Make this year an extra special one

Modern shopper computing on a digital tablet

New Year shopping tips 

Christmas is always associated with shopping and novelty. Everyone is getting their year-end bonuses and start their shopping spree around this season and trading their old apparels for a new one in anticipation of the New Year 2015 many days later.

Some would take the offer opportunity of this season to stock up their new clothing in anticipation of the Chinese New Year in about a month away. The Chinese solstice celebration was just one day before the Christmas day was also another wave of shopping craze where retailers are making a booming business for a segment of our ethnic community.

The growing consumerism at this age means more deal, offers and wide assortment of goods make available to the buyers never before in the annals of human seasonal celebrations.

The wide and wider shopping apps and guide spinning out of the information age have make shopping more and more high-tech and effortless, considering the headache of lugging multiple bags of clothing, shoes or electronic items. Albaloo is just one of the high-tech apps that connect the buyers to sellers more easily but also make it more convenient considering the headache of parking your vehicle, joining the crowds and queuing for the cashier to pay.

Our age of consumerism need no further emphasis when a Christmas holiday snapshot of President Barrack Obama playing golf with our Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Hawaii. All eyes around the globe are gravitated into the photograph of our Prime Minister donning sporty golf outfit with a youthful looking wristwatch and holding a shiny golf club. Barrack Obama was wearing a brand new golf shoe hobnobbing with our Prime Minister on the golf course.

However this year’s celebration is a special one. An extra-special  one. It is a solemn one indeed.

As the events of this year’s season are overshadowed by the floods in the Northern Stares of the peninsula. The flooding situation is worsening especially during Christmas Day itself, prompting the Sultan of Perak to announce the cancellation of all New Year celebration as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the lives and property lost during the flood. The Prime Minister received gratuitous criticism for playing golf in Hawaii when many people are suffering. Many in the country have been tweeting about the Prime Minister’s yearend holidays whilst many part of the country are inundated with floods.

Another cause for solemnity is the 10th anniversary commemoration of the Asian tsunami crisis that have killed over 200,000 lives in Asia on Boxing Day, 2004. The tsunami is the largest single day killer since the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

Add an extra element in this year’s shopping by giving some to donation. Make donation as an extra gift item in your shopping list. Think of the toddlers and children killed 10 years ago who never have the chance to grow into adulthood like us. Make a donation in their memory. Make it a gift list that our contributions would have contributed to research into a more advance warning system on natural catastrophe in the future. Treat it as an investment in the future because our offspring would live into the future. It is consumerism tame with humanity.

Shopping gurus have spun and waxed a lot of lyrics on the tips of shopping. On this edition, we will make it a special one by advising all to make a little donation to charities as part of the shop list. This is our shopping tips list specifically for our readers:

  • Give a little to charity. Think of the 10th anniversary of the Asian tsunami where over 200,000 lives were lost on Boxing Day, 26th December, 2004.
  • Plan your budget in advance. Before the shopping spree, do a little budgetary planning yourself. Spending head over toe would easily led to debt and insolvency.
  • Set a priority in your purchase of gifts. Immediate family always come first followed by friends that you need to reciprocate. Think of gifts to be given to clients as part of your business promotions. Do not give just to anyone or any acquaintance that you can ill afford.
  • Always do not give in to buying impulse. Shophaholics can be a disease. Buy only when it is necessary and practical. Unnecessary cluttering your home with unutilised items can led to depression later on.
  • Find many discounts and offers using your apps. The availability of many mobile devices and the increasing number of apps assisting buying could spare you the headache of lugging so many bags and the headache of joining the crowds. The experience of parking your vehicle during the peak season can be an exasperating one where most of the parking bays are full. Apps can locate your desired items easily and at a lower cost.
  • Start embracing the DIY shopping format to save cost. Do your own gift wrapping. Many shops are charging for the wrapping services during the season. Or plan a bit early when there are lesser shoppers and shops still offer free gift wrapping services.
  • Buy more made in Malaysia goods. The falling Ringgit lately does not augur well for many local buyers. The rapid depreciation of the local currency around this time has made many foreign goods more expensive.
  • Embrace the new concept of one collective wrap for the whole family. Think of the trees just as much as one rationalise on A4 papers as an adage. Reduce the number of boxes the next day after Christmas which is the Boxing Day. Do away with the old tradition of one box for one gift. Think of Boxing Day 10 years ago as one of humanity’s greatest tragedy.

Millennial have went along with the high-tech age of increasingly buying more electronic gadgetry and items for their millennial children. Already electronic and electrical related items are amongst the gift offers. Power Banks for the mobile are increasingly becoming popular gift items. So are DVDs in soundtrack.

In fact many teenagers exchange their Christmas gifts with each other via their popular medium – the songs in DVD. A new song release in the offing would be the most sought after item for them.

This season celebration is tainted with the online leak of Madonna songs. It was reported that there were 14 songs from Madonna was leaked online. Soundtrack that are popular with teenagers such as ‘God is alive’ , ‘Hold tight’, ‘Inside out’, ‘Tragic girl’ and others were leaked online. Make it an extra Christmas shopping message this year by telling your teenagers downloading a song online without paying is piracy. Make this year Christmas a special one by imparting a moral message to your teenagers that we need to respect the propriety rights of others.

So this year Christmas shopping message from us is indeed an extra one. A special one and apart from all other tips spun and waxed around by other columns.

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