2019 Holiday Shopping & Shipping Season
Perhaps you've noticed... It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Already.
I know there are some who think that stores putting out the trees, stockings and candy canes this early are rushing the season but, at least for the 2019 season, let's think of it as an early Christmas gift. This year, more than most, we could use that extra time. 

Every year Thanksgiving arrives with it's savory turkey and sweet pies on the last Thursday of November but since that is not a fixed date on the calendar, the number of days from Thanksgiving to Christmas changes each year. As you can see by this graphic, 2019 Thanksgiving will be at its latest date since 2013 which results in almost a week less time for all the fun of the traditional Holiday season including shopping. 
So, if you thought you were busy last year, this year is really going to be blur of activity.

In answer to this Holiday challenge we have put together a few tidbits of helpful ideas and information to might ease the festive frenzy.

Buy store gift cards early
Keep on the lookout for promotions on gift cards. Some supermarkets have 4x the fuel savings on gift card purchases. Buy one each week and tuck them away as a Christmas savings account and use them later to buy for Christmas. Both Kohl's and Macy's are  fun because you can then use those gift cards to shop on sale days and get reward points plus, at  Kohl's get "Kohl's cash" as well. 

Make lists
It's never too early for this.  It's perfectly ok to start thinking about Christmas fun during the summer if you disguise it as a list. So get out those recipes and start planning your baking wish list. This early start will also give you a good overview of your ingredients so you might be able to choose recipes that share ingredients --- less to buy, less cluttered cabinets, less leftovers. I have had chinese five spice powder in my spice rack for years, I can't remember why I ever bought it. This is also a great time to make sure your Christmas card list addresses are up to date.  We also have a page of hand picked Holiday quotes you can use for your digital greetings.

Get a cute tote

Start filling it with odds and ends that will prove handy in a pinch later. Like tape and glue sticks which should be on sale about now. Glue sticks are nice for gift wrap and sticking on those darn bows that are always fall off.  Save those twist ties from produce bags, they help hold those tree and wreath lights where you want them.
You get the idea and yes, you probably don't need a cute tote to do this but since you'll have it out where it's easy to fill and use, it may as well be nice to look at too.

Mark that calendar
Be mindful of the days. This is really important if you ship gifts yourself and or buy online. 
The shortened shopping season will create a bottleneck in shipping. Try to shop as early in the season as possible. Retailers, (including North Pole West) are very aware of the time challenges this year, expect to see earlier than usual Black Friday Sales.
Also  read the details of "free shipping" . Often the "free shipping" is economy shipping so expect those items to take longer to arrive, free is not the same as fast.

UPS has already released their 2019 Holiday last dates to ship (below), which as you can see, start quite early in December. I have reached out to USPS and Fedex but as of this posting they do not have their Holiday shipping calendar. I will update this post as more information becomes available.

North Pole West Adapts to the Shortened Season
In order to make life a bit easier for you we have made a few changes here at North Pole West such as:

Expanded Payment choices:

paypal credit logoPaypal Credit - This 6 months no interest credit line will give you the ability to purchase your goodies now and pay later so you can order plenty early. This is only available on orders over $99.00.  You will need a Paypal account and fill out a few questions (it took me less than a minute) - you will have an answer in seconds and credit lines start at $250.00.
You can access this on our "view cart" or "checkout" page.

apple pay and google pay logosApple Pay and Google Pay are available now as well. 

North Pole West gift card logoGift Cards
Looking for a Fast and fun gift?
How about the gift of Cowboy Christmas? 
Great for a Teacher or Secret Santa gift too and makes a unique western wedding or bridal shower present too. 
The certificate will be emailed with your message to the email address of your choice. This can also be snail-mailed.

Gift Wrap - On almost all of our orders, the items are wrapped in bubble and then brown tissue paper tied with a string bow (just like the song). Plenty cute on it's own but if you would like something a bit more dressy and personal, we will now offer an upgraded wrap service for $1.50 per item. The wrapping is real brown stiff wrap paper lined with white tissue, raffia tie and name tags filled out (if requested). A complimentary note card is available on all orders, just use the comment box on checkout. Further details are on our "Gift Wrap" page.                                                                                                          
North Pole West Cowboy Christmas store Gift wrap
Christmas in the News this Week

The holiday transformation of Rock Spring Park in Alton will begin in early September, and new Christmas Wonderland volunteers are needed to help put together displays to ensure the holidays sparkle in 2019. Alton, IL 

‘Christmas in August’ at the Fair
The New York State Fair plans to celebrate the holiday on Sunday, August 25th. GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)

Local attractions already at work on holiday offerings - Shreveport Times

'When Calls the Heart' Is Getting a Holiday Movie
Hallmark has slowly been releasing information about their Countdown to Christmas lineup, including when the event will start and how many movies (40). - Country Living Magazine

Christmas Glow: Festival Of One Million Lights Is Coming To Pittsburgh
One of the world’s largest indoor Christmas festivals is being held in Pittsburgh this year Christmas Glow, also known as Lumaze, began in 2017 near Vancouver, Canada. Now, it’s coming to 31st Street Studios in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  - Pittsburgh KDKA

Christmas Chronicles 2 Brings Back Kurt Russell, Gets Harry Potter Director
The first installment was a success for the streaming platform with an estimated 20 million streams within the first week of its premiere. With numbers like that, a sequel was inevitable and Netflix is looking to move forward with Kurt Russell back as Santa Claus. - Movieweb

Well that's all the news that's fit to print for now. I will update this post as need be. Until then, Thanks for visiting and as always, Merry Cowboy Christmas.

P.S. - I  named Kohl's in this post. That was not an ad for them, as a matter of fact I should clarify, that while I do mention shopping with them, I am speaking about in-store. I have had horrible experiences with their web orders and delivery. Same goes for Walmart online. On the other hand, I have been very happy shopping on the Macy's website. 

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