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What is on Your Hotlist? American Express Holiday Hotlist

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In my house, the kids have been hinting since the summer about what they would like to see under the tree for Christmas. I have been taking notes and keeping tabs in the back of my memory for this very important time of year.

So, is it too early to start thinking about the holiday season? I think not! I for one love the holidays and everything they bring to my life. Getting together with family and friends that you don't ordinarily see throughout the year is worth every minute of the planning and organizing that it takes to make it happen. Whether it be aunts and uncles who come from afar to see the girls, or out of town friends coming home to be with their own families. They all reflect on a wonderful childhood and bring back several great memories.

The one thing I have learned over the years is that no amount of planning at Christmas time will make you 100% ready for what awaits. That may in fact be half the fun.

American Express Canada has developed a Facebook application called the Holiday Hotlist, designed to help me find online gift ideas, as well as drop not so subtle hints to my family about what I really want this year. If your household is anything like mine, electronics are usually at the top of the list, be it add-on games for their current devices or the latest gaming console being pushed in the big box electronics outlets.

Over the past few years, we have taken to ordering a great deal of presents through online channels. It is a more convenient, peaceful existence while shopping. If I don't have to brave the long lineups in the department stores, then I am one happy consumer.

Just this morning, I went to the American Express Facebook application and compiled my own Holiday Hotlist. Who knew I had such great tastes? It was actually rather fun to see things that interest me and discover some hot new items to buy my family this holiday,

Some of the statistics surrounding online shopping experiences are pretty astounding. Canadians recently answered a survey conducted by American Express Canada in regards to how we shop for the holidays. 56% of Canadians plan on shopping online for gifts this year, a 5% increase over 2011. The reasons for the change in routine are, to find better deals (51%), ease of use (50%), 24 hour shopping (39%), and to avoid the crowds (39%). The biggest stigma against online shopping is by far, the impression that it is not secure (69%). A number of Canadians (15%) think it is too expensive due to extra shipping and handling costs.

Canadian consumers are very intelligent by nature and seem to have the same wants and needs, as 57% are buying entertainment related gifts, such as books, music, and concert tickets. 39% are buying electronics, 38% are into clothing, accessories, and jewelry. In households with kids, 28% are buying toys.

As I write this, I am thinking about my own wish list, which includes more or less the same things. I would love a good book to curl up on the chaise lounge on a cold winter's night. Gift cards for my favourite stores, so I can get that one and only sweater or purse. For the man in my life, the latest tech gadgets are always at the top of his list. The majority of men won't even admit to creating a list, which kind of makes our shopping for them a game of hit and miss.

According to statistics, one quarter of Canadians would rather clean their toilets than trek through the malls the week before Christmas. I can't say that I agree with that analogy, but the sentiment is the same. Having said that, I think I will continue to shop online. To make sure that I don't get the loved ones in my life the wrong gifts, I can assure you I will not be purchasing fruit cakes, tacky ornaments or ugly sweaters. They topped the lists of the most "dreaded gifts" to receive.

This will be the second holiday season using my TrueEarnings American Express Card, which pays me cash-back on every purchase throughout the year. When I made the decision to get rid of all my other cards, it was more a case of good business planning on my part. Use only one card and keep track of what you spend. So, whether cash-backs turn you on, American Express offers a variety of rewards programs that suit your individual needs. Cardmembers are rewarded the same way whether they shop online or in-store. Feel secure in knowing that all your online transactions are protected against fraud. My TrueEarnings Card protects all eligible purchases in case they are damaged or stolen. They will replace, repair, or refund any stolen or accidentally damaged product. If that isn't secure shopping, then what is?

As a very busy mom and businesswoman, it benefits me to be both fiscally responsible and organized when it comes to online shopping for the holidays. With American Express looking out for me, what do I have to worry about? I'm going to shop with the comfort in knowing, they are watching out for my family and me.

 

 

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This blog was sponsored by American Express Canada, all the opinions are my own.