Stealing Presents & Then Regifting Them: Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong

We know, holiday shopping can be the worst. But that doesn’t mean you can take certain shortcuts like lifting presents from someone else who’s already put in the effort to buy them. Cops say a Chicago man stole not only unopened presents but also credit cards, and then took the time to wrap the presents in new paper and put them under his own Christmas tree.


(Adam A. Koch)

Pizza Hut Gives Gift Cards To First 100 People To Tweet Photos Of Their Lame Christmas Presents

From ill-fitting ugly sweaters to that 50 States Coin Collecting Starter Kit, there are almost limitless options for what can count as a “lame” Christmas gift. The one thing they all have in common is you don’t want’em, and they’re a waste of space. But how about pizza? Do you want some pizza, would that ease the sting of disappointment? Pizza Hut thinks so, and is offering people gift cards to lessen the dissatisfaction that can occur in recipients of awful gifts. [More]


‘It Really Is A Business’: Why Taking Your Own Santa Visit Pictures Makes You A Cheap Jerk

Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets. [More]

Seamus would like to leave now, pls.

In The Arms Of The Enemy: 24 Photos Of Kids Who Really, Really Don’t Like Santa Claus

What began with one friend’s photo of a child terrified of Santa Claus has burgeoned into the final gallery of 24 photos submitted by you, our game Consumerist readers. Whether you had one child or two, tears or outright hissy fits, we’d like to thank you for bringing a dash of humor to the whole situation and for being willing to contribute to our bit of holiday fun. Better luck next year perhaps? [More]

That's gotta smart.

The Doctor Is In: The Real Life Implications Of The Burglars’ Injuries in ‘Home Alone’

There’s a certain suspension of disbelief one needs in order to enjoy almost any Hollywood movie, and perhaps none more so than the holiday classic Home Alone. The plot in a nutshell: Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) gets left behind when his family leaves town for Christmas, enjoys himself to the fullest and then has to protect the house from burglars Harry and Marv played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. To do so, he employs a bunch of DIY torture devices and seems to inflict a lot of pain on the Wet Bandits. But come on, how could those guys have handled the pain from even one of those injuries? [More]


Kmart Overcharged Me For Layaway Order, Then Their Servers Ate It

Caroline’s Kmart layaway order was wrong. After she placed the order online, the contract came back $92 more than it was supposed to be. Well, okay, no problem: she could just call up Kmart and straighten it out. That’s why stores have a huge customer service staff. Except for how she called up Kmart and they told her to direct her problems to her local store. For an online layaway order. She’s been struggling with Kmart for a month now. The staff at her local store have been extremely helpful, but that doesn’t solve her core problem: she’s been overcharged for an order that still hasn’t shipped after being paid in full. [More]

(333 (only half evil))

McDonald’s Asks Franchisees To Celebrate Christmas By Staying Open On Dec. 25

In an attempt to continue bouncing back from an almost unheard-of dip in sales during October, the folks at McDonald’s have asked franchisees to not close down during the holidays this year. [More]


Toys ‘R’ Us Either Restores Canceled Order Or Screws It Up Again

Some good news out of Toys ‘R’ Us: after a seeming fit of disorganization, randomly canceled orders, and no information getting out to customers, we’re getting reports that maybe–just maybe–things are getting straightened out over at Big Giraffe. [More]

Sears Loses A Nexus 7 Sale, Misses The Point

Sears Loses A Nexus 7 Sale, Misses The Point

Bill has been a loyal Sears customer for most of his life. They happen to sell the Nexus 7 tablet, which he wanted to get for his wife for Christmas (hope she doesn’t read Consumerist) for a competitive price, and he could get Shop Your Way rewards points. Score! He ordered up the tablet online, then headed over to the store to pick it up. Then things started to go terribly wrong. [More]

