Monday, January 13, 2020

List: The ten biggest rip offs of the holiday season.

**Updated October 2020**

My family has always been taught to let Christmas linger until Little Christmas.  While we don't celebrate this holiday in the US, my grandparents still honor the day.  No, La Befana doesn't visit, but we will acknowledge the day with a nod and a pastry.

Since that date has passed, we are spending the day redecorating our home and reflecting on the holidays.  The nook that used to house our Christmas tree is now filled with our contemporary end table.  The fireplace that was trimmed with Christmas loveliness has been redecorated with mosaics and flowers.  Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, magically disappeared back to the North Pole in preparation for 2020.  My gingerbread house cookie jar has been stored away for next year and my grinning pig has returned.

To put it bluntly, we are feeling the bittersweet sting of the official end of the holiday season.  To help ease the sting, we're mocking our least favorite parts of the season by listing the scams.  Upon reflection, even the worst rip off of the season doesn't ease the pain of the inevitable snow storms ahead.

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Ten biggest rip offs of the holiday season.

1.  A holiday photo shoot for your Christmas cards.
Year after year, we've been patrons of a popular chain to take our holiday photos.  We typically get some great shots with a lovely backdrop and unique props.  On top of it, we can order our Christmas cards through that company for a reasonable price.  This year we were unhappy with our pictures and were F L O O R E D at the inflation of price.  For six consecutive years we've spent around the same amount of money.  This year, that price tripled.  We used them in June, which means this establishment learned to milk their patrons for the holidays.  At this point, purchasing a camera, a variety of back drops, and some props may be more economical!

Idea:  For Christmas pictures at home, check out this really cheap backdrop of a rustic barn door all dressed up for the holidays.  You'll have a unique card for a tenth of the price!  This backdrop of a Christmas wooden wall is even cheaper and a close second is fabulousness.  You're welcome.

Idea:  Check out SnapFish to make your own fabulous holiday cards without the high price tag.  Besides, they always have some great deals that you can cash in on.

2.  Normal underwear purchased during the holiday season.
After our photo shoot at this popular chain, we went to the underwear section.  My husband needed to purchase some basic, no frills, all cotton underwear.  We picked up a 3-pack of regular undies from Hanes.  Once again we were F L O O R E D.  It was $30 for three freaking pairs of underwear!  I headed to Target and got an 8-pk for $12.  All hail Target, a rare chain that offers discounts during the holidays instead of raping our wallets!

3.  An ugly Christmas sweater to wear for one event.
Last year my daughter had to wear an Ugly Sweater for a holiday party in school.  We had to shell out a decent amount of money for something she'd wear about a total of 6 hours.  Well, I got her the sweater, but two sizes too big so that it would fit for future school parties!

Idea:  Skip the big retail stores and get a less expensive ugly sweater like this one.  For me, this was always something to be ordered online to save money since it not hard to find your size.

4.  The fake charities that solicit at your front door.
I hate to be that person, but it's awkward when an obviously fake charity is asking for donations.  These "charities" disappear all year long only to come back full force every December.  It's always a conundrum for me.  While they're lying about the cause, it's still charity, right?

5.  Any type of transportation throughout the holiday season.
To book a flight any time in November through January is absolute robbery.  Unless Santa himself is the pilot, what is the cause of the raise in prices!?  The price of taxi services, car rentals, and even horse drawn carriage sky rockets during this season!

6.  The hot toy of the year suddenly become scarce and expensive.
Last year this was the Ryan's World Mystery Egg.  The star of Ryan's World is a cute little boy about the same age as my daughter.  He ingeniously markets his own toys to his following on YouTube & Nickelodeon.  They are mostly comprised of blind bags or packaging and surprise knick knacks.  Last year I spent $50 on a giant egg filled with CRAP because it was the "it" toy of 2018!  Moral of the story- This year Ryan was banned from viewing and Santa's wish list!

Idea:  Purchase the upcoming hot item months in advance before it can become inflated in price and hard to find.  For 2020, the hot toy for girls is this Rainbocorn toy.  Click that link and get it now before you're fighting for one!

7.  Credit card companies offering "specials" just for you.
Many popular store chains offer discounts for opening up their credit card.  Aside from the hard inquiry on your credit report, the balance can be paid off immediately without penalty.  While this is typical, have you noticed the "special offers" that existing cards give you?  They offer you 0% interest or discounted pricing on your purchase or promotional item.  The promotion may be valid, but the catch is typically more pricey than paying retail value.

8.  The inflated prices on all holiday themed goods.
This happens with each and every single holiday.  Slap a picture of Santa or a reindeer on an every day item and double the price.  

Idea:  Wait until the day after the holiday for them to hit clearance and save them for next year!

9.  Cheaply made festive decorations.
For my daughter's school parties, I'm always scavenging for inexpensive themed decor.  I'm always shelling out a large sum of money for stuff that won't last more than one party.  It's frustrating and an obvious scam of those big business Scrooges!

