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Family Money

Are you one to camp out in front of a store for the chance to buy the hottest new gadget, game or toy of the season? Did your parents elbow their way through to do whatever it took to get you a Cabbage Patch doll in 1983 or a Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988? Don’t read me wrong, I love the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of getting a deal, but is it really worth missing Thanksgiving?

The hot toy for 2015 will rear its ugly head in the coming days and stores won’t be able to keep it on the shelf, or so it seems. Will your kids grab the Toys”R”Us Big Book as soon as it comes in the mail to start making their list for Santa?

No one wants to disappoint their children on Christmas morning, but to what lengths are you willing to go and how much time or money are you willing to invest? Reduce your stress of buying “the” hot toy by asking your children to list their top three and let them know you will be choosing that special something from their wish list.

I count myself lucky that my boys don’t know or care about the latest and greatest toys. My eldest is nearly 7 and he will be thrilled to get a 10 year old game for his secondhand Nintendo DS. When he was 4, he did ask Santa for a fire engine. It has only been touched a half dozen times and will be a great gift to re-gift to his younger brother from him. Boom! Christmas is done. Only kidding, but our family puts more of an emphasis on the reason for the season rather than what’s under the tree.

What is your Black Friday shopping strategy? No matter what you are looking to buy – toys, electronics, furniture, make sure you do the following: Scope out deals. Make a list and stick to it. Wear comfortable shoes. Pack patience.

For me, I am not a Black Friday shopper. It’s not because I abhor shopping, but because the majority of my Christmas gifts have already been bought throughout the year, wrapped and are ready to be exchanged. You see, we celebrate Christmas with my husband’s family on Black Friday, since it is the only time of year that we can all seem to get together. Yet another perk of celebrating Christmas early is it allows me to pay off the credit cards before the start of a new year.

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom teaching her two young sons financial responsibility.

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