Toys R Us Stalls On Bike Assembly, Sells Us Scuffed-Up One, Shrugs

Toys R Us Stalls On Bike Assembly, Sells Us Scuffed-Up One, Shrugs

Matt and his wife are wonderfully generous people who buy great gifts for the families they adopt at Christmas. They bought a bike at Toys R Us for one of the families they adopted. They paid the ten bucks to have it assembled. “We’ll call you when it’s ready!” the store employees told them, all helpful and stuff. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and that was the last time anyone at Toys R Us was helpful to Matt or his wife for several weeks. Apparently TRU actually doesn’t make calls to customers, and it was Matt or Mrs. Matt’s job to return to the store without being called, or the bike would disappear into the ether. [More]


Mall Santas Beware: Combining Beards With Rappelling Probably Won’t End Well

While Santa Claus ain’t Santa Claus without that flowing white beard, that snowy expanse isn’t the best-suited facial hair for rappelling from a mall ceiling. A mall Santa in England found that out the tangled up way when he attempted to lower himself down a rope to cheering crowds, only to get stuck when his beard snagged on the rope. Chimneys are probably way easier to maneuver. Ho ho ho. [More]

(funny strange or funny ha ha)

Amazon Says It’s Going To Add 50,000 Holiday Workers To Its Ranks This Season

This is the kind of Christmas Creep we can be down with: Although it’s still only mid-October, retailers have been announcing how many jobs they’ll be adding to the rolls this holiday season. And Amazon just dropped a doozy of a number, which should make plenty of people’s season’s bright — it says it will hire 50,000 workers this year as part of its seasonal hiring plan. [More]

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Real-Life Edition

Target’s Accidental Nightmare Before Christmas Looks Kind Of Cool

We would like to take a moment to salute whoever put together this display at an unknown, unnamed Target store. Even if it’s just the angle from which our tipster Ken took the photo, this display takes the “Nightmare Before Christmas” absurdity of hauling Christmas merchandise out in late summer and makes it kind of beautiful and almost make sense. [More]

ThinkGeek Makes Christmas Possible For Cancer Patient & Family

ThinkGeek Makes Christmas Possible For Cancer Patient & Family

For Consumerist reader Tashi and her husband, Wash, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer only a few months after they wed, perusing the ThinkGeek catalog was something they would do to amuse themselves and keep their spirits up — even if they couldn’t really afford to buy most of the items they coveted. But when the people at ThinkGeek got wind of the young couple’s ordeal, they decided to play Santa. [More]

UPS Won't Budge On Refunds For Packages That Didn't Make Guaranteed Christmas Delivery In Colorado

UPS Won't Budge On Refunds For Packages That Didn't Make Guaranteed Christmas Delivery In Colorado

There are several thousand irritated UPS customers in the Denver area this week. They paid for UPS’ guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery but Big Brown was unable to make good on its promise and 50,000 packages didn’t make it under the tree in time. Now UPS is saying these customers will not be getting refunds because the delay was snow-related. [More]

Guaranteed Christmas Delivery At Zales Leads To Panicked Boyfriend

Guaranteed Christmas Delivery At Zales Leads To Panicked Boyfriend

Maybe Derek shouldn’t have waited until last week to order a bracelet for his girlfriend as a Christmas gift, or maybe he should have gone to a brick-and-mortar Zales store to buy it. But he didn’t, and their site guaranteed delivery by Christmas if he ordered at that point. It turns out that “guaranteed Christmas delivery” actually means “we might get around to shipping it by the 22nd.” [More]

Texas Drought Spurs Mistletoe Shortage

Texas Drought Spurs Mistletoe Shortage

If you’ve had a hard time finding mistletoe hanging at your office — encouraging festivity-endorsed sexual harassment — credit a Texas drought for causing a shortage in the smooch-mandating parasitic plant. [More]

Don't Sacrifice Your Financial Future Underneath The Christmas Tree

Don't Sacrifice Your Financial Future Underneath The Christmas Tree

Retailers and their marketing arms are excellent at convincing parents to spend more and more each Christmas, and those who fall for the trap may be doing so at the expense of their future. Short-time financial impact aside, blowing big money on presents year after year eats away at savings potential for your kids’ college funds, as well as your own retirement. [More]