Idea:  I'm loving this felt Christmas tree set.  It's cheap, interactive with the kiddies, and looks really pretty.  You should volunteer to bring this to the next party to save time and money!

10.  All of the mandatory donations and fundraisers.
I'm all for donating to the less fortunate, especially during the holiday seasons.  I always adopt a family during the holidays, donate to the food pantries, and contribute to the mitten tree.  What I'm NOT all for are the organizations that choose this time to collect funds for self profit.  The church, school, and extra curricular activities all have their hands out during the holidays.  These organizations should use their power at this time of year to start a food, toy, or coat drive instead!!

Did you ever get ripped off?


  1. What is Little Christmas, deary?
    In my country people celebrate Orthodox Christmas which is on January 7th, and also Orthodox New Year which is, I think today LOL Only my city celebrates like you as we are the only Catholic city in the country.

    1. The church believes that Christmas is multi-week event. It's not just one day. While we don't celebrate every day, the last day of Christmas is acknowledged with Little Christmas. Unfortunately, this year we were not able to save our decorations thanks to the nursery that sold us a dead tree! I didn't realize you're in the only Catholic city. What is the predominant religion? I'm so used to all cultures and religions being mixed together that I forget the rest of the world isn't this way.

    2. Serbia is Orthodox Christian just like Russia, Belarus, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia and some other Slavic countries. I'm in the northernmost city which is predominantly populated by Catholic Croats, Bunjevacs and Hungarians and, of course, us nice little atheists :)

    3. I see! My ex was Greek so I know all about the Orthodox church as I almost became part of it myself. I didn't realize that Russian countries practiced a similar faith. For a "melting pot", we're a bit ignorant over here. Politics and religion are two of the most avoided conversation in the US. If you even try to bring it up, you'll be hushed within minutes!

  2. We always did the Xmas card photo at home, back in the dark ages when you had to get film developed! It was stressful, but we did get some good pictures, usually outdoors (kids on the sled, kids on the deck with holiday mugs, kids by Xmas decorations in town).

    Yes, I've been shocked by the prices of Hanes underwear and undershirts for men! Rip Off! My daughter bought an ugly sweater at the Disney store and I think it's the most expensive thing in her closet. Urg!

    1. I love the idea of holiday mugs on the deck! I think we will try it this year since we did get the camera. :) The undershirts for men are disgustingly priced. You can get Fruit of the Loom for a great price through Amazon Prime.

    2. I'll email you the photo when I find it!

    3. Looking forward to it. :) Maybe we will copy it next year. lol!!

  3. See? It is so much of a money saver to just not wear underwear at all. lol

    Ugg so many scammers and not scammers, yet kinda scammers during the holidays. The one that gets me is all the "give mes" that time of year. You must donate or you are a Grinch. Up our bank account for the rest of the year. Pfffft.

    The only real deals out there store wise are things they want to get rid of so they don't have to count it for year end inventory.

    1. hahaha well, that's one way to think of it. Save money and don't wear underwear. As a female, I don't think I'll try that. It sounds like a recipe for camel toe. LOL

      You're a black Friday Scrooge! I forgot about that. Although I did tell you about my steal of the year. Season 14 of Supernatural for $10!! TEN dollars!!!!!

    2. lol well you could set a new trend.

      Scrooge I be at my sea, always in their best interest. Can get a deal though.

    3. Something tells me girls these days would rock it with pride.. I’m definitely not starting that trend!

  4. My niece loves that Ryan's World shit.

  5. I absolutely hate how everyone has their hands out at the holiday season. I always get hit up from my niece and nephew's school for overpriced cookie tubs, Yankee Candles (that are now 75% off at the store, but I paid more than retail price, because you know, school fundraising), magazine subscriptions, and so on. Let's not forget that every time I go to the supermarket or drug store, "Do you want to donate to xxx charity?" upon checkout. Like, when is enough, enough?

    We always buy our ugly sweaters after Christmas for the next year at 50% or 75% off. My daughter just bought 2 for next year at Plato's Closet seasonal clearance sale for like $3 each. I would never pay the $30 to $50 asking price they are before Christmas.

    1. Right?? My daughter had the worst fundraiser this year. I almost wish we had the choice of overpriced cookie tubs and candles. She was selling very expensive shopping bags!! They outlawed plastic grocery bags near us (which I totally support). Instead we use reusable grocery bags that you can purchase for under a dollar each. Her fundraiser was selling those same bags for over $30 each! It was insanity.

      Good moves with the ugly sweater! We don't have a Plato's Closet, but maybe I can find one at Target on clearance now. lol

    2. Holy guacamole. $30 for a bag. Did Disney come up with their marketing plan? LOL

  6. $30 for a bag? hahahaha wow, way for the school to use kids to sucker their parents and others. That is nuts.

    1. Lol, yup!! Horrible.. they could have found a better fundraiser. Like, literally almost anything else.

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    (1) If you want your ex back.
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    (6) You want to be rich.
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    (10 If you want to divorce your husband.
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