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Tag Archives: Holiday

Holiday Stress-Busters

This holiday season, prevent a stress-induced burnout by being proactive about self-care. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

This holiday season, prevent a stress-induced burnout by being proactive about self-care. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

’Tis the season to be jolly, but for many people, the holidays are more synonymous with stress than merriment. From checking off your gift shopping list to getting your home ready to accommodate guests, the nonstop pace of the “holiday hustle” can eventually dim even the brightest of spirits. That’s why, in the interest of avoiding a yuletide meltdown, it’s important to be proactive about self-care in the weeks leading up to your seasonal celebration. Consider the following ideas for busting your stress buildup:

Practice simple stress-managing techniques. You may not realize it, but the power to alleviate stress is literally in the palm of your hand. For example, placing your palm to your forehead has a legitimate physiological effect. Continue reading “Holiday Stress-Busters” »

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Posted in Consumers, Health Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

(Un)Paving Paradise with Small Business Saturday

Shop small, shop local on small business saturday

Ocean Avenue in San Francisco is home to many small shops and businesses, including Miracle Cleaners, a Diamond Certified company. Photo: Miracle Cleaners, 2016

by Jennifer Chan

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” -Joni Mitchell

Welcome to November: the start of shopping season. Whether your holidays include hot cider, tamale-making or Chinese food on Christmas, they probably also include spending. In 2015, the United States spent more than $630 billion on holiday shopping (about 20 percent of the retail industry’s total sales for the year). American shoppers spend around $900 on gifts alone every holiday season, plus more on food, entertainment and travel. Continue reading “(Un)Paving Paradise with Small Business Saturday” »

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Posted in Consumer Events, Consumer News, Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Personal Stories | Tags: , , , , , ,

Many Happy Returns

Have you hit the malls with your holiday shopping list yet? Even the best gift giver occasionally misses the mark, so it’s wise to understand a retailer’s return policy before you buy. Policies can vary greatly, from unlimited returns on most items with a receipt (Macy’s) to 14 days for certain electronics (Best Buy), gift returning policies.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), some stores are more lenient about accepting returns during the holiday season, while others have made their policies stricter in response to an increase in return fraud. To avoid disappointment or hassles this holiday season: Ask about a store’s return policy before you pay. This is particularly important when it comes to digital cameras, computers and opened merchandise, which Consumer World says may be subject to limited return rights, restocking fees or no returns at all. Software, video games, CDs and DVDs typically aren’t returnable after they’ve been opened. Understand how the refund will be provided: in cash, as a credit to the buyer’s credit card or as store credit. Be aware that the return policies for online and in-store purchases may differ, even if they’re both from the same retailer. Ask for a gift receipt and include it when you give the present. Contact the store manager or customer service department if you’re unhappy with the return process. If you’re still unhappy, you can complain to your local consumer protection agency or the state attorney general’s office.

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