Sears Helps Shoppers Step Out of (the Return) Line

Sears Teams with National Gift-Giving Expert to Offer Creative Holiday Shopping Tips

We've all received gifts that led to awkward moments and amusing stories. Now, Sears, through its "World's Funniest Gift You Returned" contest is making those funny stories worth more than a chuckle this December. Shoppers can compete to win $5,000 by visiting and relaying their funny gift tales.

To make the holiday gift-buying process a little smoother this season, Sears has joined with Gift-Giving Expert and Television Personality Lucy Pereda to create 10 easy holiday shopping tips.

"Our goal is to help everyone step out of the post-holiday return line this season," said Pereda, host of the nationally-acclaimed Hispanic television show "En Casa de Lucy."

  Pereda's tips include:

  - The Early Bird Gives the Best Gifts -- To keep seasonal sanity and avoid
    the inevitable holiday rush, plan holiday shopping in advance.  Allowing
    extra time will eliminate stressful, last minute purchasing that often
    results in gifts that are returned.

  - There's no "I" in "Present" -- Often, shoppers give gifts that they'd
    love or presents they think those on their holiday list "should love."
    When brainstorming gift options, be sure you're buying for the receiver
    and not yourself.  Consider their hobbies, loves, styles and wants, not

  - Consider Gift Cards -- Roaming through countless malls and stores
    wondering if you'll ever find the "perfect gift" gets frustrating.
    Instead, make your holiday shopping easy and convenient by choosing a
    gift card from a store with a variety of merchandise, and those on your
    list will get exactly what they want.

  - Think Outside the Box -- The wrapping around the gift is just as
    important as the gift itself.  Take time and practice creativity when
    developing the magic that surrounds your gift.

  - Heighten Anticipation -- Place a small gift in a tiny box and then put
    that box inside a bigger box, and so on.  The anticipation of the next
    box makes for fun present opening.

  - Create a Theme on Paper -- Wrap your gift according to the theme of the
    present.  For example, wrap a gift for a baseball junkie in the sports
    section of the local newspaper or add real postage stamps to the outside
    of a gift for a stamp collector.

  - Think Beyond the Card Aisle -- Traditional cards don't have to be a
    necessary precursor to the tearing of gift-wrapping.  Make your presents
    memorable by creating a customized homemade card from the heart.
    Consider including old photos, an inside joke or a child's drawing.

  - Add a Little Hot Air -- Small items, such as a gift card, fit nicely
    inside balloons.  Simply stretch an un-inflated balloon around the gift
    card, and blow up the balloon.  Popping the balloon to find the gift
    within will be half the fun.

  - Employ All Senses -- Unwrapping a present doesn't only have to be done
    with your hands.  Add a favorite flavor or scent to a gift by
    surrounding it with coffee beans for a morning latte lover, or by
    topping the wrapping with the gift receiver's favorite candy bar or

  - Make it a Carry-On -- For a unique gift-wrapping twist, add a theme-
    related handle to your next present.  Include a jump rope, hula-hoop or
    even a set of jumper cables as a creative carrying strap.


Lucy Pereda is the creator, producer and host of "En Casa de Lucy." The half-hour magazine television program covers decorating, arts and crafts, gardening, as well as an assortment of home improvement topics. She specializes in gift giving and has created dozens of fresh, unique ways to give, present and decorate holiday gifts.


Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 860 full-line stores. Sears also offers a wide variety of merchandise and services through its Web site,


SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Contact: Tori Jenner of Edelman Worldwide, for Sears, Roebuck & Co.,
+1-312-297-7506, ; or Sandy Tiberi Smolenski of
Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-9336,


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