday 2013

It’s a big shopping day, not the biggest, but one of them. When did the stores start calling it “Black Friday?” Join the family at Google+Facebook and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Email us TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The home site is MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find all of the episodes and how you can get on the show. And thanks to Nancy in Nebraska and Paul in the UK for your generous gifts to the Christmas Stocking. Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

December 26” by Todd Wright from “Imperfect Heart
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Happy Holiday” by Tigertail (from Mevio.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

More information:

The Visual Thesaurus has more on the modern usage of Black Friday.

Here’s more on the hot toys I told you about.

And some quality gifts for kids courtesy of HuffPost Parents.

What are the toys that Target and Toys “R” Us promoting?

72 Black Friday and Christmas Shopping 2012

The shopping season is here. Some strategies for getting deals, some hot toys and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. You’ll find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter.com/XmasStocking,  Facebook.  Let the world know what Christmas means to you. Call me privately from MyChristmasStocking.net using the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Coming Home” by The Sota Boys from “MistleFlow” (Distrophonix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” by Charles Afton from “The Reindeer Room II” (Kriztal Entertainment Group, Inc.)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“We Three Funky Kings” by  Jay Soto from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Predictions for the 2012 Christmas shopping season from smarter people than me (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

The logic behind the myth of the Black Friday deal.

The ins- and outs- of price-matching policies you need to watch out for.

The Toys ‘R’ Us 2012 Holiday Hot Toy List!

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book!

There have been Black Friday episodes in every season (6 of them! Plus one more where I talk a little about it!)

60 Black Friday, Christmas Shopping Advice and Safety Tips 2011

From Black Friday 2011: It’s officially shopping day, even though the sales have been going on for a while.  Some shopping advice apps and more. Lots happening on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Circle the Christmas Stocking on  Google+. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And introduce the show yourself at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“This Christmas” by The Elves of Heaven from “This Christmas EP” (Seaport Music Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Greetings in Space” by Pufferfisk from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Winterprayer” by John Morgan, available on a CD of Christmas music. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

More information:

Thanks to Dead Air Radio, who introduced the show.

The Better Business Bureau’s tips are here.

Some Black Friday mobile apps from DealNews, Fat Wallet, and TGI Black Friday.

What should you avoid buying on Black Friday?

Thanks again to Anonymous for the gift. If you’d like to give to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

59 Thanksgiving Potpourri

From Thanksgiving 2011: We return for our sixth year; I’m glad you’re here. Keep up with Christmas at  Twitter.com/XmasStocking and our Facebook page, and circle us on Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call me from MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find many more episodes, too.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“She’s Coming Home for X-mas” by The Beautiful Losers from “Peace, Love and Xmas” (Strawberry Hill Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background Music:

“Nasareth Homeboy”  by HÃ¥kan Lidbo from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Amy Marie from “Simple Gifts” (Spiritwood Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Background on this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree.

If you’re interested in the Capitol Christmas tree you might be interested in its driver as it travels across the country. He’s a volunteer.

Check out this video of the Chicago tree being loaded on the flatbed truck.

Learn where the official White House tree for the Blue Room came from.

Find out more about James Taylor as Bob Cratchit.

Thanks again to Beth from North Carolina. If you’d like to give a gift to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

49 Christmas Shopping, Online Safety and Hot Toys

From Black Friday 2010: While you’re shopping, or getting ready to, check out the trends for 2010, and get some advice about how to be safe online this season. Lots happening on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And let us know what your deepest wish for Christmas is at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Hip Hop Christmas” by Mark Mangold, Lyza Wilson and Elijah K.

Background music:

“We Wish You a Merry Synthmas” by the Genius Johnnies (from MacJams.com)

“Iron Horse” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Very Christmasy” by DJplaneten from “Jul PÃ¥ Techno – 9 Swedish Christmas Anthems”
(Clubstream Mix)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Jingle Bells” by Corky Hale from “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas”
(LML Music)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Suggestions on where to shop online.

Gallup‘s survey on 2010 shoppers.

The 12 Scams of Christmas. Look out!

Here’s more on the hot toys for 2010.

37 Black Friday and Jingle Bells

From Christmas 2009: Shopping looks to be a bear this season; maybe we can tame it a little. Wish someone Merry Christmas on the phone at MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so it won’t be revealed. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bells” by Lisa Loeb from “Kids’ Club – Holiday Fun Volume 1” (Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Deck the Halls (feat. Di Johnston)” by Undercover Christmas from “Undercover Christmas: Chapter One” (Undercover Culture Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

“We Three Kings II” by BuddahBoy (from Soundclick.com)

More information:

Many Black Friday sites are out there. BlackFriday.info is one I check, since I like things basic.

This is a corporate-looking CyberMonday.com site, but it has information.

Search my tweets on Black Friday, shopping and retail by checking this page, entering one of those words and putting XmasStocking in the “From” box.

If you want more on Jingle Bells, including the missing verse, Wikipedia will tell you.

26 Black Friday and Christmas Shopping 2008

From Black Friday 2008: As much as we say it’s not happening this year, most of us will end up doing more Christmas shopping than we were planning to. This time, we have some Black Friday tips and general shopping tips. And someone special called. You can, too. More at MyChristmasStocking.netEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton

Background music:

“Innkeeper” by Yelena N. Eckemoff from “New Christmas Songs”
(L & H Production)
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Silent Night Instrumental” by Jiggajoe (from Soundclick.com)

“Up on a Housetop” by Kevin MacLeod (from Incompetech.com)

For more information:

There are a ton of sites with Black Friday info, which will probably be updated throughout the season like  Black-Friday.net and BlackFriday.info (which has a nice news blog, too).  Don’t forget CyberMonday.com, which looks like it’s in cahoots with the merchants (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution website has some good shopping tips, and the Worcester Telegram has cyber shoppping tips.

I also mention John Hodgeman.

15 Christmas Shopping 2007

From Christmas ’07: Black Friday is here again, and we look at what the shopping season will be like this year, along with the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, celebrating their 100th anniversary. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net to comment. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:
“Skating” by Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra (from “Carol Of The Bells”)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Seasoned Greetings” by Davie Allan and the Arrows from (“Fuzz For the Holidays 2”)
More On This Album

Featured song:

“Black Friday” by Music for Viola (from “Takin’ Care of Christmas” and Soundclick.com)

More information:

You can look at the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book yourself. Wikipedia has some choice selections from previous Christmas Books.

Back down to Earth, here’s a nice history of the Sears catalog.

Christmas shopping ’07 forecast: The Game industry and big screen TVs. Will the United Kingdom have a good shopping year? Or a bad one?

2 Black Friday

From Christmas ’06: The most anticipated shopping day of the year for many shoppers, the most dreaded for others, and for retail employees: Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. What’s up with such a forboding name for such a fun day? We’ll get into that and more on the Christmas Stocking. What is the coolest, wildest gift you’re giving a loved one this year? Let me know! The music’s a bit crazy this time, just like the day. Comment at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies by Molly Pauken and Rob Brumfiel from the album “Six String Christmas”

Brooklyn Christmas by Peter S. Quinn (from GarageBand.com)

Featured song:

Christmas Hopes and Joy by Black Turtle