The Holiday Season Guide to Black Friday
Here we go again the time of month where you get the best savings of the season. The time when you can get toys, electronics, clothes, jewelry anything you can think of is cut to a reasonable price. This is the night when you wake up at 4 am in the morning and shop to you can’t anymore and hope you got everything off your Christmas list.
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Since 1952, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early and offer promotional sales.
As the day became bigger through the 1990s and 2000s, with ever-more dramatic price reductions, ever-larger and rambunctious crowds, and greater acts of consumer durable acquisition, the character of it as a day of disorder returned.
As with all aspects of American consumption in the 2000s, it acquired a surreal aspect. The many objects being hoarded and carted away were so large, the malls were so big, the cars were so oversized that the spectacle was almost a parody of consumption.
Nowadays the malls and shops have decided to ditch the one day for three days to spread out the savings, merchandise, and the acts of violence that comes with Black Friday. I mean you had to be ready to fight to get that last doll, action figure, and game system. The corporate world wants the money but don’t want to have people killing themselves over the products. Shopping is fun, but if can also be stressful. How do you know if you’re making the right decision or choice? Educate yourself of course before you buy. So, here is a guideline of how to approach the busiest American consumption day of November called Black Friday.
Toy Buying Guide
Toys do more than amuse your child. A set of building blocks or a doll can be a valuable learning tool for a child, teaching them skills such as hand-eye coordination, memory, recognition, and much more.
We’ve listed toys that suit various stages of your child’s development to help you find the perfect playthings for your baby, toddler, or child. Our guide can help you shop, but don’t forget to keep your child’s developmental stage and preferences in mind too
You’ll find most newborn toys are quite similar: they use colors, shapes, and patterns that appeal to babies, who spend a lot of their time looking in amazement at the world around them. Your baby is using his senses to explore his environment: looking at, smelling, tasting, and touching everything he can!
Suggested toys include rattles, activity blankets, musical mobiles, soft balls, plastic keys on rings, textured toys, and crib toys.
Your baby is really starting to respond to sights and sounds, and will enjoy toys that react to touch. He is teething during this time, so every toy will end up in his mouth – make sure you buy toys without small parts. Babies at this age never seem to get bored with repetitive games, such as opening and shutting a box or pressing a key to hear music. He will also spend hours fascinated by activity blankets.
Suggested toys include picture books, freezable teething toys, bath toys, baby-activated toys, activity blankets, musical toys, pop-up toys, and squeaky toys.
Babies in this age range are constantly reaching for toys, although they lack the coordination to hold onto them for very long. You’ll see your baby playing with his hands and feet a lot, so consider a toy that straps onto the wrist.
Your baby’s coordination and memory will improve drastically at this age. You may find he becomes bored with toys that used to be entertaining. He is starting to develop language, so look for children’s CDs or books that talk.
Suggested toys include picture books, freezable teething toys, bath toys, talking toys, activity blankets, stacking blocks and cups, soft dolls, push-pull toys, and musical toys.
Your baby is starting to explore much more now, and is able to roll over, sit up, crawl, and pull himself up while hanging onto something. Your little one will want to grab toys and hold onto them, and will enjoy banging and dropping them to make noise. At this age, your infant will like to stack toys of different sizes and shapes and also put them in and take them out of containers.
Suggested toys include picture books, talking toys, blocks, balls, sand toys, stuffed animals, musical toys, and electronic toys.
Your baby is full of energy and very mobile. You’ll notice that he will play for longer periods of time and get involved in puzzles and learning games. Imagination will be a big part of your child’s play, and he will want to imitate you and other family members. Activity centers will make extremely good gifts: consider adding a Little Tikes Kitchen to your playroom for hours of entertaining pretend play.
Suggested toys include pretend play sets, paper and crayons, children’s books, outdoor toys, bath toys, dolls, and stuffed animals.
Your child will love playing with a wide range of toys – everything from pretend play centers to arts and crafts. You’ll start to see your child’s individuality really shine through. Some children love to sit and paint for hours, while others love rough and tumble play in the sandbox. Your child will also enjoy messy play at this age, such as filling up and dumping buckets of dirt and finger painting.
Suggested toys include dress-up kits, ride-on toys, dolls, building toys, art supplies, books, pretend play centers, and tricycles.
At this age, kids like to interact with each other and involve others in their imaginative play. You may see your child acting out grown-up roles using costumes and other props. Kids are also starting to get into toys that require skill, such as board games or brain teaser books.
Suggested toys include electronic toys, art supplies, musical instruments, books, outdoor play sets, bikes, dolls, action figures, and board games.
Your child is in school, and will enjoy the social interaction of imaginative play with other kids. Kids enjoy developing their individual skills through sports and activities such as dance, swimming lessons, or martial arts. The toys you buy for your child now depend largely on his interests and hobbies, which will develop a great deal in the next few years. Some of the activities he likes to do now will become life-long interests.
