Even if you haven’t actually started your holiday shopping yet, it is bound to be on your mind. Shopping for the holidays can be very stressful, especially when you are shopping for someone that has everything. If you have teenagers, maybe you aren’t sure what’s really “in” right now. Budgets are always a factor too. If you have a lot of people on your list, you may be looking for great gifts that don’t break the bank. There are many resources available to help shoppers find great gift ideas. The best part is, you don’t have to leave home to find them.

Let’s talk about a database called Zinio. Zinio is a magazine internet database that is free for Davenport library card holders. All you need is your library card number and you can create a free account. Once your account is created, you can check out magazines and read them online in your browser.  This database is a no limit, permanent check out. Which means you can check out as many as you like and keep them for as long as you like.

More and more libraries are subscribing to this database. If you are a patron of a different library, check with your library to see if they subscribe. Below are some of the magazines available right now through this database. Not only are there tons of gift ideas inside, but it is a one stop holiday destination. To get started browsing magazines, click here.

If you are just looking for some quick ideas, check out the links below.

For Him... Top 25 Gifts for Him    Gifts for Boyfriend    Top 32 Gifts for Men this 2015 Holiday Season

For HerBest Christmas Gifts for Her in 2015    100 Best Christmas Gifts for Women 2015    Gifts for Her

For TeensGifts for Teens    Best Christmas Gifts for Tweens

Gift Guides for EveryonePopsugar Gift Guide    2015 Holiday Gift Guide    Zumiez Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts that won’t break the bank…Unique Gifts Under $25    Cool Gifts Under $10

black-fridayAs Thanksgiving and the inevitable Black Friday shopping day nears, I found myself wondering how this shopping frenzy all began. I scoured the internet for as many sources as I could find that would tell me not only when Americans started shopping in masses the day after Thanksgiving, but why. Most importantly, how did that day get the name Black Friday? The answers to these questions are not so cut and dry as one might think.

We begin our journey during the Civil War on October 3rd, 1863. President Abraham Lincoln announces that the United States will officially celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday, and that this holiday will be held on the 4th Thursday of November each year. The first Thanksgiving was thus celebrated on November 26, 1863. As Thanksgiving falls on November 26th this year, we will be celebrating 152 years of tradition to the day.

By the early 1920’s, several retailers sponsored parades to celebrate this national holiday. In 1924 Macy’s held their first Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the end of each parade came Santa Claus and officially marked the beginning of the holiday season. It became wide practice that retailers would not advertise Christmas sales until after the conclusion of Thanksgiving. With such a hard fast unwritten rule in place, the day after Thanksgiving quickly became the day to shop for the holidays and be the first to see all the specials.

As time went on, shopping on the day after Thanksgiving increased in popularity. Many businesses treated the day after Thanksgiving as a holiday in itself. Even school was not held on this day. However there were some groups of workers that were forced into working the day after Thanksgiving each year. In as early as 1951, business owners were using the term ‘Black Friday’ to refer to the number of employees to call in sick the day after Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia is more widely credited with boosting the popularity of the phrase during the 1960’s. Things were particularly troublesome the day after Thanksgiving as police were forced into working twelve hour shifts and crowds filled the streets. According to snopes.com, “the term ‘Black Friday’ came out of the old Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic squad. The cops used it to describe the worst traffic jams which annually occurred in Center City on the Friday after Thanksgiving.” During the 1980’s, retailers began using the phrase in association with the big shopping day to signify when their red (negative or loss) accounting book entries turned to black (positive or profits). By the 90’s retailers were using the term in advertising for holiday specials and sales taking place the day after Thanksgiving.

In the early 2000’s retailers began opening their doors earlier and earlier. In 2011, several major retailers announced they would open doors at midnight. The next year, Walmart opened their doors at 8:00 PM Thanksgiving Day. Today stores are opening as early as 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day. With this new trend, I can’t help but wonder how long we will continue to call it Black Friday?

Will you be out shopping on Black Friday or clicking on computer keys enjoying cyber deals from the comfort of your own home? Perhaps you will be boycotting the holiday by remaining firmly on your couch digesting those delicious holiday foods. If you are one of the hard working Americans that will be taking up a post directing traffic or ringing up items, I thank you and wish you a happy day after the day after Thanksgiving.

frugallibrarianThe constant struggle to find the best deals keeps the Frugal Librarian indoors, as does a general disdain of people.   The perfect solution…online shopping.  Woot has focused on single deals for some time. Launched just a couple days ago, however, is a companion site, deals.woot.com.  If you want a product in general, such as an iPod Nano, type it in and count on the fact the returns are input by the thousands of ravenous altruistic online dealhounds out there as opposed to a computerized best guess.  They’re kind of like cataloging librarians solely focused on the categorization and classification of retail savings.  And if you take it for a spin, you’ll see they are really good at it.

Focus on deals.woot.com as a pretty good site to fill out your list.  You’ll get the cream of the crop from all the online deal sites in one condensed, easy to use, accurate package.  You’ll beat your fellow shopper using competitive intelligence, and the mailman will like the business from delivering your packages.  And you don’t even have to brush your teeth or put on shoes.

Already tired of shopping and it’s only the beginning of December? Are you having a hard time coming up with new gift ideas — particularly ones which are easy on the pocketbook? No sweat — here’s the perfect gift. See if you can guess what it is.

  1. It’s small and requires no elaborate wrapping.
  2. It requires no batteries and it has no moving parts, so it can’t wear out.
  3. You can use it again and again and again, for many years to come.
  4. It’s one size fit’s all.
  5. It is equally appropriate for men, women, children, teens and seniors.
  6. It can help you do your homework or help you get a job.
  7. It allows you to virtually travel to anywhere in the world.
  8. It saves you money.
  9. It allows you to enjoy a vast array of vicarious experiences.
  10. It never goes out of style.
  11. No waiting in long lines.
  12. And best of all — it’s absolutely FREE!

You guys are smart, so I’m assuming you’ve already determined exactly what this perfect gift is – a library card! Just bring current id with your Davenport address (children under 18 also need to bring a parent to sign for them) and fill out an application today – it’s quick and easy!