Black Friday, as you probably know, is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.
If you’re one of the millions who plan to partake in the post-Thanksgiving deal frenzy, you’ll almost definitely be buying Christmas gifts for the loved ones on your list.
You’ll likely also be purchasing something to fill you and your home with the festive spirit – Christmas decorations.
The Problem: the Pricing
It may seem like a logical purchase, but should you really buy Christmas decorations on Black Friday?
Well actually, in most cases, no. You shouldn’t. Most everyone agrees that the absolute best deals on Christmas decorations happen after Dec. 25. Once all the gifts have been unwrapped and the last sugar cookie has been devoured, stores will immediately begin to discount their holiday décor, from wreaths and lights to artificial trees.
In fact, beginning Dec. 26 and lasting into January, you could see markdowns of 50-70% on your favorite holiday ornaments, ribbons and garland. Because of this – from a purely deal-oriented perspective – Christmas decorations are one of the top items not to buy on Black Friday.
Sometimes waiting for post-Christmas sales isn’t realistic, though. If you don’t want to wait until after the holiday, and you don’t happen to be one of the forward-thinking bargain hunters who stocked up on decorations at the end of last season, what should you do?
You could always skip decorations this year. That would save you the most money, but it may also rob you of your holiday spirit. You could make your own decorations, but that may be difficult if you don’t have the time or the crafty skills. What option is left if you don’t want to be a Grinch? (Actually, even the Grinch puts a holiday costume on his dog, Max … )
The Solution: Scope Out the Sales
If you’re looking to deck your house in holiday dazzle and want to enjoy your decorations for at least a month before Christmas comes and goes, your best bet is to time your decoration purchase around a Christmas décor sale. This means waiting a little later into the holiday season and not purchasing the first life-sized Santa you see on display. Thus, Black Friday – and Cyber Monday – may actually help you.
For example, if you were to purchase the 6-foot unlit 658-tips Weston spruce Christmas tree online from Kmart today, you’d pay $44.99 for the item. Last year, the same artificial tree was a Black Friday doorbuster at the discount retailer. It was on sale for $24.99. That’s quite a difference.
In 2013, retailer Rite Aid featured a 5-foot-tall animated Santa for $49.99 for customers shopping with a Wellness+ Card, the store’s rewards program. Right now, Rite Aid has a similar Singing Santa character available online for $149.99.
If this year’s retail discounts are anything like last year’s, holiday shoppers could be seeing large savings again in 2014.
In fact, Target is already promising its customers deals on holiday décor, lights, cards and Christmas trees during its annual post-Thanksgiving sale. Retailers that had holiday decoration items discounted during their Black Friday 2013 events – which means they may continue the tradition this year – include Walgreens, Jo-Ann, True Value and Bon-Ton. Consider checking Black Friday ads from these stores as soon as they become available.
So, yes, when it comes to Christmas décor, and if you didn’t already get the best prices available late last year, you may indeed benefit from Black Friday deals. Stores may also begin their Christmas decoration promotions even a little before Black Friday, so be on the lookout in November. Although you won’t save as much as you would if you shopped after Christmas, you’ll get a better deal than if you made a purchase right now. Thus, you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds this holiday season – saving money and decorating your home.
More Options: Go Discount, or Wait a Bit More
If you’re content with having your house lit up for only a week or two before the holiday, consider waiting out the Black Friday promotions and making your purchase as close to Christmas as possible. Stores may be more eager to unload their red-and-green-themed inventories the more demand begins to decrease.
And if you have to make your purchase right now, shop at a discount retail store as opposed to a high-end home décor store. Reasonably priced decorations can be found at Wal-mart or Kohl’s.
Christmas decoration image via Shutterstock