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RedPlum.com's top holiday trends focus on savvy shopping with flair

Press release from the issuing company

Livonia , Mich. - Redplum.com, one of the fastest growing online coupon, value lifestyle sites and a leading provider of deals and savings on brands consumers want most, reveals the season's hottest holiday trends. While deal seeking prevails, it is paired with giving gifts that are meaningful.

'Tis the season when shoppers spend an average of $682 and when retailers realize between 25- 40% of their annual sales, according to BIGresearch and the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is a critical time for retailers and for shoppers who have become more value conscious in recent times. The NRF is projecting a 2.3% increase in holiday sales this year ­­­-- slightly down from the 10-year average of 2.45%.

"Shoppers will bring their new sense of savings with them this holiday season," said Lisa Reynolds, RedPlum 's Mom Saver-in-Chief. "They will be looking for good deals, how to best maximize both their budgets and their time and still give gifts that are unique with a value beyond their price tag."

Saving time and money are reflective in this holiday season's trends from shopping to decorating and entertaining. RedPlum's 2010 Top 10 Holiday List includes ideas on how you can be a trendsetter by:

1. Personalizing a gift. Put a little of yourself into the gift you give. Perhaps it's downloading photos onto a digital frame, creating a calendar with meaningful photographs or personalizing a candle with a photograph or engraved message. Consider using a coupon code and free shipping when buying online. In 2009, 79% of online retailers offered free shipping. This year, more than 1,000 retailers will offer free shipping on Dec. 17.

2. Giving gifts that give back. Nonprofits have felt the financial pinch. There are many great items where a portion of the proceeds go back to a worthy cause. Everyone feels good about that gift that keeps on giving. Redplum.com's upcoming holiday gift guide, which will focus on gifts for $15 or less, will highlight items where a portion of the sales support a nonprofit. For example, Tavern Direct is a philanthropic venture where a portion of sales from their flavored oils and marinades benefit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), also supported by RedPlum . The names and faces of missing children appear across RedPlum 's portfolio of products. To learn more, go to www.taverndirect.com.

3. Having a plan. The holidays may find you short on time, but by having a plan, you will save time and be less stressed. Send out an interests' inventory to those on your list so you don't shop aimlessly; keep a list handy of what you've bought and everyone's sizes; and avoid the crowds by shopping online. In 2009, two in five Americans shopped online for holiday purchases, according to the NRF. Redplum.com offers a Holiday Survival Kit to get you organized. A downloadable checklist, comparison guide and helpful tips can be found at redplum.com/holiday .

4. Embracing frugality. This past year savvy shopping reigned. Continue to use coupon codes. Compare prices online. Shop sales. Pair coupons and seek deals like never before. There is more to buy so there is more to save.

5. Giving the gift of indulgence (even in a small way). It's been a couple years of basic necessities and practicality. Give a gift to someone on your list that they would never treat themselves to, but would love the splurge. This could be a manicure, spa outing, dinner out or even a coupon for babysitting or some other much-appreciated gift of time.

6. Using layaway. These programs are back to help manage your funds during a time when budgets can be strained, especially around the holidays.

7. Pooling resources. Consider chipping in on a larger gift for your parents, grandparents or someone else on your list. You may need to organize the group, but the end result will be well worth it.

8. Turning a meal into an event. Involve guests in the meal preparation. Group cooking can be entertaining in itself, creating a festive atmosphere and giving everyone a chance to showcase their talents and signature dishes. Also, a sit-down meal isn't always necessary – de-formalize by making a meal out of appetizers.
9. Swapping holiday items. Compare notes with friends and family and borrow or swap holiday dinnerware or accessories for your night out.

10. Creating a handmade or homemade holiday. Traditions are part of any holiday. Give a gift that may have a low cost but high meaning. Compile family photos or movies into a DVD keepsake; package homemade cookies or hot chocolate mix creatively; or create homemade ornaments that perhaps were made as part of a family project.


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