Tag Archive | xmas

Video: Tree shaker

One of the cool things about my job is that I get to learn new things every day.

For example, my family has used an artificial tree for a long time now, so I never knew what happened once you picked out a real tree to buy.

Now I know – and it involves a cool tree shaking machine [Ignore the background chatter]:

This occurred at McClellan’s Tree Farm in Middleburg – I’m assuming to shake out the loose needles and other things that can get stuck in a tree.

Very cool stuff.

Which do you prefer – real or artificial trees? Let me know in the comments!

Bonus photos: Lottery tickets ornaments

Saturday I visited the Short Stop market near Selinsgrove to talk with store manager Mary Spicer, who transforms used lottery tickets into works of art for a good cause.

Here’s some bonus photos of her creations, which benefit the Needy Family Fund.

Continue reading

Black Friday vs. Thanksgiving: When should stores open?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is traditionally followed by my favorite holiday, Black Friday. My mom and I used to get up at 2:30 a.m. and joke that soon we wouldn’t even have to sleep at all, since stores were opening earlier and earlier – first 6 a.m., then 5 and finally 4 (Could you believe it!).

But now, it’s happened. Last year, most stores opened at midnight – and this year, Thanksgiving Thursday is the new Friday – and it has people angry, saying they can’t enjoy the holiday with their families anymore.

So now struggling retailer JCPenney seems to be going with a “we’re the good guys” strategy, saying they won’t open until Black Friday:

— jcpenney (@jcpenney) November 18, 2012

Personally, I’d like to see all stores go back to an actual Black Friday opening. It’s getting to be too much, in my opinion.

But will opening later put stores at a disadvantage? Crowds last year for the midnight openings were the biggest I’ve ever seen them in my Black Friday openings.

What do you think? Should retailers wait until Black Friday morning or continue to push the envelope?

[BTW – I’ll be posting some pics tomorrow of my own early-morning adventures!]