Suggested toys include books, bikes, sports equipment, dolls, action figures, board games, arts and crafts, video games, and musical instruments.
Toy Safety Tips:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s age recommendations. Keep toys intended for older children away from younger siblings.
- There are some toys that aren’t safe for children of any age. These include toys with small magnets, which can cause serious damage if swallowed. Keep up to date with toy recalls and warnings by visiting the federal government’s recall website, www.recalls.gov.
- Keep soft toys out of your baby’s crib. These pose a suffocation hazard.
- Be careful if buying used toys. Ensure they haven’t been recalled and inspect them for damage.
- Keep toys organized in a rubber container. This will prevent trips and falls over toys. If you do use a toy box, take the lid off or use a lid support to keep it open. Otherwise, the lid could fall and trap your child or cause serious injury.
Laptop and Netbook Buying Guide
In the portable computing world consumers have the choice between purchasing a laptop or a netbook. While on the outside these two mobile computers may look very similar, on the inside they are very different. To better understand the differences and help you decide which one is right for you, here’s an in-depth look at both the laptop and the netbook.
What Is a Laptop?
A laptop is a small, portable computer. In fact, there are very few differences between a laptop and a desktop computer. All laptops contain a processor, all the necessary features required to run a chosen operating system, and the ability to connect multiple external devices or cables and run several programs at one time.
What Is a Netbook?
A netbook is a portable computer that is similar to a laptop, you may also know them as “Chromebook” or “Tablet computers”. The overall size of the netbook is about half of a regular laptop. The smaller size of the portable computer allows the netbook to only perform basic internet and computer functions.
The Cost Difference
Due to their small size and limited features, a netbook will have a lower retail price than a laptop. Laptops often come with faster processors, bigger screens, larger hard drives, and multiple software programs. All of these features cost more to manufacture and raise the price of a laptop.
If cost is a factor in determining whether you purchase a laptop or netbook, then a netbook is probably your best bet.
While netbooks and laptops may look similar they are completely different devices and are suited for different computer users.
Laptops are ideal for:
- Those who wish to use their portable computer for work, schoolwork, extensive computer programming or running heavy applications.
- Those who want to store large amounts of data or multiple documents on their portable device.
- Those looking for larger keyboards.
- Those looking to use their portable device to run CD’s or DVD’s.
- Those looking to run the latest version of Windows.
Netbooks are ideal for:
- Basic computer users such as web browsing, streaming or taking notes.
- A cost-effective computer that performs basic functions, similar to a tablet.
- Automatic update to software and virus protection.
- Tends to have a longer battery life.
- Those looking to have quick data retrieval times.
Don’t let the similar appearance fool you when purchasing a netbook or laptop. Take the time to weigh the differences and consider which device will meet your portable computer needs.
HDTV Buying Guide
Today’s televisions come packed with a variety of features that make them far more versatile than ever before and HDTVs are no different. Many can connect to the Internet to take advantage of services like Netflix. Others include playback support for video, music, and still images. Selecting the ideal set is a simple matter of understanding just what it is each set provides.
LED, OLED, and 4K – Oh my!
The first step of the selection process is deciding what type of HDTV to buy, but picking the right HDTV for you can be overwhelming. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to see which type of TV will meet your needs.
In the past LCD and Plasma were must-have HDTV types, but they’ve since been replaced by LED, OLED, and 4K models.
- LED TVs, or light-emitting diode TVs, offer excellent picture quality in any type of lighting and boast a thin profile for easy placement within a room.
- OLED TVs, or organic light-emitting diode TVs, deliver a superior picture with great contrast and wide viewing angles. If you’re looking for a TV with an accurate, colorful, and blur-free image, this is the model for you. Best of all, they come with an extremely thin screen and can fit anywhere in a room.
- 4K Ultra HDTVs are the latest and greatest thing on the market, delivering a fully immersive experience. 4K TVs deliver up to four times the resolution of a 1080p TV and offer sharp and detailed images. This is the TV to purchase if you’re looking for lifelike images.
Features Impact Cost
One of the biggest issues faced by consumes interested in purchasing an HDTV or 4K TV is the cost. There are several factors that impact the overall price of a unit.
- Size – It’s common sense. The bigger the set, the bigger the price tag. You can snag some smaller HDTVs on Black Friday for around $100, while you could be shelling out a few thousand for a bigger TV.
- Refresh Rate – The higher the hertz, the better picture – and the higher the price tag. A TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz will refresh its picture 120 times in one second, while a 60Hz model will refresh 60 times.
- Resolution – Finally, consider the resolution of the set. The technicality surrounding screen resolution takes an advanced degree in computer sciences to understand, but for the average consumer, there is one thing to know: a resolution of 1080p is the best for an HDTV (and you can get 2160p with a 4K TV).