One of my favorite things about the holidays is the sales afterward.
I love after-Christmas and New Year’s Day sales.
That’s when I start shopping for Christmas again, buying stocking stuffers and sometimes even big gifts at a great price.
One of my Christmas presents to my sister-in-law this year was an expensive purse I got for half price last New Year’s Day.
My brother marveled that I could find it.
“I would have been like Clark Griswold up in the attic,” he said, referring to Chevy Chase’s character in the movie Christmas Vacation finding an old Mother’s Day gift he had hidden.
I’m big on buying boxer shorts and socks for the next year’s stockings.
(There seemed to be a run on boxer shorts this year, but I managed to find three pair.)
My husband, the king of cool socks, got a half-price box of holiday ones — St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Some items on sale after Christmas can be used year-round.
Last year, I bought flameless candles in silver containers that I used at Halloween, too.
One of the things I specifically went to look for this year was tape. Just plain old Scotch tape is on sale at half price at one store every year after Christmas, just because it’s on the Christmas aisle. I grabbed it like it was gold.
I used snowmen-themed packing tape this year that I bought at 75 percent off last year.
My after-Christmas bargains this year also included Tupperware containers, half price just because they are green, and gift tags, tissue paper and wrapping paper.
Sometimes I’m tempted buy ugly things because they look better at 75 percent off, but I talk myself out of them. A Justin Timberlake Snuggie? I have to walk away.
A sweater I received for Christmas this year was less than half price afterward. Sometimes it’s a gamble. It might not be there if you wait.
Online sales can be fun. I know a woman who started at midnight on New Year’s Eve to make sure she got the boots she wanted.
I waited till 5:30 a.m. to shop. (I actually considered midnight, but I’m a morning person.)
I ended up with only one purse. I wasn’t properly prepared, I’m ashamed to say.
Edible items can’t be overlooked, either.
Ugly Sweater coffee is just coffee in a cute bag. Chocolate is still chocolate, even if it’s shaped like a tree.
I don’t go as far as to try to buy candy to save for a year, but thanks to our wonderful world of preservatives, some things do last.
I got Little Friskies — expiration date March 2015 — half price just because of the To-From holiday tag printed on the front of the bag.
Ashton, aka Fat Cat, is enjoying them now. (I may save one package for his stocking.)
Just last week, I went to a store that still had a fairly full aisle of Christmas sale items. I got a Hello Kitty candy cane filled with three little bottles of hand sanitizer — I’ll use one and give the others to the girl in the office who collects Hello Kitty.
The best thing I got, though, 75 percent off, was a Ninjabread Cookie Kit. Yes, Ninjabread. It was gingerbread cookie mix with four Ninjabread men cookie cutters. I’d been craving gingerbread, and for $1.50, I didn’t care what they were called.
The box said it made 20 cookies — mine made 14 chubby-kneed Ninjas. It took me about two hours, including chilling the dough, letting them cool and making the messy icing. Mine did not look like the ones on the box, but they tasted good.
If you’re thinking of running out to get a box yourself, don’t bother.
I got the last box. Eat your heart out.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.